Groping through darkness, but surrounded by light Love is more than a feeling

Posted on February 22, 2011. Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , , , , |

Note: The following post was originally posted in the Bipolar His Blog.

It has been said that interests make a relationship interesting, but values make a relationship valuable.

from page 67 of the book “what I’ve learned since I knew it all: 12 Secrets To Living A Satisfied Life” by Paul Meier, M.D. and Todd Clements, M.D.

When you encounter the inevitable challenges in any relationship it forces you for lack of a better description, to really examine the basis as to why you are with the individual with whom you have chosen to share your life.

It is an at times heart wrenching, procrastination minefield exercise that based on the authors of the above referenced book many would prefer to avoid as some people spend more time studying for a test than they do deciding which person to marry.  So it is not surprising that the foundations for the majority of relationships whether through matrimonial ceremony or common law arrangements, begin to crumble when faced with life’s storms.

The day before I read the quote from the Drs. Meier and Clements book, I had been contemplating the reasons as to why her diagnosis of being Bipolar brought Jennifer and I closer together.  After all, and as statistics report, 90% of all marriages in which one or both spouses are Bipolar fail.  Yet here we are, talking more than ever before.

This doesn’t mean that we have stopped hitting the rough patches associated with what has been called a “couples illness.”  Far from it.  However through the lens of both awareness and understanding about the disease, there is a connection . . . a connection that is based on shared values.  A symmetry of belief if you will, within critical areas such as the importance of family and our mutual faith that serves as a unbreakable lifeline when we descend into the darkness that comes with being Bipolar.

During these difficult periods it is as if we are groping through the darkness to embrace and then reemerge into the light that surrounds us.  It is without a doubt a trying, troubling and even unnerving jump into an abyss of sadness and at times despair, but a jump I would and will take over and over again not as a rescuer, but as Jennifer’s friend and lover.

The fact that we have this life line of shared values means that we will never get forever lost in the darkness, because we have the same reference points of happiness and hope that serves as a beacon to bring us back and place us on firm ground once again.

Now your life difficulties as a couple do not have to be an illness, as there are no shortages of possible points of upset and contention ranging from money to in-laws to you name it.  Regardless of what you are facing, the common denominator for success rests in having shared values.

In this regard, and in line with the observations from the book, the only real question is whether or not you have done your homework to determine if your values correspond with the values of your partner.

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