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I just read this blog about changing light bulbs. What struck me about the article was not about the piece itself but how a light bulb that needs changing is akin to relationships. Why does it seem that we look at our relationships only when the light is flickering or worse when it has burnt out? I somehow thought that I have been such a stickler at looking at waning light bulbs and asking my husband to replace it immediately. But I never did account for the day when that light bulb will just burst and for no apparent reason why. Then I ask myself, how did this happen? How did I not see it coming? And the biggest question, how can I make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

Dealing with disappointments, deceptions and lies in a relationship is shattering. I can only imagine what my mother went through in her relationship with my father. What I can imagine though is my own light flickering. It is not that I don’t love my husband, because I really do. But the turmoil in the past few months in our relationship has caused such a surge of emotions that I can feel myself close to combusting. Was it because of something I failed to do? Was it because I was too consumed with myself and my career that I failed to recognize his needs? Was it because I became too engrossed as a mother and failed to balance my role as a wife? All the what-ifs and the if-only but in the end, it still is the same. I am looking now at the man that I vowed to cherish for better or for worst in a different light.

So how do we deal with it? When the feeling of being in-love dimmers and one is faced with the reality that there is more to a relationship than lust and attraction, what then? Attachment is a key word that a lot of relationship gurus attest to. This is the fine line that keeps the relationship going. It doesn’t necessarily mean this is a positive line as there are couples who stick together even amidst a dysfunctional relationship. This just means it keeps the bond between a couple- in both good and bad conditions. Being together in good conditions seems like a breeze but what about in situations where one is hurting and the person who inflicted such pain is the same person who vowed to cherish you till forever? During these times how do we keep the ties that bind from unraveling?

Fight or flight? Mine would be to flee. My reaction to solving problems will be to get away from it, sometimes as far away as I possibly could. It worked to my advantage during my single life. It made me bold and it made me venture forward. But now, as a wife and as a mother, fleeing is not an option. What it all boils down to is amidst all the hurt in the relationship, what am I holding on to? What binds me to this man?

Nowadays, we try to keep a spare light bulb in the house. It is for those times when a light bulb needs changing and it needs to be replaced immediately. Not only is it for those times when the lights start to flicker and you know you have to deal with it. But also for those moments that it shatters and you just have to fix it right away. Not because you have to, but more importantly because having that light makes us hold on to what is brighter and better---the same way that we hold on to how that person across the end of the room made us initially feel---the way he gives you butterflies in your stomach, his scent, his ruggedly handsome features, his smile, his way with the children and with yours and the list can go on.

A wise man I know once said, bumps in a relationship can be like a dot to a white big paper. If we keep on looking at the dot we fail to see the white big part- the better part in our relationships. My brother is right, the past few weeks I have been looking at that dot and sometimes getting into frenzy staring at it. Perhaps it’s time to change the light bulb and look at the bigger untouched part of the paper- a light waiting to be rekindled…

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