02 November 2011

The ultimate sacrifice

What would you do if your partner told you that they would break up with you if you didn't sleep in the same bed with them? This is a partner who snores loudly, has restless legs, and keeps you awake night after night to the point that you are physically and mentally falling apart.

I interviewed a lady recently whose most recent relationship ended because her partner refused to even consider sleeping in separate rooms. She described him as being very conservative and always following the 'right path' and this right path for him was that 'men and women in a couple share a bed every night'. Why? Because "that's what they do".

The norms and traditions that were ingrained in him from his family (who knows how many generations back) did not allow him to consider a situation that was different, to the extent that he was prepared to walk away from an otherwise happy and functional six year relationship.

I find that absolutely fascinating.

The fact that he could not conceive of a solution that would enable him to continue to be with the woman he loved, simply because of what he had been told was the 'right' thing to do when in a relationship with a woman.

The definition of a tradition is that it is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. The word 'tradition' itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping.

Can't you just imagine the words and actions of this man's father that were so influential that they resonated so strongly for so many years?

Traditions can have such a dominating force over people that they blind them to logic and good sense and dictate behaviours that ultimately can be destructive.

I guess there is the practice of many traditions that may lead to the eventual break down of relationships. Where and how you celebrate Christmas, the attention given to a person on their birthday, the importance given to a particular sport, or sporting event - all of these activities can carry with them years of practice and behaviours that can ultimately put pressure on a happy couple. I am sure (if anyone is reading) that people would have many examples of either their own family, or someone they know.

I've never been one for traditions myself - not simply for the sake of having them anyway. I certainly don't let traditions define me if the definition is at odds with where I stand as an individual.

Traditionally, part of the criteria that judges western couples as being 'successful' are such behaviours as spending celebrations together, holidaying together and the list goes on....... especially to include, sleeping in the same bed together.

The lady interviewed is now happily in another relationship, if not altogether happy that she found the need to be in a new relationship. She told me she will never share a bed again as she so cherishes her bed and bedroom as her own.

I must agree that that's a tradition I can support!

No comments:

Post a Comment