Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Path of destruction

Seeing my grandmother lose her husband of 59 1/2 years, and reading "The Art of Happiness" by the Dali Lama (with voice-over from an American Psychologist) has me re-evaluating what happened in my marriage.

I think we may place unrealistic expectations on our romantic relationships here in the West. We expect this one person to provide us with perfect intimacy and intense romantic joy. And that's just not realistic. And when our expectations are out of line with what we experience, we can't help but be disappointed. And we become dissatisfied.

I look back on my marriage, and see how much of it was pretty good. We had gotten to a very comfortable place, in many ways. Maybe I destroyed a rather good thing, out of dissatisfaction with the relationship's deviations from my ideals.

And it seems I will have done this again. I saw K briefly last night, just to check back in. She's going through a lot of life re-structuring right now, and I know she's been on the fence about "us". She's keeping only "meaningful and promising" things in her life, and she's known for a while that what we have is meaningful but not promising. Last night, in her company, I could feel the shift in her. She's decided she can't keep our relationship in the romantic department because it's too hard on her emotionally. She didn't have to say anything. Which is part of why we're pretty cool together. We don't have to explain ourselves to the other. We just seem to intuit the other's feelings.

And I can't help but wonder if I've once again failed to recognize and appreciate a good thing while I have it.