You know the first thing I do every morning? I choose my relationships. Whether it’s my husband, my friends, my in laws, my sibling or even for that matter my parents; I choose to have them in my life. With every interaction with the people in my life, whether in person, via phone, social media or even a simple email, I choose to reach out to them and include them in my life.
We’ve all come across the quote that basically says friends are the family we get to choose as opposed to the one you’re born with. I beg to differ. Estranged family anyone? The ones who cut their children off for marrying someone belonging to another religion, the ones who don’t talk to each other after bitterly contested property disputes, or even the ones whose spouses can’t stand each other and hence find it easier to avoid the sibling or family member in question? They’ve all made a choice to not have that person in their lives, haven’t they?
Sometimes the choice is simple, the relationship one that either brings so much joy and peace or one that is filled with acrimony and bitterness. Either way making that call is that much easier. Most of the time though, they fall somewhere in the middle. It isn’t easy to cut ties and walk away from people. At the heart of every relationship is a kernel of affection and love that is the reason for its very existence. It’s only when the interactions and equations have gotten so toxic that you find that the love doesn’t have a chance to breathe and a host of negative emotions take its place and only then do you want to step back and step away.
I speak for myself when I say that I do everything within my power to make it work until the relationship hits rock bottom. What constitutes rock bottom for me? When my self-esteem takes a hit, when the other person doesn’t see me as anybody beyond a person to take advantage of or make use of, when my feelings, thoughts and opinions hold no value for them, when they are constantly ridiculing, humiliating and denigrating me or even something as simple as hurting me with thoughtless, insensitive remarks, especially if it is done over and over again. To me it only means that the other person isn’t taking you into consideration in that relationship at all. Any one of the above crosses a line that I’m just not willing to accept and as hard as it is to accept, sometimes we need to wake up to the fact that the relationship is doing us only harm and absolutely no good can come of that.
As a romance novelist, I’m often asked about what is an iconic line in the world of romance, “Does your husband complete you?” My answer to that always has been and always will be, “NO, he doesn’t. I’m a whole, complete, well-adjusted individual. All by myself, thank you very much.” Having said that I would like to add; while my husband does not complete me or my life in any way, he does add something very special to it. As do all my relationships. Every single one of them. And that is why I choose them. Every single day.