There’s a running joke on social media among the young and young at heart. It’s said in jest, the kind that’s a brand of bitter humour. Whenever someone is brave enough to speak of their love relationship, or the prospects thereof, the automatic response is: “It will all end in tears,” “it always does.” I missed the genesis of this trend and have only come upon it recently, full grown and complete with wry memes and illustrations. A particularly popular one features an airplane flying overhead carrying a sign announcing the inevitable end. Tears.
It used to be that a picture of a plane carrying the proposal sign, “Will you marry me?” would appeal to our softer side. What happened to that collective optimism?
When did we become so jaded?
A big part of it in Kenya is that lately, we have seen more than one too many love relationships end in a torrent of tears – currently referred to as ‘premium tears.’ And not just tears, but torture and death. We have listened in shocked awe to stories of husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and even their children, tortured and murdered when relationships turn sour.
For those embarking on love and marriage, processing the current trend of pessimism can be difficult. If anyone starts off believing that their relationship will end in tears, it almost certainly will. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophesy! Paradoxically, even some who believe that their relationship is somewhat immune, and will always be blissful, also end in tears too. Must it really end in tears? Is there still any hope for happily ever after?
Each of us must decide.
Seasons―they are as much a part of our lives as they are of nature. So, though the sun may shine now, I know it will not shine the whole year round. There will be cold days and rainy days. There will be windy days and calm days too. And it is a good thing. We don’t know why it must be so but we see the benefits. The flowers come and go. We plant and we reap. The dust is washed away. Or we are warmed by the sun. Each thing in its season.
Just as we do not give up on life in a heat wave, or throw in the towel when the rains are unusually heavy, so it should be in the seasons of our relationships. There will be laughter and tears. Guaranteed. But just because the tears come doesn’t mean the end must come.
Remember, there’s no quick fix for the devastation that occurs when you’ve been deeply wounded. And there may be no one to wipe away the flood of tears from the great ocean of pain inside you. Still, you can choose to forgive. Forgiveness may seem absurd and impossible, but it is the key that unlocks the door to our peace, healing, and ability to love again.
Notwithstanding, if you’re absolutely certain that it really is time for a breakup, that it is the right thing to do, consider ending the relationship as gently as possible. It can soften the pain a bit.