How can a family relationship continue after a big disappointment?

Our relatives can sometimes disappoint us. However, looking deeper into the disappointment can bring you closer to truth and may be a stepping stone to a more authentic relationships.


The first stage of disappointment

We are tempted to believe that others are the way we perceive them.

This can happen especially among the family; a strong bond with a family member can make you blind to see the true nature of the other one.

The numerous memories might give you the feeling you truly know the person. But the memories are essentially static while the person is continuously changing.

In my opinion, if you assume you know how the other one will behave, you are setting yourself up for a disillusionment. It will come a time when you are taken aback by a broken promise, a lie, or an unexpected behaviour – something that does not fit your image on him.

In your reality, he is pure and courageous. How could he possibly do so such a thing to you? Disappointment settles in, erodes the trust in the other person, and it leaves you confused about what kind of bond you’re having.

“The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness and trial with humility.” Thomas S. Monson

Daily conversations of shared intimacy, which used to be something to look forward to, turn into superficial dialogues. The mind becomes suspicious and doubts even what can be the truth.

If this relationship was only friendship, maybe it would have been easier to let it go. But when a blood tie is involved, things are different. All those vivid memories of the past when you two were there for each other, when life seemed to have more sense when you were together, can’t be simply deleted.

Yet, the bitterness of the present disappointment taints those memories.

What does the disappointment tell about the other one and the bond you’re having?

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” Henry David Thoreau

After living with disappointment in your heart for some time, you may be enlightened to see that there is another truth about the other one, you and consequently the relationship. Questioning the motives for which he disappointed you helps to see a bigger slice of the truth than before.

If before you felt you were very connected, it’s time to reconsider the space you are ready to give in the relationship. You need space to heal after the disappointment. The other one needs space to sort out whatever is going on with him.

Whether you want to have an open confrontation before taking the space, that’s entirely up to you and how you feel about talking about a sensitive topic when the wound is still open.

But, silently taking some space can help to ponder in peace over your feelings towards the other one and how can the relationship continue.

The foundations of the relationship have been shaken up, it needs new grounds to be rebuilt on. The other one may not be perfect, but hey, you are not perfect either. You may not make the same mistakes as he did, but most likely you can make other mistakes.

There are two important aspects in rebuilding the foundations of the bond. The first is the willingness to give another chance to the other one to be trusted. The second aspect is the patience to endure the suspicions until the trust is back.

The bright side is that when your perception on the other one is closer to the truth, your relationship is ready to move to another level with more authenticity involved.


The first pregnancy – the beginning of a different you

One of the laws of nature is that women are built so that they can carry babies in their wombs. At the same time with the new life who develops inside you, you go through irreversible inner changes, too. The nine months of pregnancy, which end with the labour, are only the beginning of expecting the unexpected in terms of how you will relate to the world as a mother.

Whatever happens during pregnancy, remember that when it ends, you get to hold your baby in your arms

I expected to experience more sudden shifts of emotions, which happened alright. On top of that, when my mind needed it most, it would become void of thoughts. The self-image of a person who remembers everything had to change in face of new evidence, such as forgetting the house/office keys and friends names. When having group discussions, I would start expressing my ideas but the more I talked, the more I would feel I fail to make others get my point. Looking people in the eyes who cluelessly nodded was even more discouraging.

The notorious morning sickness made it harder to be on a good mood. The changes of my body shape made me feel ugly and doubt that I would be attractive for my man. And the cherry on top of the cake was the depression that affected me.

In the first trimester, instead of being super, extra happy, I started painting the world around me in black. I was even wondering whether I am in the right relationship. It helped to talk with my doctor who told me that some women get depressed during pregnancy. I was lucky, it ended after the first trimester.

I never imagined I would feel out of place going to restaurants, but as my belly started growing, I did feel that others were looking at me as in “your place is at home, mommy!”. Leaving aside the fact that my mouth was watering when seeing friends eating whatever they wanted and having a glass of wine. Who would have guessed that I would feel isolated?

For an extrovert person, the feeling of loneliness is unbearable. I started looking for a group of pregnant women with whom to share feelings of pregnancy. I joined a class of yoga for pregnant ladies and that was a genius idea. Each class used to give a boost of energy in addition to the energy that I got from socialising with other future mothers.

As the labour day was approaching, I started reading books about giving birth. I wanted to know everything about the birth positions and the relaxation tricks that you can possibly use during labour. I came up with a plan of how I wanted my labour to develop.

When the day came, the pain made me forget about everything I had planned. I had to surrender and let the labour happen as my body was able to handle it. When I was taking a shower after giving birth, I fainted. I felt when they put me in a wheel chair, and as I was regaining my sight, I felt a warm bundle in my arms. I opened widely my eyes and there he was, depending on me to carry him safely to our room.

The bond

As I was trying hard not to drop my baby, I finally realised that I have a new big role – that of a mother. The nine months of pregnancy were not enough to come to this realisation.

Almost two years passed and we have been apart for a half a day, three days in a row. It’s absolutely fascinating how a tiny human being can absorb you so much that you forget about your individuality.

Until three days ago, I unconsciously rejoiced being the indispensable person for him, the one whose name he calls first when he wakes up, when he wants food or when he is in trouble.

Three days ago, I organised a play date with one of his favourite friends, a girl that I’ll call Emma. We were walking towards the playground when he let go of my hand and he grabbed Emma’s hand. It was a strange feeling to be aware of the present but envision the future of how our live will change.

His father and I will remain behind and he’ll go out there in the world, living his life with the girl that his heart has chosen.

It may sound an exaggeration, but I felt useless, unimportant and forgotten. I could not help thinking of the role of mothers in Italian culture, where for men, their mothers are the queens. I wished we lived in Italy.

