Getting married did not automatically make me a less selfish person. Saying “I Do” did not mean I suddenly gained all the knowledge and learned all the skills I would need to positive contribute to my relationship. Sure, the desire to be happy and to make Ryan happy was there but desire alone does not magically produce results.
I’ve heard it said time and again that there is no manual for parenting, that you can never be truly prepared. I have yet to personally experience that but I believe the same holds true for many other things, including relationships.
We live in a society where there is no mandatory relationship education, no government sponsored textbooks on the subject. If our sex education is lacking, then education about being in an emotionally healthy relationship is a fairy tale.
We’re left to our own devices and while I have nothing against trial and error in some sectors of life, it becomes a whole lot trickier when feelings are involved.
This isn’t to say that resources haven’t sprung up to fill the need. They have. Therapists and talk show hosts, books, chat rooms and webinars all contain invaluable (well, sometimes worthless) information about how to be in a healthy relationship. But these are all resources you have to seek out yourself, often times on your own dime. Realizing you could use some help and then biting the bullet to ask for it are hard enough but, really, we live in a society where it’s all too easy not to realize we need a little help.
I mean, if you have no education about a healthy relationship to begin with, when do you realize it’s not? If no one has ever told you that it’s important to learn relationship sills or what those skills are, why would you seek out that information on your own? Perhaps this is why our society is strewn with broken hearts and divorce papers. Just a thought.
I don’t necessarily think we should be mandating peoples’ love lives. That’s a bit too involved even for my tastes. I just cannot help but wonder if we could be doing more to help people better themselves and their relationships. When “better” is just an option and an expensive one at that, it’s an option left unconsidered by the majority.