Trying to Understand Relationships

I’ve been reading a lot of threads on other message boards, and I am honestly scared. Why am I scared? I don’t understand the point of relationships if people just leave because of the person having difficulty functioning normally in society. To me, it seems that relationships are just business transactions where people are just with the other person with the false assumption that the person whom they are with will always be a high functioning member of society.

What about all the “I love you’s” that are communicated in relationships. What does that even mean if people will just leave during harsh times? Are people that fickle and selfish that they will just leave someone when that person is having difficulty?

If you were with someone who could no longer be a high functioning member of society for whatever reason, would you just leave them?

What if something better came along? I’ve read countless stories where people decided to ditch their SO for someone else because the person was a better catch.

Could you give examples of what you mean by “no longer a high-functioning member of society”? Do you mean sickness (physical or mental), injury, age or what? And even in those terms, many variables exist. You say “for whatever reason”, but the reason could be very important.

I mean sickness (both physical and mental), injury, and loss of employment (mainly due to physical injuries or chronic illnesses).

It would depend on the circumstances. If the person can’t function because they’re a drug addict and can’t or won’t change, then yeah, I’d eventually leave them. If they got cancer, then no, I wouldn’t. Most people aren’t going to leave someone over just any problem, but also aren’t going to stick around through absolutely anything.

You can’t let the fact that there’s a risk of getting hurt scare you off from ever attempting relationships, because there’s a bigger risk of being hurt if you never have relationships with anyone. And if you consistently choose people who will drop you at the drop of a hat, then you need to work on choosing better people instead of just forgetting relationships altogether.

Relationships are about something being mutually beneficial. If one partner is getting nothing positive from the relationship, they should probably leave.

Benefits, however, aren’t just “money” and “social standing.” Love, comfort, entertainment, encouragment, compassion, companionship, and understanding are also large factors.

If my wife got very ill and couldn’t work, I would absolutely stand by her because I get so much from our relationship. If her personality changed such that she stopped being kind to me, then it’s much, much less likely.

So humblebumble, let’s take your problem here to it’s logical extreme: if you were in a relationship with someone who suffered an extreme brain injury and was left a virtual vegetable but still alive, would you leave that relationship? Why or why not?

Unfortunately lots of people get depressed and mean, when struck with chronic illness. There is often a disconnect between; what the sufferer views as debilitating, and what people in general consider to be. Sometimes people grow ill, miserable and feel that they have carte blanch to be assholes to others, who are expected to be oceans of compassion.

There is no disease or illness I wouldn’t stand by my husband through, in truth. That said, if his disposition shifted to where interacting with him was threatening my own mental health, I would find my way away from him, regardless.

To avoid getting into any relationships because they might not prove to be solid gold, is foolish in the extreme, I hope that was hyperbole.

Many relationships end after one of the partners suffers a spinal-cord injury; do you think the person (usually the able-bodied partner) deciding to leave the relationship is somehow wrong for doing what they’ve done?

I see what you are getting at and I honestly cannot answer your question mainly because I do not know.

Well of course not; but that’s the point. Relationships are a living, breathing thing too and capable of immense change.

“Relationships” is a vague and wide-ranging term. So is the word “with” as used in the last sentence I quoted; and my own answer to that question would depend on what you mean by “with someone.”

"I love you"s can mean different things, but they’re not a promise to stick with someone no matter what; that’s what marriage vows (“in sickness and in health,” etc.) (and perhaps other formal or informal statements of commitment) are for.