When she came to me that afternoon and unburdened her heavy heart, I could not help but feel a sense of melancholy with her. Her relationship was coming apart and there was nothing she or her partner seemed to be able to do about it. Like an island and a log on the ebbing tide, they were drifting apart, slowly but surely.As she spoke to me, I picked out quite a lot of things I felt was wrong with that relationship and I shared them with her. One of them was “remember”.
Did she still like him? She thought so.
Did she still love him? She didn’t know any longer.
What were the problems she could pick? She inundated me with a long list.
Was he always like that or did he just start behaving that way? She thought he just started.
When she first started going out with him, if she had noticed those things, would she have continued? Maybe, if he was willing to change.
What were the things she loved about him? Were they still there? A lot of them, yes.
Did she imagine he was going to be a perfect package in a beautifully tied ribbon with a life-time warranty, to be dispatched off at the slightest hint of a fault? She smiled sadly.
Was she a perfect partner herself? She didn’t think so.
Had she spoken to him about the failing relationship? Yes, but he wasn’t changing.
Was her partner a one-year old child? She looked at me exasperated.
Did she expect that a habit she had ingrained for well over two decades could be wiped off automatically after just two hours of talk or two weeks of constant nagging? She looked sad
Would she do something for me? She answered yes.
I told that lady to make a list. Have two columns. In one column, write all the good things you love about him, things that make your head spin, things that he does the way no one else has or can, things that drew you to him. Next, write those things you totally hate about him, things you wish you could squish like bugs into nothingness, those really annoying habits. Now look at that list.
I don’t believe the longer column is necessarily the weightier. (You might have, on your credit column, only one item of One Million Naira and, on your debit column, one thousand items of One Hundred Naira each. The credit column is weightier than the debit column even though the latter is longer.)
Now look at that list. Which column is weightier? If the good weighs much more than the bad then my advice comes in.
Too many times in failing relationships, I’ve found that the inability of partners to remember what drew them together answers for quite a lot. Do you remember why you asked her out? Do you remember why you said yes to him? Were you just infatuated with lust? Or were your eyes opened? Do you remember how he made you feel? Do you remember how she made you walk on clouds? Has familiarity killed novelty? Have you gotten so used to each other that you just get on your nerves nowadays? The things you remember, were they deep, meaningful things? Or of passing fancy?
If your ‘love’ was on the foundation of full breasts and great sex, when the breasts fall (like they are bound to) and the sex stops your ‘love’- which was really lust- dies a natural death. If it was one beauty or on money, when age takes its toll and fortunes turn, ‘love’ fizzles into thin air.
Do you remember? Can you remember?
If you can remember, and the things you remember are deep things, then you can draw strength from the past to build hope for the morrow.
No one is perfect. But if you can hold on to the good in the times of the bad then you can salvage that relationship from the claws of disillusion and disappointment. You can survive the periods of depression and sense of doom by working on those habits inimical to the growth of that relationship while you rremember things that fuel that relationship[.
“It isn’t okay now” is not the same as “It would never be okay again”, if only you can remember.
Do you remember?
AKPOVETA, Valentine ‘t