Broken Relationships.


“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Human relationships can be romantic, platonic, filial, fraternal, sororal, corporate and so on so forth and all of them are capable of flourishing as much as failing. In all the cases, emotions are involved and the aftermaths of broken relationships can be painful and in some cases even devastating. There are some inexplicable broken relationships with dirty linen washed in public, which too cause a lot of problems for individuals and families like this one for instance. There are others which go through turmoil too due to no fault of the individuals concerned like this one for instance.

It is the presence of a number of young people in my life now with broken romantic/marriage relationships that prompted me to suggest this topic. I just wanted to see if other LBC members too observe this phenomenon which I think is a modern development as in my youth while one did come across broken relationships, the numbers were low. Many broken marriages were kept alive for the sake of children and societal expectations and the hurt was not brought out in the open for public awareness and scrutiny like one can see often now. There were non marriage break ups too and I personally experienced two big ones, but these too were rare as romantic relationships themselves were rare in our society where arranged marriages and segregation of the sexes was the norm.

In all these cases the relationship is based on some kind of love and that is a word that needs a lot of understanding to be able to figure out what can be done to avoid breaking up of relationships. Since, much to the dismay of my betrothed, I still prefer not to reinvent the wheel, I will simply leave an expert to talk about this very confusing word.

“I am an adherent of the Ancient Greek way of thinking about love – that we need to become more sophisticated by thinking about and nurturing the many different varieties of love.

Today we have one word for love. We use that same word to sign an email – “lots of love” – yet we whisper “I love you” over a romantic meal. The Ancient Greeks were much more complex in the art of loving. They had one word, eros, for sexual love and sexual passion. They had another word, philia, for deep comradely friendship. Another word, pragma, was about the mature love between long-married couples – about giving love as well as receiving it, and compromise. There was agape, their concept of selfless love, which is where we got our word “charity”, from caritas which was the Latin translation of agape. And there was philautia, which is self-love – the idea that we need to nurture a healthy self-love. And the sixth kind is ludos, playful love.

I think that nurturing these varieties of love is the way to lead a much more complex and deep emotional life. The idea of “all we need is love” – whether it’s Frankl or the Beatles or [psychiatrist] M Scott Peck – it’s not enough, it’s too simplistic an analysis. We need to be much more sophisticated in the art of loving, and that’s why we need to look to the past. I love this quote from Goethe: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.”

~ Roman Krznaric.

Having read the book by Roman Krznaric, I am now able to understand what goes wrong in relationships but am no closer to come up with solutions to repair or prevent breakages in troubled relationships. If ways can be found to articulate somewhere right at the beginning as to what kind of expectations both parties to the relationship have for it to flourish and both agree to work at meeting those expectations, perhaps relationships can flourish. Which then brings us to the question of why one or both are not able to articulate that. And that will take us into a completely different study of the problem. On the other hand, illness of one partner well into the relationship can cause problems which too demands different approaches and character to adapt and change.

Suffice it to say that this is a complex problem which is almost endemic to human beings now and it does not help that other problems like like gender inequalities, societal values, patriarchy etc add fuel to the fire.

I simply despair.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by yours truly. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

14 thoughts on “Broken Relationships.”

  1. As I keep saying, “We’re all a bunch of nuts.” 🙂 Life is more rewarding if we try to understand more and criticize less. Even if a relationship doesn’t last forever, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful and valuable.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Walden

  2. i’ve always remembered some lines from a movie i saw once. cannot remember even the title or much else about it. but the lines struck a chord that somehow i might be hearing wisdom.
    a young woman was in the midst of a rather nasty divorce.
    she was sharing dinner with an older man who was either her father or a dear friend. she said “why does it have to be so hard? look at you. you’ve been married all these years. happily i’d say. what’s your secret?”
    he smiled. thought a minute then he said
    “maybe we didn’t expect SO much. and maybe we were more patient.”
    to me that pretty much sums it up.
    poor old goethe. if he thought they were living hand to mouth then.
    what would he think today?
    tammy j recently posted..this bunny delivers

    1. Yes, the instant gratification syndrome that is so prevalent now did not exist then nor were there great expectations.

      Goethe would in all probability go off into a monastery if he was to live in our times.

    1. It is now a given that both arranged and the so called love marriage both have fifty fifty probability of success/failure. So, it does not really make a difference here.

  3. I am a product of a “broken relationship” which hasn’t ever returned to one of non-broken…at the point of break, I had many reasons to leave; but as life unwound from that period, there were changes. We still have contact but the wounds have healed a little and we are friends. I just have to keep certain things on a platonic level as I think, I could get “lost again”
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Art, University, Other…

    1. I had a broken relationship with my father till much after our son was born. It was after he started to take away his grand son form my home in the evenings to be with him and for me to collect after my return from home that my late wife insisted that I mend my relationship and at least start talking to him. That relationship continued till once again, when his second wife died and his step children did not want to have anything to do with him, it was my late wife who once again insisted that I bring him over to our place to keep with us till he died. She passed away soon after he moved in with us but my arms length relationship with him once again broke because of close contact. If he had not come to live with us, perhaps the relationship would not have soured as much as it did during his last days. We never know about how these issues get resolved in reality and can only speculate. And that is why my byline is Wisdom By Hindsight.

      1. I seem to recall there were a lot of things relating to before our breakup and then afterwards that put us back on a friendship footing – whether it was a good idea or not didn’t seem important at the time…now it seems like he has grown up because certain things are happening that fall in the kindness-ratio :-), one of my friends thinks it’s a bit late but also ‘funny’ – but also says “be careful” – which I am….
        Cathy in NZ recently posted..Art, University, Other…

Comments are closed.