It may seem like everyone is happily taken. The gigantic, white weddings, colorful gender reveals, and enormous, brilliant engagement rings can read like a romantic comedy that we aren’t even a supporting character in.
I know people in those exact situations. Some are genuinely happy with their lives. However, plenty of them are insecure, broken people who aim to please others. They don’t make decisions out of faith- but out of fear. They don’t marry or have children for love- they do it to please others. They are insecure, fearful, and think that a baby, giant wedding (they don’t think about the marriage part), or giant engagement ring will magically solve their problems. However, they are generally dismayed when it doesn’t. I have heard it all and it can be heartbreaking.
Instead of solving a problem or admitting that they aren’t right for each other, couples will stay together and try to force something to work that isn’t meant to be. Then, they wonder why someone cheats, disappears after having a child, or anything else. Don’t get me wrong- none of this behavior is acceptable. However, if two people aren’t a good match, nothing and no one can force it to work.
Do relationships require a certain amount of work? Sure. However, there is a difference between genuinely working on something and forcing something. Genuinely working on something in any aspect of your life is gradual and, while time-consuming and can push your levels of comfort, seldom stressful. Instead of stressing, you go with the flow. There isn’t the rush or pressure of forcing something. You may not necessarily want to do the work. However, you are disciplined enough to do it and get closer to where you want and need to be.
In my experience, getting someone to marry you isn’t that hard. If I wanted to get married simply for the sake of getting married, it could have happened by now. It’s not rocket science. I have come close a few times. However, I’m glad that none of those worked out. Why? I would have had to settle and would have been miserable. I would have had to force myself to want something that would have ultimately led to resentment. That’s fair to no one.
Forcing something is different. When you force anyone or anything, you will make the wrong decision. If you make a decision out of fear or from being rushed, you will make the wrong one every single time. Every mistake I have made in life has been acting from fear. If you have to force anyone to do anything, it will seldom end well unless they are about to hurt themselves or someone else. You should never have to force, trick, or control anyone except in those circumstances.
Take divorce, for example. Every single person I know who is divorced said the same thing: “I knew it wasn’t right going into it. But, I wanted xyz”. “Xyz” could be a number of things- the invitations had already been sent, they already had a certain amount of time invested, they were desperate to get married or have children, or any other reason. While there are probably other people who are divorced for other reasons, this is the most common reason I have heard. Fortunately, I grew up around a lot of happy couples and most of my friends and family are happily married. However, some did take a few tries. You know what? That’s okay.
However, there are many public couples who are in dysfunctional relationships. There are also some people that you know personally and you just turn the other way. While they are trying to Keep up With The Joneses, you are simply trying to keep your mouth shut and decide whether to be right or be at peace. They may be telling you what to do and all you can think silently is “BULLSHIT”.
Some claim to be experts, others are putting on a show. Others may genuinely think that they are happy and be too naive to know better until it’s too late.
While my condolences go out to the family, the best example that I can think of is the Gabby Petito case. I’m no domestic violence expert nor am I going to try to analyze the case- it’s not my business and way beyond my berth of knowledge. Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie were seemingly living the dream. Their Instagram feed was filled with idyllic adventures around the country in their converted van. They were a beautiful, young couple who seemingly had it all…until they didn't. They were living the dream…until they weren’t. We all know what sadly happened next and can only hope that both families can heal.