I have been married for over 21 years and it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and feelings that have shaped me into who I am. Who am I? I am a husband, a lover, a father, a forester, an inventor, an amateur writer, a spiritual seeker and a man who is slowly waking up to his potential. My relationship has humbled me, it has tested my patience and it has taught me about love, compassion and caring. Just when I think things are going smoothly, my wife reminds me of another lesson that I need to learn. I have learned that complacency can be comfortable until the light shines in our eyes and helps us to see an opportunity for growth.
The need for shedding light on our relationships became blatantly evident late in 2009 when a couple of famous men came out of the shadows and into the public eye with their admission of adultery. Here were two guys who seemed to have everything – fame, fortune and loving family and friends – and yet, they were willing to risk everything for sexual gratification and selfish indulgence. Letterman’s late night confession shocked his fans and caused emotional pain for his family and staff. Ironically, his ratings increased as curious viewers tuned in to try to understand why. Then shocking news came from the world’s number one rated golfer. Unfortunately, Tiger tried to take cover in the woods as the truth was driven out of several small towns where he indulged his fantasies. These two are not alone, as relationship breakdowns and infidelities are on the rise in our busy society.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The Letterman and Woods stories brought public awareness to a topic that desperately needs more personal attention. Can you picture new couples on their wedding day flipping a coin and calling heads or tails? “Heads”, their marriage will survive all of the trials and tribulations of married life; and “tails”, they will be referring to each other as “ex’s” in a few short years. Why do almost fifty percent of relationships fail? Perhaps when the roller coaster rumbles through the shadows, too many of us want to get out of the car. We are not prepared or patient enough to ride out the bumps and sometimes we are too quick to jump into another car that follows a similar track.
I acknowledge that some relationships run their natural course. The karma was fulfilled, the lessons were learned and in many cases, the partners remain connected as friends. However, far too often, relationships end in anger and distrust with unresolved issues. It is time to put a priority on improving our relationships because we cannot afford to leave them to chance. There is scientific proof and spiritual confirmation that loving relationships are very good for us. We all need and deserve a lot of love and light to help us cope with the stressful situations in our lives like recession worries, financial concerns and pandemic fears. We need to put more energy into the things that help strengthen our relationships like playing and having fun together, improving communication, focusing on each other’s needs, and building more romance and intimacy.
Bobby O’Neale is the creator of Syncrohearts: “The game you love to play and play to love.”