The Last Couple Standing
Just like a child that still adores their old tattered blankie, many of us cling to relationships for the same reason. Our relationships may have been bruised and beaten but somehow that just endears us all the more to them. Granted, I am saying all of this with the assumption of said relationship being healthy. Yes, there are the ups and downs of life. The downsizing, disease and turbulence of day to day life that gets weathered by us all. Some won’t weather the little disasters let alone the bigger ones. But there are those relationships, that much like the cockroach after a nuclear apocalypse, just won’t die.
Everyone knows a couple like this. They scream and fight. They say horrible things to one another. There is no romance. There is simply tolerance from what any of us can tell. Yet these people stick together. Whether it’s for the kids or stubbornness, their relationship survives regardless of explosions or implosions, and it is so damn annoying. In fact, I’ve known couples who can’t stand being around these couples because their bad behavior rubs off on their own relationships.
I’m not saying these couples should get a divorce but they might want to seek a little counseling so that they can learn to relate to one another a bit more civilly; especially if they have children. This is not the best model of an adult relationship I can think of. I personally have even had friends like this. Several of us in the wedding party smugly guessing how long “this” is going to last. When five or ten years later, we are the ones signing divorce papers and the volatile couple keeps chugging that marital path with their observable war wounds.
People find comfort in some weird shit. Shit that isn’t even good for us most of the time. Would the next relationship for this couple be any better off? Who knows. What matters is that behind the closed door of their relationship that they do have a dialogue (not a screaming match) about life and all of it’s big questions. I suppose having someone to do that with is the key. It’s one big benefit being mated will always have over singledom, even when the going is perpetually rough.
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Dr. Kat is the resident sexologist at Adam & Eve and also runs a private practice and media consulting business. She has a Doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her professional affiliations include AASECT, SSSS, and the American Board of Sexologists. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and completed a postgraduate degree in Marriage, Family and Addictions Recovery Therapy.
© Copyright Dr. Kathleen Van Kirk