Any fool can try to defend his mistakes - and most fools do - but it gives one a feeling of nobility to admit one's mistakes. By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected.
-- Lawrence G. Lovasik
I never felt nobility in admitting mistakes- feeling noble isn't the point. Identifying and accepting mistakes is about learning something and refusing to repeat it. I yield, therefore I learn. A great man once said, "stupidity is the inability to accept your mistakes and learn anything from them."
I found myself in an odd predicament. A predicament that I had never confronted before. As long as I continued to be a nice guy, the problem lingered. It was not getting better nor could it. The relationship remained status quo.
In this situation, I can honestly say that continuing to be a nice guy meant that I would keep achieving the same diminishing results. Any soft exit strategy would not resolve the problem because in effect and to the degree I don't like the label- I had become a doormat. I would have to tweak the volume knob just a bit-
Thus a few days ago, I accepted that the only exit strategy that could be effective in this situation would be a hard one. Nothing else would work.
That's not to say that I was looking forward to the ordeal. I cannot claim any high ground, I cannot say that I did it anger free. I was not looking for any win. I had identified the problem but it was not mine to fix. I had been on a long losing streak within that relationship and so one more mark in the L column would not make much difference. It didn't matter who won the daily battle, the war could get over. So it was that the end justified the means. Maybe we turned the volume up a little too much. I suppose it was more honest than just shutting my phone off and getting a new one. At the end of the day we both knew where we stood.
I learned a lot of things in that relationship. I learned tremendous patience and tolerance. I became reacquainted with loneliness and to some degree, isolation. I learned that unconditional love can work until such point that it comes in conflict with the love you should have for yourself. I learned that despite the best intentions of what people might say or do, it is their actions that speak the loudest. That power within a relationship is not always used responsibly. Or that love has some universally agreed upon definition. I also learned that sometimes we really do have insurmountable problems that can't be resolved. No amount of intellectualizing or wizardry can save things. Relationships are not about winning or losing. They are about trying hard to make them work. It is an immature mind indeed that searches for the relationship of greatest convenience. The easiest and softest one. When you are satisfied that you have done your best and failed, you should prepare yourself for acceptance.
In some tangible way, nothing changed at the end of the day. Nothing was lost that had not already been lost. Odd.
So tonight I get to practice acceptance. Tomorrow I will practice more acceptance. In a few days or weeks, it will be a chapter of my life that I have closed. I know that the only constant on this planet is change and I know that it was the best thing to do for the two of us.
I wished it could have gone better- but that in fact was what kept it going. You know it is a curious fact that the only man that might have showed us how to behave in a relationship- never had one. That is a shame because today I could have used some pointers.
At the end of the day, it is only just a day. I wish you all, every last one of you, the best possible New Year!