A love that no one can give

We’ve all seen it happen before. Two people like each other, start dating, and all is just peachy keen for the first few months. They call each other every night and ignore everyone else at parties.

Everything is just swell, and there is no question as to the mutual affection between the two amorevolous lovebirds. But then one of them starts to become a little too attached, not in a way that’s affectionate and says, “I just love being around you,” but in an obsessive, I-have-to-know-everything-you-are-doing kind of way.

This kind of behavior is nowhere near healthy for a relationship.

“Real communication isn't explaining your entire day to someone, because frankly, 99 (percent) of the time, your days aren't that interesting,” freelance writer and professional actor Prior Aphter wrote in a 2005 Yahoo! article.

What this clinginess indicates is a lack of trust on the part of the obsessed. Sure, sometimes they have grounds for being concerned, but all too often they have no legitimate reason for their concern other than their own insecurity.

After the first few months of complete infatuation, they find that they have become dependent on the other’s attention. So when it levels out, their desire to feel cared for is no longer satisfied and they begin demanding constant and undivided attention.

This pattern of clinginess in relationships might help to explain why modern society suffers such an atrocious divorce rate. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, for every thousand adults (including those who aren’t married), 3.4 get divorced, which puts the overall divorce rate at just under 50 percent.

What you often have in marriage are two flawed people who both expect the other to fulfill every longing and fantasy about romance they’ve ever had. Two imperfect people are both expecting the other to love them in a way that no person can.

When asking men about their reasons for filing divorce, Men’s Health Magazine found that 22 percent claimed that their wives were unfaithful, 21 percent thought they grew apart, and another 16 percent said that they simply “fell out of love.”

These numbers all seem to stem from a sense of dissatisfaction with the relationship. They grow out of the infamous honeymoon stage and realize that their spouse isn’t anywhere near perfect and will never able to love them the way that they long to be loved. Yet rather than accepting that fact and learning to appreciate their partner’s imperfect love, they break their vows and move on to someone new, deluding themselves into thinking that this time they’ll get it right.

People marry because they love each other; but after the tintinnabulation of their weddings bells has faded, they are called to love each other because they decided to get married. Some days they may want to set each other on fire, but they still must love each other.

 

Reach the columnist at Julianna.Roberts@asu.edu


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