A few years ago the normally reserved Tom Cruise was jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa proclaiming his love for Katie, 5 years (and a daughter) later they are going through a very public separation. The question is why a couple who clearly loved each other, are healthy, wealthy and attractive couldn’t make it work.
My theory is that many of the Hollywood stars are drinking their own kool-aid. The saccharine sweet story that if you find , “The One”, then relationship happiness is assured. The problem is that the romantic high is meant to fade, it gives couples a hormone-fueled taste of the safety that develops in mature love relationships.
What is required in-between is a conscious choice to love your partner in all their human frailty (with their pet peeves, insecurities, annoying habits etc). It’s actually why children a such a gift because as parents we (mostly) intuitively understand that there are no perfect children. Because we don’t expect them to be perfect or to make us happy and then we choose to love them, we discover the wondrous delight of unforced connection. Those times when you kiss your daughter goodnight and she wraps her arm around your neck and says, “I love you Daddy”. They make life meaningful.
Meaningful relationship is about two adults who can make room for the other’s desires and dreams, religious beliefs and hopes. Who can fight fair and hard to make space and believe, always believe in the best fullest and truest of their partner, those couples come through the struggles stronger. They carry a heartfelt gratitude for their partner’s patience and understanding. They know more about themselves and what makes it hard to be in connection with them.
Those couples get to tuck their kids into their beds every night and lie under the covers with someone who accepts them – despite knowing them. Those couples really do live happily ever after. They found the “the One” by being “the One.”