(originally published January 10, 2010)
I notice that there are way too many people who want to believe that "not wanting to know something is true" will magically make it "not true." If it worked, I'd bottle and sell it.
I'd like a dollar for each caller to my radio program who complains about some extraordinary behavior or circumstance that is making them miserable in their relationship, whether they're dating, already married, or married and three kids later! I ask the dreaded question: "Did you see/know about this before you...?"
At first, frankly, most people lie and say "No."
Sensing they're being defensive, I push. Finally, they admit it by modulating it: "Well, it wasn't that bad."
Meaning, of course, that they knew it and didn't want to know it.
Why does this happen?
- We don't want our dreams and desires squished.
- We are so far along with our feelings and actions (sex, engagement, long dating) that we simply don't want to lose what we have, or we don't want to lose face.
So, the next step is "magical thinking:" "Well, LOVE should fix this,"
or "It's really not that bad,"
or we simply just try to ignore it. When parents or friends bring it to our attention, we find ways to extinguish reality by claiming that they are just exaggerating or wanting to hurt you or take away your happiness or are too bossy or too critical.
Every now and then I get a caller, as I did recently, who was only dating a few weeks and was seeing what some would call a "red flag." She wanted to check it with me to see if she was being unnecessarily cautious or critical. After listening to her, I complimented her on listening to that small voice inside which was telling her "NO...not this one!"
So what I wish for all of you is to listen to that small voice
of good sense, and put aside emotion and magical thinking. The road to hell is not built with good sense.
Keep that in mind.