I've had the interesting experience of being close to many people who are in the process of redefining long term relationships. Since about January, there's been a distinctive concentration of people in my life going through this evolution process in their personal lives-
And focusing primarily on those who are resetting the boundaries on what was once an intimate, life-partner relationship- the ultimate question is what is the best way to move forward in relation to what's been stored up in the past and what was hoped for in the future.
Good question, I think.
A question whose answer betrays the fundamental outlook of the person coming to the answer. Can you move forward in a way that is different than what you hoped for but still honors the past that will forever be unchanged?
An intimate relationship with someone can be stopped or changed- often, the connection remains. After all, it is the beginning to any relationship, some sort of connection to the other person from which you both make a decision to move forward in an egaged relationship.
In the steps to change or stop a long-term relationship, the original connection is often completely ignored in order to wade through the pain as simply as possible.
What if we would work through the pain of a changing relationship, mourn the loss of the hoped-for-future without pretending the connection didn't exist in the first place? Can the connection be honored even though there is no longer an ongoing decision to act on it or to act on it at the intimate level?
Am I asking too much of the general human heart?