When we reach our thirties and forties, many of our friends and acquaintances have most likely gotten married and already have kids or are having kids. Being single among our peers might make us stand out like a sore thumb and make us wonder whether there might be something wrong with ourselves–and similarly others might have the same thoughts about us. After all, if we were probably more emotionally skilful or otherwise appealing, shouldn’t someone have snagged us by now?
It might also make us emotionally inept. Lacking experiences, we might be wont to believe the anecdotes of our married pals who do not have a successful marriage and therefore have the time to still hang out with us and ‘kiss and tell’ so to speak. The successfully married ones are less wont to tell interesting stories or spend time elaborating about the virtues of being single or go on about the woes of being ‘too loved’ by their wives that they feel that they are emotionally tethered and unable to be free.
We must beware of drinking water from a polluted well even when it’s the only one available. At the risk of stating the obvious, these unhappily married people are the polluted wells I speak of, they are widely available and have the time to share their emotional toxins and negative thoughts and woes with anyone who would care to listen, and we might think that their tales are cautionary and informative of what might be to come for ourselves.
We must not seek advise or tips on having a healthy relationship or marriage from people who have failed miserably at it, despite their protests that they had nothing to do with the pitiable state of their relationship and claim to be the hapless victims in the situation. As a friend, perhaps we might lend an ear to them if they need to share their story but we must discern that their predicaments need not create a map of fear in our heads about what relationships might be like–and make us cling to being single and causing us our chances at having a happy and healthy relationship.
When we drink (or take advise) from ‘polluted wells’ (negative people) we are setting ourselves up to fail by being contaminated by their thoughts, behaviours, and misconceptions. We have probably lived in this world long enough to know that each experience requires our participation and it is very rare to find a relationship failing at the hands of merely only person. We may wish to provide more wholesome point of views to our unfortunate friends and help them improve their relationships instead of enabling their negative thought patterns, or even worse, adopting their tainted view on relationships.
Do not seek advice about health from a sick person. Do not seek guidelines on a successful relationship from someone who has failed/failing/ailing relationships. It is simply this simple. If we forget this fact, we will doom ourselves to follow in their footsteps and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for allowing it.
(c) Niconica 2013