SUMMARY: The peculiar fact that couples can get into ruts that neither partner wants, but which both think the other one does. Three possible reasons for such ruts are miscommunication, lack of complete self-knowledge, and personal change.
(About a 5 minute read)
A curious thing happened some years ago when a couple I knew broke up. Since I tried to stay in touch with both of them, I was privy to how each of them took the break up. After a predictable period of grief, both found other partners almost at the same time. And that’s when the strangeness began.
Each in turn confided in me that they felt “liberated”. But not from anything evil — they had not broken up because one or the other of them was a bad person. They had simply failed to see eye to eye on so many issues their relationship became untenable. What each assured me he or she felt liberated from was the “rut” they’d been in.
But that wasn’t all of it. It wasn’t even the surprising part. What astonished me was when now and then the two of them would — without knowing what the other had said — “agree” that it was the other person who had liked or disliked something — not them themselves.