I hate living with you… so I think I’ll stay!

I’ve spent my life living in high rise buildings so I know a lot about relationships… none of mine work out … but I know exactly what’s wrong with yours!

From my Hollywood apartment balcony … I watch the lives of three couples unfold daily… there’s the gay couple that sit on a balcony smoking each night at sunset, a Mexican couple that make dinner together each night at 7:00 p.m. and there’s “that” couple. “That” couple lives in a building across the street and provide me with wonder and delight. I watch their lives unfold like an unscripted reality TV show. Through there open windows and sliding glass door I hear the rage and anger that develops when things have gone wrong. Sometimes I put on Cher’s “Believe” and watch them move as she sings … “I don’t need you anymore!”. At first, I was concerned for their safety then I realized that is how they’ve chosen to live… so I watch in amazement as it continues. I lived that life for two decades … I understand it … it sucks!

We all know that one couple. Whether it’s your sister and her boyfriend, your best friend and his ball and chain or those two screaming people you call your parents, they’re that couple that’s just that miserable.

They fight and talk behind each others back and say they absolutely “hate” the people they’re so in love with. Many times, they will cheat on each other or talk nonstop about how much they’d like to. They bitch, moan and point out the others’ flaws in attempt to prove exactly how much they suck. It’s like they’re waiting for you to give them the I-promise-not-to-testify-in-court-if you-kill-them nod. But if you dare pose the “b word” — dare acknowledge that they could live a happier life without them, broken up — they act as if you just shot them both.

They get defensive, protective and alarmingly confused at the absurd idea you just slammed on the table. Break up? Why the hell would I break up with the person I want to kill? Why would I end it with someone I’m not happy with? Their double negatives are palpable, yet we continue to appease them.

“Oh, sorry. Just sounded like that was the simple answer to your question,” is what you’d like to say back, but instead you just nod and listen to all the reasons they would never end it with the person they love to hate so much.

“I mean, at the end of the day I do love them,” is the most popular response. The most popular hidden meaning is: “I’m scared of being alone.”

I believe the main reason people stay together in bad relationships is exactly this, fear… the fear of divorce… fear of being alone… fear of being broke!

People would rather settle for inadequate relationships than be single and open to something … or someone … that could make them happy.

I’m not sure where this aversion to happiness came from but it kept me chained to unhealthy relationships for years. It’s this antiquated notion that I’m not validated until I’m in a relationship. It’s this ingrained idea that being single is bad and being a couple is worth the tension. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Being single isn’t worse than being in a bad relationship. Being single isn’t guaranteed unhappiness. Being single is not just liberating; it’s the only way to get to a better relationship.

Being alone is better than sitting next to a lover and feeling lonely.” Loneliness is a state of mind. Just because you are single and alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Loneliness occurs in crowded rooms just as easily and often as it does when we’re by ourselves.

Fear and guilt come naturally for me… those are two emotions that controlled my life for way too long… I don’t let them out to play as often as I once did… and I’m happier for it!

Staying in an unhappy relationship may keep you from being alone, but it will not keep you from wishing you had someone who didn’t make you feel so lonely.

Fear of being on your own is just fear of being alive. We weren’t born together and we can, indeed, survive without one another. It’s natural to be on your own and to get through life as a single entity. Just because you don’t have someone to call yours doesn’t mean you, by yourself, are no longer valid.

Fear is something we create for ourselves. We’re scared of being alone because we’re not used to it. We’re scared because we think we’ll never find someone again. We’re scared because we’d rather be complacent in our unhappiness than risk change for something greater.

Staying in a relationship out of guilt is just as bad as eating an entire plate of brownies so no one will know you had just one. You will end up with a pain in your stomach and a ton of angry party guests.

When you stay with someone because you feel bad for them, you are unconsciously — and sometimes consciously — hurting them from the inside. They will pick up on your distance and feel the strain of the relationship. Your decision to stay will be a daily reminder of your absence — rather than one swift blow.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s broken beyond repair, stop wasting money and accept that you need to throw it away.

There are some things that will get better with time. For those couples who made the commitment to get married, breaking vows should only come when all is permanently lost. In a relationship that’s easy to walk away from, one must evaluate the severity of the problems and if they are worth the time and effort to fix.

If you find you are just two incompatible people, the problem isn’t something that’s going to improve with time, but only increase your hatred over time.

This is what I believe…. This is my journey… this is my life!

Rob Cantrell


robcan2

I'm a sober guy living life on life's terms... I’m making the rest of my life the best of my life !

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