Forgive me while I fixate for a bit longer on keeping relationships alive. I was ready to let it go after last week’s column, but then Seal and Heidi dropped their bombshell on us all, leaving us with the fallout – true love has been obliterated to smithereens all around us.
Everywhere you look, people are gobsmacked. I thought they were solid. We all did. I was quoted just recently in an article, citing their dedication to each other as something to look up to.
They renewed their marriage vows every year, they are doting parents to four children, they always seemed so clearly – so obviously – in love.
All of a sudden it’s like we’ve all been told Santa doesn’t exist.
Seal himself is surprised by the news, as he told Ellen DeGeneres. He is still wearing his wedding band and says he still has the deepest respect and love for Heidi, but:
“These things happen.”
Do they? Is that true? It terrifies me that one day a relationship can seem fine and the next it’s a separation that shocks even the active participants in the relationship.
Whatever the reason, who on earth can we look to now to be role models when it comes to love?
Your parents are your first examples of how to conduct yourself in a relationship.
They teach us so much. How to talk and walk, brush our teeth and ride bicycles.
And even as tiny children, we glean clues from them on what it means to be in love, many of which we ourselves carry into our own relationships when we grow up.
What we don’t learn subconsciously, we learn because our parents out-and-out offered verbal advice about love, particularly through our teenage years when we were trying to figure it all out.
How did your parents handle conflict? Were they affectionate in front of you? Did each have defined roles in the household or was the workload shared?
Think about your relationships now: how much of that have you carried with you into your own life?
I was fortunate enough to have parents who set me an incredible example. They really did stick with each other through better and worse, and in sickness too. They stuck by each other and loved each other right up until the day my father died. I could not have asked for better role models in love.
Don’t think it’s all over for you though, if your parents didn’t get it right. You can unlearn destructive mindsets and habits.
My own parents, though their marriage was wonderful, didn’t have good examples growing up. But it made them more determined to not carry those bad behaviours into their own marriage. They made a conscious choice to be the exact opposite of their parents. And it paid off.
Forgive your parents if they have not taught you well. They did the best they could. Then decide for yourself what kind of relationships you want to have and set about learning the skills you need to make that happen.
And lastly, let’s all choose to still have faith in true love. Regardless of what’s going on in the headlines or even our own houses, if we lose hope altogether, then the world will be a much sadder place.