After giving more thought to it, I concluded that I’ll chose to play a humble role in my child’s life – to be there when needed without asking for anything in return, except maybe a phone call once a week.

The way towards independence starts, being paved with mother’s tears. He’ll go to daycare and I’ll continuously think of him, “Is he happy?”, “Does he have good friends over there?”, “Is he well taken care of?”.

At night, I admire his Angel face framed perfectly by the darkness of the room. I want to compensate for the time when he is away.


How about you? How did the motherhood change you?

You may also like to read the following posts:

What Does It Means To Be a Parent?

How can mothers relax

Carpe Diem? Yes, please, but how?

It’s never easy to be a woman

When negativity sneaked into my heart

Do we know what to expect when we decide to be stay at home mothers?

The Voice that whispered “you are pregnant”





Pride, virtue or sin in love?

In love relationships, you show the most vulnerable side of you – most loving, sensitive, gentle, and passionate than you could ever imagine you could be. The same vulnerability can intensify the pride in you. The problem is that excessive pride can be reflected into negative behaviours. Therefore, if you want to have a happy relationship, you can choose to use the positive side of pride.

Pride is a human emotion with many definitions based on how proud people behave. When pride is “the feeling that you respect yourself and you deserve to be respected by other people” or “a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good or difficult“, the consequences are positive. You are confident, hard-working and an example for others.

Maybe this is the type of pride that ancient Greeks had in mind when they classified pride as “the crown of virtues“. A proud man was worthy of great things.

At the same time, pride can be “a feeling that you are more important or better than other people“, in which case it is associated with conceit, vanity and disdain. This type of pride is considered in Christianity, “the deadliest of the Seven deadly sins!“.

I believe it’s good to have pride – provided you are able to moderate it and use it for the purpose of your personal growth. Pride in moderation can make you feel good about who you are, fuel your self-esteem and confidence. It can motivate you to achieve and to create while maintaining your sense of modesty. The mix of pride and modesty results in accomplishments reached because you want to live a meaningful life, and not because you want to show off.

For the sake of the happiness in love relationship, it’s important to be aware of your pride – when to unleash it and when to muffle it. Most of the times, putting each other down and replying to insults with other insults is a short-term solution, spun in the heat of the debate. But, in the long run, the love can disappear.

I’ve experienced such romances where I forgave harsh words, I gave yet another chance until the drop of pride left in me shouted, “Move on with your life!”. I’ve been saved by the feeling, “Because you’re worth it!”, just like they say in the L’Oreal ads.

The time came for good romance as well when patience was needed to let the relationship breathe. Yet, my pride shattered the joy of feeling pure love. My pride compelled me to push the relationship where I thought I wanted it to be. This of course caused a lot of conflicts.

After sleepless nights, heartaches and red, puffy eyes in the mornings, it dawned on me that it would be a big loss to reject the love just because I had a schedule in mind.

With patience from the loved one, I’ve understood that humility is a more desirable virtue, which can help to discover the true nature of the partner. Humility makes you have one wish only – to be with your sweetheart whenever, wherever. Then love unfolds naturally.

I feel that the type of pride that would benefit in love relationships, it’s that one that manifests itself under the form of acts of love, such as saying wholeheartedly, “I am sorry!” or “You are right!”.

In a healthy love relationship, the pride can become a feel-good emotion about having a loved one in your life who helps you grow as a person!


The Happiness Safe Haven – the love for the people around you

Happiness means different things to different people. For some people, happiness is but an illusion. To me, in order to be happy, you need to choose to be happy and learn how to balance between the things that make you happy. Out of all the things, finding ways of expressing love for the people around is a constant source of happiness.

A more stable source of happiness

Wikipedia defines happiness as “a mental or emotional state of well-being characterised by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” In this range of positive emotions, I would include for example satisfaction, peacefulness, cheerfulness, exhilaration and excitement.

Aristotle wittily observed that happiness is the only thing that human beings want for its own sake. Health, love, money and any achievement are wanted for the sake of happiness.

In the pursuit of money or professional goals, happiness is postponed until you become rich or you’ve reached your goals. And when the moment comes, you can’t be happy because you want even more or you want something else. As Henry David Thoreau, an American author, poet and philosopher said well, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

I like to think of happiness as a garden where I plant seeds of love, compassion, empathy and gratefulness. Care and dedication are needed so that the seeds grow into beautiful flowers, which spread their scent into the soul and colour it with their colours.

The love you have inside does not need to be chased. It only needs to be put into light and nourished.

Cultivate your ability to love

There are many people around you who need your love: your partner, children, parents, friends or simple strangers. Cooking a special dinner for your family in the middle of the week, taking your child to his favourite playground, bringing a bouquet of flowers to an elderly work colleague in a cloudy day are all acts of love which fuel compassion and empathy in you.

Compassion and empathy help you to grow into a human being with constant consideration for the people you interact with. Ultimately, thinking how to make others happy is making you happy.

Whenever you have heavier issues to tackle in a relationship, use all the compassion that you have. How would you want others to tell you about their worries? Choose your words carefully. Careless and harsh words will hurt you both.

For example, in a marriage, it’s needed to acknowledge all the things that your partner does to make you happy. Being grateful for what you have is a basis for improving or just letting be what there is already.

To me, a happy life is based on the wise choice of thoughts, words and actions so that they create positive energy inside and around you. And when there is no sunshine in your life, hold onto all the love you have and embrace the strong belief that underneath all the troubles you may go through, the joy is lurking to shine through when the time is right.

Now about you? What is happiness to you?

You may like the following posts also:

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I Dream of Seeing More Compassion

Living without desires?