Your partner is on their own journey.
You might want to believe you’re on a single, united journey together, but that would not be entirely true. You can be sure that they have their own journey to make; sometimes your partner’s journey will interlock seamlessly with your own, sometimes it will diverge, causing unrest and friction.
Their journey, one way or another, will eventually take them from you. There is no other way. If not by choice or circumstance, time will catch up and death will come between you. Contemplate this truth. Remind yourself often, even until it breaks you. Then maybe you grieve for the loss to come, and learn to hold on lightly to what you have, for it is not yours to keep.
Your partner’s journey includes their own discoveries and challenges, their own hard decisions, sacrifices, dilemmas, and predicaments. Your partner’s journey will have them facing their own heart-break, their own dark nights of the soul.
Parts of their journey will need to be faced alone
Some of your partner’s journey will inevitably need to be faced alone, no matter how much you love them, how much you need them, how much you want to protect, rescue, or soothe them. The same, of course, is true in reverse.
We are here to accompany each other. To witness each other. To support and challenge each other. We are here to know ourselves in the context of one another, in proximity to each other, but a part of ourselves remains always distinct, no matter how strong the urge to merge.
Much of the art of relationship is about how we honour our partner’s journey even as we honour our own, how we navigate the borders and boundaries that keep us as two even as we move as one. Your relationship asks this of you – Can you recognize the unbreakable sovereignty of both you and your partner even as you dance in the longing for some kind of permanent “we”?
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