Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lessons Learnt. Previous Ones and Some New Ones.

**For this post, I’ve decided to put up a list of all the previous lessons and hopefully, several new lessons. I actually am very fond of these lessons. Rereading them allows me to further understand them. I hope they have the same effect on you.
I would love to hear all you follower’s opinions on the lessons learnt part. Should I continue with it? Or do you feel that it does not add anything significant to the story?

Lessons Learnt from Failed Relationship Number 1:

1-Never go to bed angry with one another

I used to shut the phone every time I had a fight with Ahmed. The fights usually happened at night, since we usually talk from about 11 pm till like 2 or 3 am...I'd go to school in a zombie like state-but I was delirious and happy that it didn’t even matter.
Id shut my phone for an hour, sometimes two, when i would switch it back on, no less than four or five messages would light up my mobile screen, all from my baby, apologizing even if the fight was not his fault...He never tried to make me upset, but I sometimes just looked for reasons to initiate fights.

Hence, to have a meaningful, stable, long-lasting relationship is to keep the lines of communication open. Do not sleep or shut the phone or argue without resolving whatever issue there is at hand. Be accessible, open to hearing your respective other's opinion and argument in a cool, collected manner. Anger will not resolve anything. Being patient and agreeing to disagree is a much better method.

2-Do not let your respective other take the blame for all your problems. Realizing that you are sometimes half the problem is the solution.

Abdullah and I fought regularly-as evident from the earlier point. I personally believe having a fight every so often, is a sign of a healthy relationship. It would be weird to be in a committed relationship and never fight. Fighting strengthens your relationship and makes it even stronger. Making up after a fight is always nice too. So, going back to the problem. I never admitted when I was wrong, I hardly said sorry. I would always take control of the situation, and somehow prove that it was he that was wrong, and never I.

That cycle got pretty old. 2 years into it. And I think it was one of the driving forces behind our breakup. It was wrong of me to always place the blame on him. I think I didn’t realize it then, but with every fight (Which was my fault not his), he would start to dislike that characteristic in me. I guess over time, that negative characteristic overshadowed all my good ones, as the bad always seems to over shine the good...
Thus, one should own up to his mistakes. If you did a mistake, fess up, take the blame, and apologize. Apologize as if you mean it. Not because you are obliged to, but because you want to. FYI- It’s pretty easy to figure out if your apology is BS or not.

3- Do not allow others to meddle in your relationship. Remember, you and him are in this relationship. 2 people. That’s it! Not your sister, friend, best friend, cousin, or whoever it is you consult with and mingle with.

Every time i had a fight/disagreement with Abdullah, I went around telling my close peeps all about it, not an executive summary, but a very detailed one. Then, I would hear each of their opinions-no matter how harsh they were. Then, I would form my opinion based on what the general consensus of what they all said. I think that was one of my biggest mistakes. Keep something to yourself, your relationship should be private. Discuss your problems with your partner. Do not indulge in a gossip-fest with all your friends and over analyze issues that you two may have.
What happens when you give all these people the power of analyzing/criticizing your relationship? You give them the green light to meddle with your affairs.

I had a very close friend, who was friends with Abdullah to .Every time we fought or something, I would talk to her the next day in school and of course, blab all about it. She would take it all in, and then call him or text him, saying what I don’t know.

Abdullah told me this, after my relationship with this friend kind of came to an end. He told me, warned me actually, be careful of who you trust, I wont go into details, but this particular friend. Stay away from her”.
I never knew what she said, I know for a fact that they were not good things. If I had not given her the chance to meddle in my private life, she wouldn’t have sent him her "thoughts" on our problems.
Needless to say, I am not friends with this "friend" anymore.

4. Almost cheating in a relationship = Actual Cheating

Here are some random thoughts I have about cheating. I was tempted more than once to cheat on Abdullah. I didn’t cheat cheat on him. But I did talk to other guys. As friends I mean, without him knowing. I might have liked one of these friends more than I should have. But I never actually DID anything. Emotional infidelity I like to call it. It is not excusable if you feel terrible about it after it happens, and confessing your guilt is selfish. It will only make the guilty partner relieved and the other an utmost mess. Having a special connection with someone other than your partner when you are in a committed relationship, is a warning sign...This warning sign flashes if you realize that you are talking/seeing/daydreaming about this someone more than you do with your actually partner..

Then, you get into the dangerous zone. This phase is the phase where you start comparing Mr. New Guy to Mr. Old one (your committed partner).This is by far, the hardest part. Do you give up everything you have...for a little thrill of something new? The thrill of the chase as they like to call it...

Is it worth it to throw a relationship you work so hard on for the thrill of running after something exciting, yet fresh?

Indeed, the finest part of being in a relationship is the courtship in the beginning...However...Life. As I believe it, happens in phases. One cannot be in the courtship phase forever. Things progress to the better or worse... Once you make the pained decision to let go of your little fantasy (as most guilty partners do at some point in the relationship) things are never the same. You stop feeling what you used to feel. The chemistry that was once there isn’t there anymore...thoughts of cheating consume you...The guilt eats you alive. No matter how hard you try. It is very very difficult not to compare.

