People go down the aisle or enter a committed relationship subconsciously thinking “I’ll fill your voids, you’ll fill mine. I save you, you save me.” Initially, it’s a fair exchange that works out perfectly. But eventually, with time, age and personal growth (or stagnation for that matter), it gets to be too much. You suddenly have the weight of your own internal issues AND those of your significant other on your back. “Saving” each other didn’t work out as well as you thought and you’re beginning to resent your role as savior. In addition, you’re agitated by the fact that your partner doesn’t want to save you anymore either. That, or you’re agitated because they want you to “be who you used to be” or change into someone new. Now you’re out of a safe-place. Your home, or the time you spend together, has now gone from paradise to a battleground, and like Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, “you’re not at home in your own home.” You’re back to unmet needs, gaping voids and unfulfilled desires. On the way to divorce or a break-up, emotional cheating or infidelity may occur (for some reason, people think that a new person will be more capable of saving them). If not infidelity, the ugliness comes in the form of depression, substance and/or domestic abuse, or the couple rips each other in half emotionally.
Kids, significant others are supposed to be support, not saviors, band-aids or therapists. Like Oprah Winfrey said in her series finale, “Don't wait for anybody to fix you, save you or complete you. Jerry Maguire was just a movie." ONLY you can fill your voids. It’s just not a reasonable or a fair expectation that your partner is going to heal your wounds. Anytime the source of your fulfilled desires, filled voids or met needs is someone else, you will lose because the moment that person isn’t around anymore or stops doing their “job,” you’re wounds will get deeper, wider and more painful. Most couples have their share of baggage that they bring into the relationship. It’s your job to do whatever it takes to reduce your baggage as much you can, so that you don’t unfairly project that responsibility to your partner.