When a Relationship has ran its Course


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Last night I was at a party, and I overheard two people talking about one persons impending divorce.  They were talking about some of the things that naturally happen at the end of a relationship, and one of them told the other that “the relationship had ran its course”.

Hearing this had me thinking about the saying that some people come into our life only for a season.

People Come Into Your Life For A Reason Quote Quote About People Come Into Your Life For A Reason, A Season, Or

It’s true, people come into our lives for different reasons and for different durations.  And people also impact our lives in different ways.  Some people barely touch our lives, while others change it forever.

So yes, there are definitely times when relationships have ran their course.

Times when peoples time together has passed.

When their “season” is done.

 

Thing is, this was a marriage.  And I think all of us go into marriage with the belief that it will last.

No one goes into it expecting it to just last a season.  No one says in their vows “for better or for worse, and until the relationship has ran its course“.

We all go into marriage with a belief in the permanence of it, or we wouldn’t do it.

Yet divorce rates show us that it often doesn’t work out quite the way we expect.  Maybe people change and grow in different directions.  Maybe they find out that neither of them was quite what the other expected.  Maybe they realize that forever is a lot harder than they ever anticipated.

Ultimately the “reason” doesn’t matter; eventually many couples come to the conclusion that they are better apart than together.  So their time together comes to an end.

 

But if the goal of marriage is “forever”, how can we ever hope to achieve that?  Some relationships do last, so not everything has to run its course.

And if some last, the question becomes why do some relationships last while others don’t?

Is it just dumb luck?

 

I don’t buy either of these notions.

Luck means it’s completely random.  And although a lot of pop culture talks about the idea of finding “the one”, I don’t buy into that concept (in fact, I can’t stand it).

The idea of “the right person” takes responsibility out of your own hands.  Because if things aren’t working out, then hey, obviously you just aren’t with the right person.  So why own anything?  Why work on anything?  Why look at what YOU are bringing to the relationship?

None of that matters if you just need to find the right person.

 

I have a different thought on this.

To me, when it comes to the success of relationships the why, what and how matters more than who.

Why are you in the relationship?

What are you expecting out of your relationship?

How do you treat one another, not on when times are good but also when they aren’t?

I can’t give you the answers to these questions, and I can’t tell you what is right or wrong.

However I CAN tell you that I think the honest answers to these questions plays a much larger role in the success of the relationship than the the question of who the other person is.

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Of course, the other person does matter too.

A relationship requires two people, and one person cannot keep things alive on their own.

Both people need to want to be there.

Both people need to actively choose each other.

And both people need to try to be the right person.

 

That won’t always be enough – nothing in life is ever guaranteed.  People still do grow in different ways.  People still change.  And sometimes relationships will run their course.

However all we can ever control are our own contributions to a relationship.

So owning our part in things, and focusing on being the right person gives us the best chance of building something that will last.

 

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8 thoughts on “When a Relationship has ran its Course

  1. Hey Drew!
    Glad to see you post!
    I think we can easily give up on the relationship when the feel good stuff goes away, and real life differences show up.
    The fact that they like ketchup in their eggs is no longer cute or novel, it’s now annoying and disgusting.
    I think this is where most of us give up. And i think that is largely due to not knowing how to actively love one another.
    I imagine a Petri dish full of tiny single celled organisms (that’s us humans!) that respond to an outside stimulus being dropped into the dish.
    There can be an instant, instinctual response either toward or away from the stimulus.
    That’s how I feel most of us live our life in regards to relationships. (And many other areas of our life.)
    We have the chemical response that pulls and pushes us without us even being consciously aware of what is happening.
    But we’re people though, we have the ability to reason, to think of the past, the plan for the future..to choose our actions and even our thoughts.
    We have these amazing abilities, to assess, to learn and to create.
    But most of us get caught in the reactivity of the stimulus- whether good or bad, and base our responses on that alone.
    Emotion can be big and powerful. It’s also important to humans beings. We do need to feel a sense of security, a sense of purpose, a sense of joy and happiness. So emotion isn’t the problem.
    It’s realizing our power to feel a stimulus and take that account when we choose to take an action.
    If you want a good relationship, it’s not about the feel good feeling you receive -that’s just this chemical pull from the stimulus.
    It’s about the actions you give. ..being aware of and considerate of who they are (their past experiences, what they need to feel secure, ect.), being curious about their daily life (even when the dopamine levels have dropped to zero), creating novelty together , addressing hard issues, just being kind to one another.
    The truth is no matter how strong the dopamine tides are when you first meet, they will all recede.
    Relationships can create those feel good feelings, but that shouldn’t be what relationships are for.
    This was a bit rambling, …it’s early!
    But really good post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Lindsey – I like what you have to say here. And agree that the actions we give matter greatly.

      To me a big part of something running it’s course is because we’re no longer feeling valued and heard.

      I think hedonic adaptation causes us to stop seeing the good (because it’s become our new normal) and when that happens the bad takes on a disproportionate amount of how we see our relationship.

      Couple that with the fact that as people we rarely learn healthy conflict, so stuff goes unsaid/unresolved.

      Over time you get this message where resentment can set in, and that can poison everything.

      So yes, actions are huge. And actions need to be deliberate – with consideration of each other as you said.

      I also think that being aware of hedonic adaptation allows us to fight back against it, and use those actions to continue to build feelings of love towards each other over time.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I appreciate that you quote the wedding vows because so many people forget them. Most of us do enter marriage for a lifetime. No one expects it to be easy and it does require mutual work and desire for it to last, we just forget the euphoria of the early days and in many cases allow life to get in the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love how you say “allow life to get in the way”. I agree, and have written about that before.

      There’s a quote about how if we do the same things we do at the start of the relationship, there is no end.

      I think there’s a lot of truth there.

      Obviously the start of a relationship is different. You’re learning each other, and there is excitement in the unknown.

      But really, most of life is pretty mundane. Work, pay bills, cook, clean…

      In the early days there’s less focus on that, because our time together is special.

      Over time life gets in the way as you put it. We stop making each other as much of a priority, and the mundane takes over.

      Suddenly the relationship starts to feel more like work, and we don’t put in the same effort.

      Liked by 1 person

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