The next thing I knew Curt was in a relationship with Katie. They both seemed thrilled by it, going places together, holding hands, finishing one another’s sentences. When I called Curt about the two of us going bowling he replied, “Can’t. Katie doesn’t want me to.” I was mystified! Am I that bad an influence? As time went on Katie slowly remade Curt… no more jeans, no shaggy hair, no more time available for anyone who was not Katie! They both seemed happy so I decided it was none of my business. And then one day Curt bludgeoned Katie to death with a cricket bat!
Every relationship has its own dynamic, its own seasons of feast and famine. Within those changing seasons we can sometimes discover a “me” that I never knew existed… the irrationally jealous me, the chronically pissed-off me, the self-centered me. So what do we do when we become aware of these previously unknown aspects about ourselves? We can go to a therapist to obtain professional help with the interior wrestling. On the other hand we don’t have to run to a professional every time we can’t figure out who we are or what we want or what we don’t want! We can learn how to talk with one another in a new way, we can create a new relational language that turns out to be fruitful!
We all come from wherever we do with a lifetime of habits and long-established ways of dealing with life and people. The difficulty is that not all of these habitual ways of acting and reacting are helpful! When we were babies we had to learn everything since all was new to us. We had to learn how to speak a common language, how to read, how to write. Just because we are now older and taller does not mean that “learning” is over! Relationships require that we learn new skills… how to listen to another, how to search for a common language, how to react to this person in a way unique to this relationship and not simply as a further playing out of other relationships!
I can only guess what caused Curt to finally reach for the cricket bat! My gut tells me that he probably just got tired of being Katie’s makeover project and yet saw no reasonable way to put an end to the relationship other than by putting an end to Katie! I read a quote by Albert Einstein recently which stood out to me: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” In other words as our relationship ages and changes so too should the way in which we deal with one another! Just because the day comes when the relationship doesn’t feel the way it did when we first “fell in love” does not mean that something is wrong… it means that the relationship is growing up! At that point it is hoped that we are growing up also!