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  • A question that rarely leaves us alone in love is: what exactly are other people's

  • relationships like? The question is far from disinterested sociological curiosity. What

  • we urgently seek to know is: are other people in as much trouble as we are? After a furious

  • row over nothing very much at eleven at night or after yet another month that has unfolded

  • with almost no sex, we wonder how statistically normal our case might beprecisely because

  • it threatens to feel like a unique curse. Most of us have a handful, maybe four or five,

  • relationships that we know and keep in mind as standards of what we understand by normality.

  • Perhaps we met these couples at university or they live on the street and are at a comparable

  • stage of life. Without knowing they are playing this role, these sample couples function for

  • us as our secret spirit level of love. At tennis, we notice how kind they are to one

  • another; as well as how energetic and lithe they remain. Over dinner, we note how much

  • respect they show to their respective opinions. In the taxi on the way home, we spot the tender

  • way they hold each other's hands. And, naturally, we feel both highly abnormal and very wretched

  • But our assessment of our love stories suffers

  • from a basic and unfair asymmetry: we know our own relationships from the inside but

  • generally only encounter the relationships of others in heavily edited and sanitised

  • form from the outside. We see other couples chiefly in social situations where politeness

  • and cheeriness are the rule. We take on trust their blithe summaries of their lives. But

  • we don't have access to footage from the bedroom, the uncut transcriptions of their

  • rows or their raw nighttime streams of consciousness. However, we have all this and more about ourselves.

  • We can't help but be intently aware of our own relationships' sorrows and absurdities:

  • the cold silences, harsh criticisms, furious outbursts, episodes of door slamming, bitter

  • late night denunciations, simmering sexual disappointments and times of aching loneliness

  • in the bedroom. Because of this asymmetry, quite understandably, we come to the conclusion

  • that our own relationships are a great deal darker and far more painful than is common.

  • In times of distress, we fling a definitive accusation at our partner: 'no-one else

  • has to put up with this.' We need, to be fairer

  • on ourselves and our beloveds, to create space in our minds for the scale of our ignorance.

  • We simply don't know. We are lacking data. We owe ourselves a richer picture of love

  • than we have yet secured. This isn't prying or cruel, we just need to better understand

  • the true nature of the task we're undertaking. The truth is that miseryor at least some

  • kinds of very serious longing and scratchinessis the rule, far more than public sources

  • will ever admit. It's not that we as a couple are strangely awful or damned: it's that

  • relationships themselves are an essentially and inescapably difficult project. Part of

  • the reason we get it so wrong is that we have the wrong kind of art: the movies we watch

  • are oddly coy, the novels don't tell it how it is. It's a marker of the problem

  • that we almost never leave a cinema or close a novel thinking: that's just like my life.

  • The dominant emotion of most relationships is ambivalence; that is, a complex mixture

  • of love and hate, contentment and confinement, loyalty and betrayal. Most loves are too good

  • to leave, yet too compromised to assure ongoing profound contentment. They subsist in a grey

  • zone, where moments of joy bleed into stretches of melancholy, where at points we sob and

  • are certain the partner has ruined our lives and then, the following morning, assisted

  • by sunshine and black coffee, recover a feeling of things being basically fine. Image result

  • for bergman marriage movie If we could properly seevia tenderly accurate films and novels

  • and chats in group therapy or with older honest couplesthe reality of pretty much any

  • relationship we might arrive at a surprising and deeply heartening conclusion: that our

  • own relationship isin facttwo things above all: very normal and good enough.

  • Love is a skill that we can learn. Our relationships book calmly guides us with calm and charm through the key issues of relationships to ensure that success in love need not be a matter of good luck. For more, click the link now.

A question that rarely leaves us alone in love is: what exactly are other people's

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The Secrets of Other People's Relationships

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/23
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