S.S. Couplehood comes with life boat

Bail out of relationship when it starts sinking, don’t drown with wreck


We’ve all been there. Hanging on to hope that one day he’ll come back, she’ll feel the same way, she’ll forgive you or he’ll want you more. We are a culture of hopefuls.

We hope that North Korea doesn’t sell nuclear weapons to the wrong people. We hope Cheney doesn’t run for president. We hope Jessica Simpson will stop making movies. We hope to fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s what we’ve been programmed to want.

But at what point in our emotional relationships do we need to realize that waiting for a divine intervention to stop the Titanic from sinking is fool’s hope?

For some the line comes at cheating. The second she walks in on him with that twat from down the hall, she’s cursing his name under her breath. But then again, Bill and Hillary made it work.

Maybe giving him two black eyes turns into the social equivalent to no more lifeboats, or is it “you jump, I jump”?

The answer isn’t an easy one. The half-life of a romantic encounter all depends on how much the people involved are willing to work on it. Relationships take a lot of babying. Sometimes you have to suck it up, change his diaper and forgive the SOB. And sometimes hitting him with a right hook square in the jaw Tyson style can be like Granny’s special elixir – it’s got just the right amount of kick to heal any ailments. 

No one can tell you to abandon hope, people still held on to the ship’s hull in the movie praying that it might deliver them from evil. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. But waiting around for something to happen isn’t the way to change your fortune cookie fortune.

We can’t all cling to Jack’s cold dead fingers and say “I’ll never let go. I’ll never let go.” Sometimes you just have to grab the whistle and save yourself.  It’s inevitable that one is going to be more likely to want to hang on than the other – that’s how broken hearts happen. But in the end you have to consider whether you want a lifeboat or a door.

Hillary made it work for her. She stuck by Bill, or she stuck Bill by her. But I’m sure before she made that choice she weighed the alimony against her political career. Follow her lead and consider all the options before taking the first swing.

And just remember the “God himself couldn’t sink this ship” mentality isn’t the best theory to have when hitting the open sea. Poseidon just might strike you down.

But I guess we can only continue to hope Jessica Simpson’s acting career doesn’t live much longer than the “Macarena.” 


(Originally written 10.12.2006)


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