If one person is not getting some needs met, it is highly likely that the other person feels the same at some given point in time. If one person was totally happy and the other person is unhappy, I think it’s also clear and easy to say that this isn’t a relationship based on mutuality or connectedness. The thing about having the rug pulled out from under you is usually not about happiness, but level of commitment. Despite the problems, one was willing to stay (and hopefully work it out) and the other person wasn’t. But at the end of the day, the break up is better for both parties, clearly why stay in a relationship where one person doesn’t want to work things out. And why stay in something if you are not going to work it out? And, living like two ships passing in the night?
Looking at relationships differently is key. In India, it’s a little well known fact that many, if not most, will have an arranged marriage. People know it since they are very young. They also know that they may not fall in love with their spouse, but will if they are lucky. Ironically, many couples in arranged marriages do report falling in love.
Arranged marriages however are not technically about love. They are about social status, the joining of two families for the sake of the name, financial status, etc. No one expects to fall in love, to stay in love and to have this blissful happily-ever-after. And, ironically or maybe not divorce rates are ridiculously low. (Things are changing now and more and more people are having love marriages and divorce rates are increasing, but mainly due to women refusing to stay in abusive or unfaithful relationships.)
In this society, marriage is based on love and the notion of happily-ever-after. And we refuse to settle for less. Numerous books on love, relationships, and self help exist. People go to see therapists and couples counselors. And divorce rates are excessively high. We are constantly striving for the best love there is. And, not only do we refuse to settle for less, sometimes we refuse to settle period. But, for some reason we still haven’t become any better at breakups. We still consider them painful. We feel guilt, sadness, pain, anger, rage and resentment. We live in fear of being rejected, dumped or broken up with. What gives?
It’s like we understand the principles of romantic love and we strive for happiness but we still wear our heart on our sleeves like the abandoned children we all are. If we want to strive for the best we have to acknowledge our independence. We cannot have the best of both worlds. Or can we? We want independence and security. But we live in fear.