Relationship Wisdom from Aretha Franklin

Thursday, Jul. 14th 2011 12:00 AM

“Don’t be afraid to grow out of love.” These words are straight from the lips of the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, with whom I recently had the opportunity to chat. Her nugget of wisdom sounds like the fourth step in my system for being a Powerful Person in a Partnership – Be prepared to walk away. Maybe she has been reading Frank Love (smile).

Lifelong love is the stuff fairytales are made of. In real life, however, it may be the goal but it is not the norm. Many of us have been (or have known) people who said early on in their relationships, “I don’t believe in divorce” or “I am committed to a lifelong bond with my partner” but later split up. Clearly, something happened along the way to “happily ever after” that changed things. I am not saying that divorce is good or bad. But it happens often – even to the nicest of people with the best of intentions and even to couples everyone thought would “make it.” Change and endings are natural parts of life, and most relationships end perfectly. Contrary to what many people believe, getting divorced doesn’t mean you have failed but rather that one chapter of your life is coming to a close.

Relationships and partnerships provide value to the people in them. If they didn’t, why would we bother forming them in the first place? But for better or worse, people change, and so do the things they value – even the relationships they once thought would last “forever.” After all, as much as you might want to want a relationship forever, how can you really know that you will until you get to the future?

If your relationship is still on course for “happily ever after,” great! But put on your seatbelt and accept that pain is likely to come at some point, even if you stay together for the rest of your lives. Release your fairy-tale expectations of yourself and your partner, and enjoy your time together today. Love does not come with warranties or guarantees. And believe it or not, understanding and embracing this reality can be a positive thing, if only because knowing that your relationship could end will make you appreciate and enjoy it more.

When you decide that your partnership is no longer beneficial to you at this stage of your life, it is OK to walk away or change it. Of course, the hard part is accepting that you can be walked away from too. Many of us take break-ups – both our own and those of couples we care about – hard … and personally. But at the end of the day, it is important to remember that if a relationship is no longer valuable to both people in it, from their individual perspectives, it is no longer successful. And trying to force a relationship you have outgrown to be successful – insisting that you must grow together when you have clearly grown apart – is like a hit TV show that goes on for several seasons after it stops being funny. Its legacy – all the good memories and happy feelings associated with it – becomes tainted by what the show (or relationship) was like in its final days.

Admittedly, big changes like divorce hurt – especially if it’s not something you want. But pain is an inevitable part of life and any relationship, and you get to decide how deeply it will affect you. If you can accept the fact that relationships change without taking the split too personally, you will be able to move through the pain and into the next chapter of your life. Who needs a “happily ever after” when you can just turn the page and keep reading?

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

www.FrankLove.com

PS: To become a Frank Love sponsor you can make a one-time contribution or contribute monthly by clicking on the amount you’d like to donate each month: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $35, $50, $75, $100, $200 or $500.

 

Enter your email address here to receive Frank Love’s latest article via email:

Print Friendly
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • PDF
  • Print
  • Reddit

Leave a Comment: Let Us Know Your Thoughts

How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

18 Comments on “Relationship Wisdom from Aretha Franklin”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Great article, picture and sentiments from Ms. Aretha Franklin and Mr. Frank Love!!!!

  2. Pamela Jane Says:

    Don’t be afraid to grow out of love~I love it~ Aretha Franklin is a very wise Goddess.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Wow – interesting thoughts about growing out of love. I think in today’s society it is so easy to just “grow” out of love. It’s more like decide to call it quits. It is so easy to get a divorce but it is harder to decide to “grow” together. For the majority of folks happily ever after is a real possibility and when you get married you commit to for better or for worse. When divorce is an option – most will make it a reality. Mr. Will Smith said it best, “The secret is removing divorce as an option. Anybody who gives themselves that option will get a divorce.” And he has experience of “growing” out of love. Change and growth happens in marriage – if it didn’t you wouldn’t be living. The key is to be the change you desire.

  4. Sherry Says:

    That makes so much sense Jennifer….your exactly right

  5. Chad Wright Says:

    Frank,

    If love was only a feeling, I would agree with Aretha and your article. But love in a marriage is also an act and a state of mind. It is a commitment to show love even if the “feeling” isn’t there. God is love… and he showed it in sending his Son Jesus to die so that we might believe and have freedom from the selfish and self-centered love that is prevalent among humans. Call me a fool, but I would rather follow God’s wisdom on this issue.

