Relationships, part 1: Everyone has issues

When the subject comes up, I tend to say jokingly that all my ex girlfriends are crazy. It’s almost like a running gag, that a lot of guys tend to say this about their ex girlfriends. Of course, I often see this happen the other way around as well, with girls saying their ex boyfriends are all assholes. The common denominator of course would be the complainer him/herself. Are all your exes crazy/stupid or is it your own fault? It’s a destructive way of thinking, but it can creep up on you after several failed relationships. Another way of thinking, less destructive though not exactly inspiring, is to come to the conclusion that everyone sucks. It was George Carlin who said that “Women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.”

I personally try to refrain from badmouthing exes because of that realization. I always say that everyone -no exceptions- has at least some things that can be considered ‘issues’, some people just choose to hide them as much as possible instead of posting about them on Facebook or whatever. In many cases, the issues don’t even come up much unless it’s in a romantic/sexual relationship or a really close friendship. I’ve met friendly people of whom I’ve later heard that they hit their partners, I’ve met calm and collected people who were apparently good at throwing fits, intelligent people saying really irrational stuff and I’m sure that anyone reading this can come up with some great examples from their own experience.

 

Fun times? Let me ruin that childhood memory for you with a metaphor.

 

In that sense, we’re all like grab bags, filled with gifts. Starting a relationship (both platonic or romantic) is like receiving one of those grab bags from someone. We see some pretty wrapping paper, shake the box around and fantasize about what’s inside. Then we start unwrapping, stick our hands through the fluff and paper shreds to find our gifts and we may not always like what we find. If we’re lucky, we’ll find a brand new PS4, cute kittens or tickets to wonderful festivals. Remember how as a kid, we would feign gratitude when grandma or auntie gave clothes for our birthdays when we really expected toys and video games? Well, you might find some disappointments like that too. Or worse, and this is what can scare the fuck out of us, we might find a rabid dog instead of cute kittens. Or perhaps we’ll find broken toys and horrid books with sad stories.

Truth is, we all carry some broken toys and we all have some sad stories. Some more than others, some more noticable than others, some people won’t even admit it, but they’re there. What’s worse is that it can be hard dealing with other people’s issues, mostly because we have enough of our own emotional baggage. In many cases, people will say or do things that will add to your issues AND vice versa. People will try your patience, wear you out and in some cases drag you down with them. There’s often no quick fix for those broken toys and what you read in those horrid books may be so apalling that you will want to break off the relationship altogether. I graduated as a social worker and have often been the go-to person for people to share their troubles with, yet I still see and experience many things that surprise me, in terms of relationships.

My next post will cover a subject that might help people in dealing with this subject. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to share, I’d like to hear from you how you tend to deal with it when you feel like you keep taking the fall for other people’s issues.

“Truth is; everybody’s going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley


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