5. Jealousy is normal. Being obsessively jealous is not. Do you know the difference?

I got upset every time Abdullah said, Oh flana messaged me. Or, I had a great time with the girls of our class today; I have to show you the pictures. But I was mature about it. Jealousy is normal. I knew he would never cheat on me, and that it was inevitable that in his everyday path, he will interact with the opposite sex. We were, of course, in private co-educational facilities. Two of the very best schools in Bahrain which had a lot of pretty girls. Pretty little rich girls.
I showed him I was jealous, and I think he liked it. To him it read, Girlfriend jealous= must be doing something right. He was happy, he was happy I was finally showing him something that proved to him that I indeed loved him. I have a tendency to keep a lot of my feelings to myself. It’s not that I’m a private person; it’s just that I never want to upset anyone or give anyone the chance to upset me.
Anyways, Abdullah’s jealousy scared me. He knew a couple of my guy friends; they were my classmates at the end of the day. If he saw them around, he would glare at them or “egi79” in his Lexus. He lectured me constantly about them. He would go on and on saying how much it hurt that I had guy friends and how he felt it was wrong, since I was his and only his. No one had the right to talk to him without him going bananas.
He would yell and scream at me saying that I need to shut them out of my life, stop talking to them and confiding in them. I would yell back and say you can’t tell me who to befriend!! I’m a grown woman. Stop this fucking crap!
Abdullah and I were at a stage where I knew all of his passwords (Hotmail, yahoo, MSN, you name it). I was reluctant about giving him mine, but we both decided it was the right step.
He would log on to my MSN and keep it on the entire day. Through out the day, I would get over twenty calls, saying whose, or whose I would have to explain myself in every phone call, in between his yells of course. He blocked, deleted them from my list.
It soon reached the point, where I virtually had no guys in my list. Not even my cousins. He argued that he was doing this because he loved me. I was confused. I knew he had taken it too far, but I just rationalized, oh its okay. He just loves me and doesn’t want to be jealous.
Looking back, I realize I made a lot of mistakes. I mistook his crazy jealousy with love. When you love someone, and are in a committed relationship with them. You learn to trust them. You need to let go of the control, let go of the reins and see where life takes you. His mistake was that he couldn’t trust me. He was waiting to see one improper msn message, or a weird email. He waited and searched obsessively through all my emails, and the various email accounts I had. I silently obeyed him, and pretty soon, I stopped going online. It upset him too much to hear that I was online. I sometimes lied, but most of the time, I did not log in.
Trust is the most important element in your relationship. Without it, or the lack thereof, will make you go crazy and psycho-analyze every thing in your relationship. Trust makes you sane. Trust me. There were days where I felt suffocated. His jealousy was making me sick. It reached to the point where I wanted to make him more jealous so that he would get upset. Is that crazy? Purposely angering the person you love? I think it is. I was too young to realize that he was borderline wrong. Letting him control me like that was wrong.
Thus, it is normal to be jealous. It is ok to show your partner that you are jealous. It is not normal for your partner to make you feel like a prisoner in your own life. We are grown ups. We make mistakes. For the most part, we are smart enough not to. Or, we are smart enough to hide them. Psychotic jealousy is ugly and will suck the love from your relationship. Be smart to know the limits on jealousy, if you feel that its borderline creepy, talk to him. If he doesn’t stop, then you need to think if you can cope with this rollercoaster ride. I sure as hell couldn’t.


6- Physically abusing the one you love is wrong. It is wrong. Abuse is Abuse. It is inexcusable.

I had a friend, let’s call her Lulwa. She was in a three year relationship with a man she thought she loved. They were young, popular, and hot tempered. Most couples would bring out the best in each other. This particular couple seemed to bring out the worst in each other. Separately, they were great people. I was in fact, good friends with both. Unfortunately, when they were together, I started to not like them so much.
They would curse at each other, slap each other, shove each other, and a lot of other things I don’t feel too comfortable sharing here. They did this in front of everyone. It wasn’t a secret. Every one seemed ok with it, everyone but me. I talked to them several times, but it was like talking to a brick wall. I would ask the guy, Sami, why do you hit her. He would simply reply saying that she doesn’t learn unless he hits her, because then it sticks. I was disgusted by his answer and shortly after I stopped talking to him. I asked her then, why do you let him hit you, and why do you do hit him? Abuse goes both ways. Just like he was abusing her. She was abusing him. In society today, it’s mostly the men who abuse. Very rarely, do you hear, in our society, Flana Al Flania 6agat raylha 6ag. Sorry. Doesn’t happen here!
Anyways, Lulwa replied laughing, saying that I am a drama queen, it’s just a few slaps here and there, it doesn’t qualify as abuse. Again, I was disgusted with this reply. What the fuck is that? A slap is a slap. Abuse is when you hurt and hit the person you love. Would you emotionally hurt the person you love? Maybe you do, unconsciously. Would you purposely want to physically hurt the person you love? I would like to think not.
I wonder how they reached this awful point in their relationship is. The answer is still unclear to me, I don’t know if I will ever find an answer. I think that it doesn’t happen out of the blue, especially when it occurs between two partners that seem perfect.
Lulwa argued that he loved her. He just loved her too much was her excuse. Frequent phone calls to check her whereabouts, jealousy, and obsessing over her well-being and “protection”, were all signs of how he passionately loved her and cared for her. I thought otherwise.
I believed that once the infatuation phase ends in a relationship (I would say by month 5-6), this behavior is definitely not a sign of love- but of an obsessive personality that you should stay away from. A person who objectifies you does not equal them loving you.
Thus, the solution to end is abuse it to confront the issue of abuse. It will rarely just leap up and fly away. Problems do not have a way of fixing themselves it. The abuse will escalate. You must confront it if you want to stop.
I’m happy to conclude that when Lulwa’s parents finally intervened, and she came to her senses, their relationship was over. Years later, they both moved on, got married, are in healthy, nurturing relationships (or so I hear). They moved on, and met their significant other. In their respective relationships, they learnt the hard way, that abuse destroyed their love. Love gave them another chance.

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