THE ACCORD

When people fall in love, they usually overlook the serious mechanisms that actually drive a successful relationship.  They are so intoxicated by emotion that they presume their beloved has the same values and goals in life.  It’s only after the rush subsides that they realize the mistake.

Some couples try to tough it out.  They’ve already given their pledge before God, family and friends, so they rarely wish to suffer the humiliation of public defeat.  They stumble onward, rarely in sync, and grow to dislike each other considerably.  Of course they’re secretly angry with themselves, but it’s much easier to blame the other party for the oversight.  Instead of facing the issue of incompatibility, they ignore the entire matter, leaving everyone else to ponder the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

Most couples live with a similar beast of their own so they accept it.  It’s expected that one will fall out of love and settle into a twilight of resignation, relieved only when company calls and they’re forced to put on a show.  Since everyone is engaging in the same mummery, there are few models that are divergent.  They are shunned, of course, because to reject the pattern of one’s upbringing is to reject family altogether.  Not a happy prospect, especially if one is itching to discover more.  Invariably, family and friends will circle the wagons and pressure the rebel to give up his silly ideas.

Why are we so vested in maintaining this illusion?  Will the world come to a screeching halt if we reevaluate and go our separate ways?  Whatever happened to unconditional love?  It’s interesting that love is trotted out only when arguing for maintainence of the old dynamic.   If you really loved me, you’d shut your mouth and put up with my unreasonable behavior.  Is that what love has become, an endurance test where we indulge in the worst of ourselves and demand our mates enjoy it?

Have we bought into this paradigm so completely that we cannot envision anything else?  What about courtesy, kindness, common principles and dreams?  Sadly these factors are rarely addressed even though they are the glue which binds happy relationships.  If these concepts are not openly discussed before two people join together, what hope do they have of success?

Perhaps instead of stumbling into love, we should approach it more respectfully with full knowledge of what it needs to survive.  Bring all those things, whims and requirements to the bargaining table and hammer out an agreement which serves the majority of them.  It may seem unromantic, but conflicts up the road are seldom resolved with moonlight.  Dim light and butterflies usually conceal more than they reveal, a dirty little trick Nature plays to ensure its will be carried out.

We don’t need those harsh discussions; our love will stand the test of time.  Probably.  But your relationship won’t.  If an accord isn’t reached while the flame is burning brightest, what’s the likelihood it will be struck when it’s extinguished?

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