How Much Struggle is Too Much Struggle?

When I ask that question, I’m speaking directly in reference to relationships.  Struggle is a natural part of life.  I would even dare to say that it builds character.  I suppose struggle in a relationship can have the same effect.  However, at what point do you say that enough is enough.  At what point does struggle in a relationship become too much struggle?

This topic came to mind during dinner tonight.  I was having dinner with a friend. A delightful woman. Seems to have so much going for her.  Involved in a fledgling relationship, and to my 3rd person perspective, one that doesn’t appear like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

And yet…she’s pulling it along.  Dragging it’s half-dead corpse, in hopes that it will suddenly kick to life and become that amazing, heart throbbing relationship we all dream of.

As we talked about her relationship, a fact came to me. I’ve never heard her say anything good about her relationship.  And so, I expressed this thought to her.

“When we’re together it’s great.  But, it’s the time in-between when things just seem to get all weird and f***ed up.”

I am paraphrasing, but that’s the general gist of what was being said.  We were able to identify a few key points:

  • Communication is not at a premium in this relationship
  • There appears to be some issues in the trust department

Now, I’m a firm believer that 2 things must be present for a “relationship” to exist:

  • Communication
  • Trust

If you don’t have both of those attributes, you basically have a person that you’re occasionally spending time with and f***ing…not a significant other, because nothing significant is going on in that relationship.

And so, after offering alternative perspectives and listening to the joys of a new relationship in action, I said

“I don’t see why you’re trying so hard to make something that isn’t working work.  The sex must be really good.”

to which she replied,

“No, not really.”

At which point, I’m pretty sure everyone in the restaurant did this:


and my facial expression looked very much like this:


At that point, I completely didn’t understand.

And in all fairness, what really kept this topic in mind was the fact that I’ve had several conversations just like this, in the past few weeks.

People…good, interesting, thoughtful, intelligent people…holding on to relationships that resemble an absolute s**t sandwich…and yet they’re deluding themselves into believing that “it’s good most of the time” and that things will “get better with time.”

Umm…no.  They won’t.  Predominantly, these discussions have been with women.

Men…I don’t know…we’re different. When a man is holding on to a crappy relationship, it’s 90% because the woman is either overwhelmingly sexy, or the sex is really really good, and usually some combination of the two.  The other 10% are the guys that all the other guys make fun of because he’s “in love” while the woman is spending all his money, eating all his food, and unbeknownst to him sleeping with the rest of his ultimate frisbee team.

But women…women will hold on tooth and nail to a guy they have lukewarm feelings for, who doesn’t treat them in any manner that would be identified by anyone with half a brain as “decent” and a guy who isn’t overwhelmingly attractive to a majority of the general public, or even to them.

So why???

Someone please break this down for me, because I’m at a total loss.  I could understand if you’re completely hard up.  You kind of look like Quazimodo and you’re not too bright…well yeah, this may be the best you can hope to score, and so you just gotta roll with it.

But we’re talking about women that have so very much to offer, and they are knee deep in dirt bags….

…and I have to turn to the internet to get a date?

Life is such a miraculous and joyful thing…and a completely mystery.

Also, just as a side note; The working title of this blog was

“Why Do Awesome Women Do Such Dumb Things? A Case Study in Fuckeduptitude”.  

I can also say that I did not come up with that title.


4 thoughts on “How Much Struggle is Too Much Struggle?

  1. I struggle with the same question. If all relationships are supposed to be difficult (two crazy people together? Gonna be messy), you can’t just bail when it gets “hard”, but then when is hard enough to bail? At the ends of the spectrum, you have the people who tend to not bail for anything (not trying to be sexist, but yes, this seems to be mostly women), and those who bail at the slightest provocation (which I seem to tend towards). Where is the happy medium? How the hell do we do this right? Why is it so complicated?

    Anyhow, thank you so much for writing this!


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