Two sides?

by Rod Smith

You will hear “there are two sides to every story” when people face interpersonal conflicts. I would like to suggest that there are usually about 7 sides – maybe more – and at least three or four layers to every story. People and relationships and people in relationships are simply not that simple. We are not jigsaw pieces in search of our perfect fit place in a puzzle.

Human entanglements are complex. Each of us brings to every relationship a complex history, a network of failures and successes, a compendium of both declared and undeclared, known and unknown dreams and expectations. We have needs and drives and hopes of which we ourselves may be unaware.

“I have found my soul-mate,” or “finally I have what I want in a relationship” are wonderful declarations. We celebrate when they occur. When such meetings occur and flourish there’s a lot more at play than pretty eyes or instant compatibility or his or her stability. How we get entangled, become involved, respond to our attractions, commit to friendships, give our word, enter into levels of deeper and deeper intimacy is as complex as it is exciting and invigorating. How we try to get untangled or unattached when relationships derail is just as complex and extraordinarily painful and much more a two-sided story.

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