When I woke up this week and surprisingly found a dozen roses and a note that says, “I’m proud of you and I believe in you,” I thought, “I really like this guy!” And, it got me thinking about relationships and the different seasons we all experience on a periodic (sometimes daily!) basis. One of Charlie’s past posts relates weather cycles to our own life cycles in order to help maintain balance in our everyday lives. I can relate to relationship waves – I am very well aware that in a marriage they go up and down. I’m quite in tune that we’re all commonly working toward keeping the communication open and the intimacy healthy. As a result, I’ve made a concerted effort, this year in particular, to spend quality time with my loving spouse in order to make him a top priority. I’ve also failed in this area at times – big time. Therefore, I know first hand, that if I begin to lose focus on him and the importance of our relationship I can easily head us directly into the path of a destructive storm. So, I hope you enjoy this reminder from Charlie as much as I did:
What the heck is a mesocycle, you ask, and what does it have to do with relationships? Great question!
A mesocyclone is a rotating storm. Mesocyclones can strengthen into full-bore supercells which in turn can produce tornadoes. They can be very destructive and are not taken lightly by meteorologists when they show up on a radar screen. But today, I don’t want to focus the potential danger of mesocyclones; I want to focus on their life cycle for a moment.
Once a mesocyclone has formed and is in the mature stage, it can only continue if the circulation stays strong. These storms are an amazing interdependent system of wind, pressure and moisture. The strongest ones can even overcome external forces that work to tear them apart. But during the weakening stage, the rotation begins to slow, spread out and pull apart until eventually it dissipates.
Relationships can be much the same – they often resist the outside negative influences of the world when they are strong but fall apart when spouses begin to pull apart from one another. Take the following scenario… You begin to withdraw emotionally and physically from your spouse because he or she seems to be focused on something else more than you (i.e. career, work, money, hobby, themselves or another person, etc). Your spouse senses your withdrawal and coldness and responds by spending even less time with you. In turn, you get more and more frustrated and close your emotional door nearly all the way. Now, your spouse does the same. Eventually, you seem to only argue with your spouse during the few times you speak to one another at all. This is a very dangerous cycle. Eventually the relationship weakens to the point that it slows and separates just like the dying mesocyclone. What once was a formidable force that could resist the outside negative influences of the world is now just a whisper in the wind. Sad. What’s even more sad is that much of this “pulling apart” of the relationship can likely be avoided, but it takes guts and it takes willingness to swallow some pride. If you find your natural reaction is to pull away when your spouse seems to be doing the same, one of you HAS to stop and turn around or you’ll both keep going in opposite directions.
I’ve found that those with the most successful marriages don’t get caught in this cycle very often. Talk about your problems. Don’t be passive aggressive. Share your feelings. Don’t get defensive when your mate voices concerns. Listen. This obviously won’t solve all marriages but it sure would help many. It sure has helped mine.