Realizing Whether A Relationship Is Not Broken, Just Bent
Some songs seem to resonate with us and we cannot get them out of our heads. As soon as I listened to Pink’s collaboration with Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason” I admit I was hooked. It struck a powerful chord with me and each time I play it, it makes me reflect on how relationships evolve and that there’s always two sides to any story.
The distinction of being bent and not broken is also extremely important, especially when you want to evaluate whether a relationship can be saved. That’s what really gets to me about that song, composed by Pink and Nate Ruess. When they sing “We’re not broken, just bent, and we can learn to love again” I think it sends a powerful message to any couple that faces challenging times.
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, chances are you don’t feel madly in love with your partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week (if you do, please share your secret) and that there are times you don’t see eye to eye. Once you become a parent the sum of chores, routines, exhaustion and a general lack of time can make it harder to feel that connection and spark you had in the beginning, even if you wouldn’t change your family for anything.
If you’ve hit a rough patch, you might feel you can never go back to that rush you felt in the early weeks of your relationship. And in many ways, you can’t, because the beauty of relationships lies in the power of evolution. The challenge is to evolve together and not simply drift apart.
Many times I’ve felt like I need to find a reason to carry on, even if it’s tiny, and until now, I have always found it. Most of those times, it just takes a glance in my kids’ direction or my spouse will unexpectedly do something that awes me –in a good way. But there are moments in which things aren’t as simple or as easy, or you might experience a turning point in your relationship when you are going through bigger challenges. Looking at your family doesn’t take you automatically to a happy place, but it can fuel your conviction of working things out, even if it takes a lot of tears, pain, honesty and rebuilding. Most of all, it takes tons of open communication.
When I look back, though, I realize that it’s key to understand that you will hit many bumps in the road and they will leave dents. However, if you’re able to realize they are only bumps and not big breaks, it becomes easier to move on. If you do feel torn apart or that there is a huge abyss between you and your spouse, it is much harder to fix your relationship.
A marriage is not a zero sum game and life is more tinged in shades of gray than a study in black and white. That’s why making the distinction between being broken or merely bent is huge. And just as Pink and Nate Ruess sing, you can learn to love again.