Humans, by nature, seek security and stability in all their endeavours. This extends to their relationships too. A human being, in her/his totality, is a product of their relationships. How we react and respond to people around us is what shapes our nature. The reverse can also be argued as our innate nature defines the course of our interactions.
The natural human tendency of nurture and empathy leads us to create (as well as destroy) many relationships over the course of our lives.
These relationships are not necessarily always with other humans. We are capable of forming deeply meaningful connections with animals and nature as well. In an ever-materialistic world, humans are often defined by their deep attachments to many material things too.
Because our relationship with inanimate objects is one-sided and born out of a need to acquire and possess, there is no scope for uncertainty here. Even with animals or nature, the balance tends to be lopsided. While it is true that the objects of our affection in such cases are seen to thrive and prosper when treated with love and often wilt and wallow when this love is withdrawn or not provided, there really is no uncertainty in the relationship. They are always giving.
This is where a human to human relationship stands apart from every other form of bonding. We are talking of two individuals bound together in an intense exchange of energy over time. With careful nurturing, and constantly evolving and responding to the other person, a relationship is built upon over time. The beauty lies in the completely uncertain nature of a human relationship. It is not possible to exercise control over hearts. A heart gives and responds to another heart. Ideally there ought not to be any one-sidedness here.
But who can ensure an ideal situation where humans are involved?
It is utopian to believe that one can predict with a fair degree of certainty, or any certainty at all, how the other person in a relationship will respond. Even if they have responded in a particular manner previously, it does not mean they will continue to do so every time.
Humans crave for certainty; it is a form of security that they relate to. At the same time, human nature rebels at any kind of predictability over long periods of time. It is this dichotomy of human nature that makes their relationships so fascinating. The moment we are faced with uncertainty, we tend to clam up and shut out the person who is dearest to us. There is an urge towards self-protection, overlooking the fact that the other person, who is so precious to us, is suffering as well.
It would be way better if we harnessed this facet of our relationships into building something that is beautiful, a bond that transcends time and space and age.
How can we deal with uncertainties in relationships?
Understand and change
You may have been with your partner for a long time. You might have been through many ups and downs together and come out of these situations well. That does not mean you are done and dusted with looking after your relationship, that everything is well and will be forever. People change. This is an irrefutable fact. Age and circumstances take a toll. What was once easy will not always remain so over time. How you responded to something earlier might have changed to how you react now. And it is quite possible that this change is hurtful to your partner. And the same is true for them vis-à-vis you. Recognizing the fact that change is the only constant helps.
Changes in our own mindset over the years, due to whatever reasons, can lead to friction. Many of you might like to speak out and clarify doubts in order to move on, or away. Some others tend to clam up, hurting inside, and further damaging a robust relationship. Reaching out to your partner is a must at such times although your partner might not wish to be confronted at times. Giving them a little time is okay, but do not let the matter wallow for long. Hurts have a way of building up. Talk to them and arrive at a solution.
Unless you have had reason to believe otherwise, deal with issues with a liberal dose of trust. This is the person who has been by your side through many situations. Believe in the person, give your partner another chance to prove themselves right. The same will apply to you of course. If either of you has erred or has been grievously wronged, it is better to step away and pause for a little while. Time helps put things in perspective. Time heals too.
Forgive with grace
Mistakes happen; in any relationship. After all we are humans. If your partner is genuinely sorry for a mistake, be graceful in forgiveness. Nothing is achieved by making them grovel and rubbing their noses in the dirt. It is okay to take your time but not to the point that the other person is reduced to begging for forgiveness. This needs to be dealt with very sensitively. Your power lies in being graceful in acceptance and moving on. Certainly not in putting your partner in a situation that leads to so much bitterness that there is really no coming back. Or taking them to a point where something breaks from within and the relationship is beyond revival.
We build our relationships over time. And we subject these to many tests over time as well. Those who work hard towards maintaining a relationship against all odds are the ones blessed with love. Remember that it is easy to break a bond but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep it going. What emerges from such tussles is a thing of beauty, to be cherished forever. There is no saying that problems will not plague a relationship ever or that you have hit upon a foolproof solution. Beauty lies in the fact that you can recreate the magic again.
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