Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Temptations to a weakening relationship

Temptations to a weakening relationship

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:07 AM

When the addict takes his drugs, he revels in his chemical high and has very little thought about the consequences that tomorrow holds. The euphoria he feels is enough to cloud the mind and make him feel invulnerable to the unpleasantness and the disasters that await him. But for now there is more than enough excitement to keep him going blindly, oblivious of all else except his pleasure.

When a relationship is weak or in the process of dying, there also arises situations when the partners get themselves into similar circumstances. The high is the third party that suddenly appears and causes an adrenalin rush.

He unexpectedly meets a woman who knocks him off his feet. At first glance, she seems to be everything his partner isn’t. Her attractiveness is his high and it feels good, almost too good to be true. It is nothing less than a euphoric state of infatuation that causes him to feel like a new man. His heart skips a beat. He is more alive than he has been in a long while. The contrast between the darkness that is his present relationship and the excitement this new woman creates is unbelievable. It is almost unreal . . . like the feeling the drug addict gets from his high.

There is a distortion of reality. This is why we say the guy is “madly” and “crazy” in love. This sudden rush of good feelings might not be the deepest kind of love, but like the drug addict who swears by the magical qualities of his chemicals, so too does this man insist that it’s the real thing.

There is no doubt that both have experienced pleasure, even intense pleasure. Still, pleasure can, as the addict can attest to, be terribly destructive and even deadly. So too does this sudden surge of feelings for the third party have the potential to destroy the relationship that is in trouble. Like a stimulant drug, it has the potential to inject a new sense of purpose, a new outlook on life to the unsuspecting and naïve. Like the addict who creates his own world of the unreal that is very real to him, so too does the disappointed lover or spouse suddenly find himself full of hope for an exciting new beginning.

We need to be careful about the potential for such circumstances to throw us off balance. We need to catch ourselves and hold steady when tempted by such a happening. The tendency will be to idealize and to try to bend reality to fit into our expectations. The consequences could be disastrous.

When faced with a crisis or even a lot of uneasiness in a relationship that we treasured in the past, it is wise not to dismiss it quickly when faced with the sudden appearance of a more tempting alternative. What looks better at first glance often isn’t when examined more carefully.

It is advisable rather to stand back, hold onto something solid, and look carefully before rushing forward where angels fear to tread.


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