*WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AND MAN TIED UP!*
Watch this video first, the whole way through, then check out my article below for why I think hidden within it is one of the most important lessons we can learn for our love lives.
I can’t remember a single relationship I’ve ever had which didn’t hurt at some point. The hurt that comes from an argument where things are said that are hard to take back. The hurt that comes from feeling jealous, feeling like I somehow wasn’t enough. The hurt that comes from missing someone when they go away, even for a day or two. The hurt that comes from worrying you might lose someone.
Even in the best relationships I’ve had there has been some element of pain, for a negative reason or a positive one. It didn’t matter. There was still pain. I’m guessing that you’re experiences of relationships have been the same. Because the fact is, relationships can create pain. In fact, they have the ability to create pain more than any other area.
So why on earth do we put ourselves through it? Are we just masochists who enjoy putting ourselves up for this time and time again? Or is there something more to it?
I have been meaning to put this video up for a long time. It’s from the film 44 inch chest. Not a very pretty film – although my East-End London roots always seem to give me a peculiar affinity with films that contain a bunch of East-End accents, no matter how violent they may be – but this particular scene caught my eye.
The context is that Ray Winstone’s character has kidnapped the man his wife was having an affair with. Now not all of us would go to the extent of kidnapping the person who had an affair with our partner, but we’d perhaps be lying if we said we wouldn’t want to! So in his emotional state he goes into a passionate monologue about the nature of marriage and relationships. Despite the violent context in which it is placed, and the coarse language with which it is peppered, I found it deeply touching.
Because it gives an accurate depiction of what even beautiful relationships sound like at the grittiest level.
The little things done for each other that often go unappreciated. The little smile that is appreciated more than anything else in the whole world. The moments where we go out of our way just to make the other person happy, where their approval is the only thing we could want for. The paradoxical situation of love being both ‘lovely’ and ‘murder’ at the same time.
No matter what we believe, relationships can be hard graft. That’s not to say they’re not effortless at times, but hard work goes into making a relationship stronger, just like it does in any other area of our life. This speech cuts through the fairytale that so many people are expecting when they get into a relationship. A fairytale that leads so many people to much pain with dashed expectations when their new reality doesn’t match the blueprint of how they thought it would be.
I truly believe that a huge number of relationships fail because of:
- The expectation that it’s somehow ‘supposed’ to be easy
- The unwillingness to put in the hard graft when met with the reality of the situation.
Funnily enough, despite all this hard work and ‘murder’ I would consider myself a true romantic. Not a romantic in the sense of everything being beautiful and effortless and ‘floaty’ the whole time…
But consider this – in order to do all of this we have to decide that there’s someone out there we deem to be worthy enough to put in all of that effort for. Someone who is worth the pain and hard moments. Choosing our partner is a big decision. We often rationalise that it is a big decision by talking about how much time we are going to be with that person. But the more I think about it the more I believe the part of that decision that really carries the most weight is the choosing of the person we are going to put in all of this hard work for. The person we are going to go on this journey with; whom we are going to endure this pain for.
Forget the flowers and the romantic crap. We are starting a journey with someone in our lives. Someone who has the power to hurt us or make us happy on a level that perhaps no one else can. And yet knowing that this person could have such a profound impact on our feelings for better or worse, we still willingly give them that power. We put our heart in their hands with the belief that on some level they deserve it, and that it’s going to work.
What could be more romantic than that?
P.S. I had an idea for this week – leave a comment below about what love means to you…
Let’s get some ideas flowing in this amazing little community we have!