Me: “These stairs are so symbolic to relationships.”
Mark: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Each step brings a burning feeling and the challenge makes you want to stop. If you’re alone, it’s easier to give up and turn around or find a way to cheat. When you have someone to climb with they keep you honest with their support and the reward of making it to the top with one another. You keep going because you don’t want to let your partner down.”
Mark: “Uh hu.”
But guess what? By the time I had finished explaining that pearl of wisdom we were standing at the top of a 238 stair climb. Oakland and San Francisco California have many preserved stairways. The stairs were built for residents to get to the trolley cars going into San Francisco and other bay area cities for work.
When you talk and climb it makes the top arrive so much quicker. This was another metaphor I observed. This time I kept my revelation to myself. When you can talk to one another without worrying about the consequences of speaking your truth, any hard times you may experience will dissolve and pass through the pain a lot quicker, allowing you both to move on, grow closer and forgive.
I used to host real talk circles between men and women. With each event I would become frustrated with my sisters because invariably someone would steer the conversation into a ditch, incapacitated and rendered futile because they didn’t like hearing a man’s or their man’s truth. Caveat: All participants attended this event open to honest dialogue from the opposite gender, to learn and gain insight.
Question: “Is there a good reason for infidelity?”
Male Respondent: “There may be no ‘good’ reasons for cheating but one of the reasons I think men cheat is because they have no power in their relationship or their home. Men want to feel one of two things, if not both, they want to feel needed and respected. If one or both of those things are overshadowed by the need for control by their wife, nine times out of ten he’ll cheat.”
Next respondent(s): a bunch of angry women shouting their disagreement and displeasure regarding this opinion. Their points inaudible and expressions, unheard.
Even after this female powered verbal assault, you would still encounter a woman saying something to the effect, “Men just need to communicate better, tell me the truth, etc.” Really?! No man is going to engage in a conversation, let alone tell their truth if there are abusive and dismissive consequences for doing so. There is no truer statement for so many situations than the one bellowed by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. “You can’t handle the truth!!”
Since then, my long standing adage about open and honest communication between men and women has been: If you don’t want to know the truth don’t ask the question. If you want your man to share themselves with you, you have to be willing to hear things that you don’t agree with. Just because someone is your beloved does not mean they have to think the way you think or their truth is going to align with your truth. We have to remember, when we are in a relationship we have been invited onto a journey that is not our own, we have our own. So your job is simply to give support, backup and unconditional love as your beloved braves their way through their healing and leaps out toward their greatness. If you are totally unaligned in your core values, if you find that your love is out of compliance with even one of your deal breakers, then the fate of the relationship is either going to be a hard and painful road to forge or it will not last. Solely, my opinion.
No matter the scenario you find yourself in, talk to one another. With this commitment tool, no matter how hard or painful your love journey is, success together or alone, on the other side of it all, is possible.