The converse of the hard to get fruit is the concept of the lowest hanging fruit, which we will discuss today, in regard to our relationships.
In a nutshell, the lowest hanging fruit represents easy solutions to issues, and can have negative or positive consequences depending on the circumstances.
The adage, “When the deal is too good, think twice,” suggests that easy solutions come at a cost, sometimes a very high cost.
My concern today is about people who are in relationships and who, when faced with challenges, take the easiest route out.
Cheap solutions in this case would mean those that require least work, least time, and worst of all for relationships, least engagement. These are the keys to successful relationships, and like capsules from a doctor, they must be swallowed whole.
Some of the things I would consider to be low hanging fruits in relationships include mipango ya kando, escape to alcohol, work, and dishing out money, all as attempts to circumvent the search for real solutions to the problems you’re going through in your marriage.
Most of these have been discussed at length in different contexts in this column. I will briefly discuss two that have recently come up in my interaction with readers.
Honey, give me a break: One of the trends in today’s relationship is the idea of taking a break from each other when things start to go wrong.
The law provides for judicial separation, and this can be sought when there are major issues, such as threats to your safety or that of the children.
However, nowadays people take a break even when faced with minor issues. Some do not even know why their spouses are seeking a break.
It may be easier I suppose, for people who are dating, but how should a person respond when his/her legally married spouse asks for a break?
For some, the separation involves actual physical relocation, while for others; it is more of mental and emotional separation.
The more worrying bit of this idea is the question of what the break actually means. Does it for instance allow the spouses to get into relationships with others and to what extent?
This, in my opinion, is taking a short cut, and will not arrive at real solutions that will ensure a lasting relationship.
Where you go, I go: This sounds as if it’s coming straight from the holy writ. Far from it. It represents one of the saddest occurrences in relationships, where a person takes a clearly wrong path, yet the spouse knowingly follows suite.
This happens many times in cases of alcoholism and infidelity, where the wronged spouse chooses to engage in the same behavior rather than confront the problem and seek solutions.
It is the, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” argument, which unfortunately is a sure path to destruction.
For others, it begins as revenge before they too get hooked. The end result is likely to be a total breakdown of the relationship.
I once read a joke about an elderly couple that was asked what the secret of their long marriage was.
The old man answered: “All our marriage life, we have gone out for dinner twice every week.”
The interviewer was visibly wowed by the statement, until the old lady cut in: “He goes on Tuesday; I go on Friday!”
It was a solution that worked for them, but was it the best for the relationship?