Managing disappointment in relationships.

I live by this quote and have been considering it a lot lately again… ‘People come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime’. The beginning of the new year seems to herald a change in relationships as we reassess those we want to spend the next year with and those that no longer fit where they aren’t intended. Trying to force these people in as much as we love and care for them is what causes you pain and brokenness. 

It had been a couple of months of undecidedness and if only I’d have trusted my instinct early I could have avoided the disappointment of the other night. I was hoping he could change, but at 45 years old people rarely do, well without a lot of personal development, reflection, and hard work. They also have to want to change which sadly he didn’t. It had been a fun ride these past 6 months, my friends were calling it a lockdown relationship, one that got me through the tough times of isolation and single parenting when friends were always only visible through a screen and true connection was impossible. He offered that, the fun, the laughs, and the companionship. Financially I provided him with an escape into a lifestyle he dreamt of as an unemployed musician on the government Job Keeper payment earning barely enough to meet his basic needs. 

He was embarrassed about where he lived so I was never invited to his house. He also kept our relationship hidden from the world as he continued forging ahead with his online relationships with other women, something I only discovered later in the piece. My distrust for him grew in the final months as I tried to find the good which I once was so attracted to. On the exterior, he was a caring, loving man who tried very hard to make me happy, but the secrets people harbour often only discovered by chance cause the great unraveling of relationships and disappointment which results.

I had lived so much disappointment this was barely a blip on my life’s radar. Our final conversation was awkward and uncomfortable but the thought crossed my mind as he sat there upset and shocked at my decision to finish our relationship this was nothing compared to what I had lived through 4 years early with the death of my husband and the disappointment that comes with the sudden loss of your soul mate.

The decision was simple in the end as he rejected my son and the possibility of having a relationship with someone with children, sighting he had been through this and wanted the freedom of life without children. He suggested a relationship that didn’t include my son which I found amusing. My son was my world and my number one priority so any idea that he would be cast aside in favour of an adult relationship with someone who found him inconvenient was laughable.

I try and find the lesson a higher force is sending through that person and in this instance, I found a few. The first was the ability to laugh again and really have fun. I hadn’t laughed for a very long time, finding that childish nature that had been stuffed down by grief. I was grateful he had let me open up and show some vulnerability again. Life had been so controlled and managed for the past few years it was great to loosen those reins a little. He also encouraged me to learn golf which was something I’d always wanted to try and taught me a few basics on the course and we spent many hours exploring the perfectly manicured corners of Cape Schanck enjoying the challenges of this sport and lifestyle so many do on the peninsula. Finally, I followed his lead in giving up alcohol for the month of January. As my neighbour pointed out, it was fortunate that I did so I could have a clear head in making this decision. It was unlikely I would have been so decisive in my thinking tainted with alcohol. He came into my life for many important reasons and a memorable season of managing life when covid hit us and ultimately shook our world.

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