There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.” (Goodwill Librarian) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Jack went on to write about reading.
I’ll take a different slant on this little saying. I get involved with a lot of divorces, through my work in real estate. It seems to me that those are cases where it was time to close the book. Many couples start out oblivious to each other’s faults or foibles, perhaps due to the hast with which they rushed into the marriage or perhaps they were blinded by the initial satisfaction of the physical attraction and activities. Some go into the union with the thought in mind that they will somehow change the bad behavior of their partner, correct their bad habits and live happily ever after – the stuff of fairy tales. Turn the page.
Now, I also believe that all relationships require that we have the ability to “turn the page”; to forgive and forget and move on with life. No one is without faults. I don’t espouse putting up with spousal abuse; but putting up with many other little things that we may not like or prefer from a partner is part of the contract and represent pages that need to be turned. There’s also no Cliff’s Notes for life, so things between partners must be worked out, even if it is hard or takes time. Turn the page.
The choice to close the book on a relationship is one that should not be made lightly. It is not and “Oh, well” moment. It is also not a moment that was arrived at solely due to the actions of the other party (unless, again it involves things like spousal abuse). It is a time for some reflection upon the roles played by both parties; not for reasons of self-recrimination, but rather as a learning experience and as a last-chance opportunity to see a different outcome through making different personal choices. It’s that last minute opportunity to explore the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” of your relationship before you close the book. It’s the last chance to Turn the page.
If the time comes to close the book, it is important emotionally that you do not quickly insert a book marker as you close it. If you did all that you could do, then close that book, that chapter of your life and reach for a new book. Don’t look back and wonder what the next chapter in that old book might have held for you. You already know the answer. The plot was very clear and the characters well known. The only thing that might have changed in the next chapter of that old book is how long and under what circumstances the pain or disappointment or suffering or arguing might have occurred. Close that book and move on with life.
Turn the page.
Chapter 1 – “It was a great day, today.”