Learned Behavior

If there is no role model for a good healthy relationship, how will they know how to develop one when they become adults? How will they learn to fight fair? How will they learn to express themselves in a reasonable manner when they’re upset?

It took me more than 20 years as an adult to learn these skills. I sought help. I read books. I observed others. I tested theories on behavior changes. I was so focused on creating good behavior skills I forgot to simply be in love and enjoy the person. I was too intent on becoming more perfect in my relationships. But of course, that is an impossible task and unfair to put anyone through such expectations.

It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I met a man who loved me unconditionally and was patient enough to help me develop less stringent rules and regulations on “how a relationship should be.” He allowed my imperfections and never attempted to have me feel inferior because of them. He embraced my extreme need to be neat; my obsession to find answers; my inexplicable curiosity to know why and my many hobbies which he even joined in to do with me.

I was able to help him learn acceptance of his lessons; patience, focus and even how to cook. It was the most balanced relationship I had ever had. When he passed away after eight years of being together, I did not believe I would ever learn to cope with his absence.