Think about the last time you sliced an onion. Did your eyes water or did you possibly even shed a tear? Sometimes our relationships can be the same, our eyes may water and we may shed a tear or two along the way.
Have you ever felt like giving up on your relationship? Have you ever felt like you were just “done”, like you just couldn’t take anymore? Yet maybe you still found that you didn’t leave your relationship. Is it possible that things just somehow got better or that not every day in your relationship was as stressful as it was then? Maybe it is because all relationships are like onions. The various layers can seem endless. It takes a lot of peeling to get to the core.
Couple after couple warm the couch in my office and so often the wives say, I’ve had it! I just can’t do it anymore. Yet, what I have also seen is that is only the outer layer. Underneath, is the hurt and the love that are more uncomfortable to show. Once the couple begin to talk about their struggles and their feelings, I watch the layers fall to the ground. As they get closer to the core by discussing the deeper issues in their relationship, they begin to consider the possible resolutions. Simultaneously, they experience the excitement of knowing they may reconnect with each other and the fear that they won’t .
The many layers of an onion protect the core. The core is raw yet sweet. The “layers” of your relationship exist to protect you from being hurt but may also be an obstacle to getting to the sweetness. Sometimes we need to keep removing layers so we can get to the sweet core. But what about when we are scared? If we stopped after peeling only the outer layer, we would never benefit from the richness of our relationships.
Yet, so many couples talk about divorce prematurely. This is not necessarily what they want, it usually comes out of frustration and fear.
The next time your partner mentions ending the relationship, know that s/he is probably on the outside of the onion. Help him or her get closer to the core by making it safe enough to go there. Maybe peel it together, and pass him/her a tissue.