Once upon a time I wrote about Sisyphus, that ne’er-do-well king in Greek mythology who found himself in Hell, pushing a boulder up a hill over and over again. Every time he pushed it up one side, the boulder would roll down the other. Then he would push it up the other side, and.. well… you get the idea: up and down, up and down, in an endless loop of futility and frustration.
The reason I brought up Sisyphus then was to compare him to some of you stuck in relationship hell. You’re in a relationship that’s never going to work and you know it, but you keep pushing that boulder up a hill and hoping for a different result (see Einstein’s definition of insanity). The relationship might even be pleasant, but deep in your heart you know he’s not the one, so you remain stuck in an endless loop of discontentment and disappointment.
These types of relationships are more common than you might think. If you ever find yourself in one, it could very well be with of these five types of men.
The One And Only
Remember when you were a girl and went shopping with your mom? You wanted to buy the first thing you saw that you liked, but Mom would say, “No, let’s look around and see what else we might find before we buy anything.” Is your love life the same? Are you still with the only boyfriend and lover you’ve ever had? That’s fine until tiny cracks start to appear in the relationship. That’s when you begin to wonder what you’ve missed out on. That’s when you start to question if you took the first decent guy who came along for love or convenience.
He’s hooked on something—booze, drugs, sex, gambling—and you both know it, but the problem is never acknowledged outright. He keeps it together most of the time, but the crisis moments come more and more often. That’s when he promises to cut back, do better, get it together, and he does for a while, but it never lasts. He needs help but he won’t get it because he refuses to believe he has a problem. You keep convincing yourself he will magically overcome his addiction one day, so you stick around. How patient are you with misery?
Handsome, ambitious, smart, funny. What’s not to love? Oh yeah—he’s a dead fish, in and out of the bedroom. No passion, no romance, very little sex, and what sex you get is terrible. Orgasm? What’s that? You try to talk to him about your dissatisfaction, but it only leads to fights and hurt feelings. He’s a good man; why are you making such a big deal out of passion, you ask yourself? Because sex and passion are important, that’s why. You want to feel loved and desired. People can live without physical satisfaction for a while, but let’s see how you feel in a few years.
The man you married years ago is not the same man you’re married to now. Nor are you the same person. People change, as do relationships. Things happen: stress, money problems, health problems, fights. Over time, fondness fades and resentments build. One day you wake up and realize you’re no longer compatible with the guy in bed next to you. Now what? Do you leave and shake up your entire life, or settle for a relationship that no longer makes you happy?
The One With The Funds
You are trapped in an unhappy marriage for financial reasons; if that’s not Hell, I don’t know what is. You can’t leave because he makes all the income. You haven’t worked in years. You don’t know how you will get by on your own. So you stay. And you stay unhappy.
If one of these scenarios reflects your life, I’m sorry. The good news is that unlike Sisyphus, you are not stuck in an endless loop. You can do something about your problem. Easier said than done, I know. Change is scary, but then so is settling for unhappiness in a relationship that will never change when there’s a better life for you out there somewhere.
Life is short. May you find the courage to seek and find your happiness.