  6. Amit Upadhyay Says:

    “I thought I loved him, but he has to break my heart for me to know what true love really is. “

  7. Amit Upadhyay Says:

    Love is not finding someone to live with, It’s finding someone
    you can’t live without.”

  8. Amit Upadhyay Says:

    The most beautiful answer :~

    A Girl is the one who before finding her love says

    “My Love shud b a perfect guy”
    …”He shud luv me more dan i do”
    “He shud nvr let me cry”
    “He should always understand me”

    But after finding her Love-

    “So wat if he is not perfect still he is best 4 me”
    “So what if he dont luv me unconditionally, i vl luv him”
    “So what if he is not understanding me, i will understand & adjust because i can’t lose him”
    ~ ? ~

    ~Thats a girl but many guys dont realize their importance & sacrifice~

    Dedicated to all The girls & all d boys to make dem realize how special n beautiful a girl is so Respect Them !! !?!

    *Thumbs* up if yu like it

  9. Dovie Gordon Says:

    Hello, just for the sake of it, if Love is eternal, how could a person grow out of it?

  10. Iris Erielle Foss Says:

    Marriage was the first institution established by God in the book of Genesis, chapter 2. It is a holy covenant that symbolizes the relationship between Christ and his Bride, or the Body of Christ. The Bible suggests that “marital unfaithfulness” is the only scriptural reason that warrants God’s permission for divorce and remarriage. Many different interpretations exist among Christian teachings as to the exact definition of “marital unfaithfulness.” The Greek word for marital unfaithfulness found in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 translates to mean any form of sexual immorality including adultery, prostitution, fornication, pornography, and incest. Since the sexual union is such a crucial part of the marriage covenant, breaking that bond seems to be a permissible, biblical grounds for divorce.

  11. Dawn Messina, RN, MACPC, LPC Says:

    I fully agree with Chad. I would add that love is also a choice…choosing to ride out temporary lack of feelings and knowing those can change quickly or slowly, depending on the effort put forth. This article reminded me how temporary marriage is viewed and societies views on “if it doesn’t feel good, then go where it does.”. How sad.

  12. Valerie Willman Says:

    Something that has helped me to understand Love, and to share with clients as well, is the Biblical definition of Love in Corinthians 13. There is no mention of feelings in this chapter, but many, many actions and determinations. With prayer, feelings do follow actions and behaviors. Where our treasures are, there also, will our hearts be. Blessings and Aloha All!

  13. Kathryn Leckenby Says:

    I have been married (to the same person!) for 31 years. We have had some great times and some very rough times but because I view marriage and our relationship as not just about romantic love but about commitment (to each other, to our children, to God) I have faced those hard times with a determination to work through it and find solutions we are both happy with. If you enter a relationship with an escape clause (divorce) at the front of your mind you will be there before you know it. I am not saying there are no grounds for divorce….infidelity, violence, etc, are deal breakers but losing the touchy-feeling feelings shouldn’t be. Work on your relationship, strive every day to improve it and those feelings come back, if they ever leave.

  14. Dawn Messina, RN, MACPC, LPC Says:

    Valerie – I really enjoyed your comment and the way you define Corinthians 13 concerning no mention of feelings! Thank you!

  15. Married Couples are NOT Necessarily Happier | Frank Love Says:

    […] you can with the information you have, and if you say “I do,” accept that there are no guarantees in love. Doing so will make you a more Powerful Person in a […]

  16. G Says:

    Valerie, this is an excellent point: “Where our treasures are, there also, will our hearts be.” For me, it illustrates a point someone else made – love is a choice. And, there are different types of love, and different levels of love commitment to those around us. Sometimes the feelings are strong, and sometimes they aren’t. But we choose how much to invest in a person, the relationship, and the feelings of love. The danger I think this post indirectly shines a light on is choosing not to invest in order to avoid pain or commitment. That’s no life at all.

  17. Adult-Child Anger When Parents Divorce | Frank Love Says:

    […] love. The truth is that half of all marriages end in divorce, and that’s OK. Legal marriage doesn’t have to last forever for it to have been real and meaningful. So, let’s stop teaching our children fairy tales […]

  18. Chris Bosh and Allison Mathis: Having It In Writing Might Have Helped | Frank Love on Relationships Says:

    […] know this might sound like I’m suggesting that you plan for your relationship to fail. But I’m not asking you to be negative about your love. In fact, the ability for the two of […]

Leave a Reply