Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Never Say "'Til Death Do Us Part"

Recently I was socializing with a couple who has been together for a few years. During our conversation, the couple declared without hesitation that they would be together forever. The degree of certainty with which they spoke could have only been grammatically captured with three exclamation points.

Perhaps I should have held my tongue, but I tried to gently express my surprise: How can you be so sure? Each member of the couple agreed that they’d never felt such a profound connection, and they insisted they could never recreate this kind of connection with someone else.

I though for a moment about a scene I remember from what might be the Madonna documentary “Truth Or Dare” years ago (if memory serves me correct). I recall her saying something dismissive to the effect of “I’ve already met everybody,” speaking about people she did not know and did not need to know. At the time, I felt profound pity for anyone who would make such a spiritless and ignorant comment. Though I have much greater respect for the couple I’m talking about, I was similarly shocked about the idea that people can speak with such certainty about the unknown – as if life is so predictable.

Not that there is a right answer in terms of how a couple should answer such a question, but I do believe it’s impossible to know how each of us will change and how that change could affect the dynamic we have in our existing relationships. It seems to me that it is perfectly normal to hope that you will be with your current partner forever. However, it seems abnormal to predict the future.

If you find yourself falling prey to extreme opinions about how your future will unfold, it is important to ask yourself if you are truly operating from a place of fear. After all, you may hope that you are together forever, but only time will tell the truth.