Healthy relationships are not based on pain, suffering, or drama. That’s my take on the Carly Simon song (listen here ). They are based on love, closeness. openess, intimacy, support, and acceptance to name a few characteristics. All of us at one time or another have suffered through relationships chasing some fantasized idea or image only to find ourselves in a world of suffering. Often we are unconscious in what pulls us to these relationships. As we grow in life and have a fuller awareness we can make the choice to leave suffering behind (as Carly sings) and to choose love that brings joy instead.
Mary chose men who would control and abuse her. Her marriage was with a high-powered Wall street guy (let’s call him Guy) who abused cocaine, went to strip clubs, and came home at ungodly hours claiming he was out with clients. Mary tried to do everything to win his love. Instead, she was given abuse, contempt, and left alone to parent her only child. When she began to see that her Guy was a repeat of a childhood drama and that gravitating to this kind of suffering (something she’d done a few times before with other men) was her attempt to feel loved (if she could only get him to see her and listen to her she’d heal the wounds of her childhood) she made one more attempt to have her husband come with her to therapy. To her surpise he agreed. But in therapy, he escalated his control and negativity. With the help of the therapist she was able to see that Guy could not be her guy. She was maturing and needed real love in her life, not the repeat drama of her childhood. She found a lawyer and after what turned out to be a horrible battle finally got herself free. She no longer had time for the pain. Two years later she called me to tell me she was getting married to a great man (not guy) who was the opposite of Guy.
Do you have a story about living in drama and pain and getting yourself free? Have you experienced the joy of a peaceful and loving relationship? Can you share awareness about destructive relationships and what you’ve done to choose something better? Tell us your stories and ask your questions. If you are stuck in a relatioship filled with drama and pain ask Dr. Ike what to do. And, of course, send us your music.
Here’s our musical set:
Sting, “If you Love Somebody Set Them Free.”
“Good Things Happen to Bad People,” by Richard Thompson
“Real Fine Love,” by John Hiatt