In personal terms most of us think that we are at the centre of the world, and everything should revolve around us. We do not find it easy to love and let go.
We must possess the other person completely – we must own them. By being like this we do not realise that we have turned the person into a thing – a slave with no personality.
We need to remember that none of us can ever own another person completely nor should he/she try to do so. The human person is too mysterious for this, and never fits neatly into the group we have created for him or her. We must not behave as though we have created the other person, and so can make him or her over if we are not pleased with that person. We must not play God. We cannot create anybody. We aid in creating others through the act of procreation but we are only being agents or instruments through whom others receive their life and existence.
We must learn to trust those with whom we are in love even if they betray that trust. We must remember our own human weaknesses which may express themselves in ways other than not being faithful. Experience has shown that the more we trust others the more they will be disposed to trust themselves. We so often try to live the life of the other person that we hardly remember that he/she has to live his/her own life. What we are doing is living two lives at the same time – our life, and the other person’s.
We must learn to live our own lives. This does not mean that we should be selfish and not think of the welfare of others. We ought to think of other people’s welfare, but this does not mean living their lives for them. This is one of the problems parents have with their grown children. Sometimes they never let go. Part of adult living is to be able to stand on one’s own feet. When this total dependence on others continues into the adult male-female relationships it can have very dangerous consequences.
The men in our society will have to learn – and learn very fast – that women are much freer today than they were before and so their attitude to them has to be very different. People are free to choose, and if they have put up with behaviour from partners that has caused them much pain physically – and emotionally or both and they cannot endure it any longer – they are now free to end that relationship. In saying this, I am not referring to the Hollywood style of changing partners for variety of entertainment, but I am referring to real ordinary hard cases that many couples are in now. When beating starts, then is the time to begin dismantling the relationship. It is not going to get better. It is much more likely to get worse.
When during the marriage ceremony two people promise to be together until parted by death – that does not refer to the killing of one by the other, it is the normal meaning of death referred to. No couple married or living together – should stay together until the relationship reaches the stage when life is threatened. They should have parted long before.
Now, of course, the ideal situation is for couples not to get angry with each other, but you will say to me “That is impossible, everybody gets angry. Everybody is supposed to get angry.” If I told you that that is not necessarily so you will tell me that I am not living in the real world. All right, I grant you that it sounds impossible, and that it will be difficult to find people who do not get angry. You will then say to me that I mean we should get angry but not allow our anger to get the better of us, so that we do things which we will regret later.
Now this is not easy, but it can be done. If we really want to get rid of anger from our lives there must be a way. Anger does not stand on its own, it is fed by other passions such as jealousy and over-possessiveness. These use anger to carry out their destructive work.