How Do You Know Your Marriage Is Really In Trouble?

Marriage is basically two people who are tied together at one leg.  Obviously if they want to go anywhere, they will have to have a relationship which makes it possible to coordinate their efforts.  If they have a disagreement about the pace, the gait, or how often to rest, it will cause severe strain in that relationship. 


These kinds of difficulties do not necessarily mean the end of the marriage.  Obviously if the two can’t communicate about what’s wrong, they’ll have to split because they are incapacitating one another.  But if they can work through the difficulties, including their changing wants and needs as time goes by, they can always continue to move forward together.  


However, the real danger to the relationship comes when each of them has a different destination in mind.  What makes this a particularly terrible danger is that, when they tied themselves together, they may have both assumed the other was going their way.  They may continue under that impression for a long time.


At some point, however, they may see the truth, that their initial assumption about the relationship was in error, that all along they had different destinations in mind.  Unless someone is willing to give up their destination, at least temporarily, this spells the end of the relationship.  Clearly they can’t both go to both places, and will have to split to get there.


This is not a blog about marriage.  It is a blog about being a creative or performing person.  And yet I do see a connection.


I find it easy to think of creative people as isolated, doing their thing and sending it into the world.  That isn’t quite the case, especially when they find some kind of success.  Creative people have an audience, and when they become successful, they tie the audience to themselves.


Unlike marriage, there’s no real obligation for a creative person to remain with their audience.  However, it’s wise for someone in that situation to recognize when they are implying a destination.  The audience will commit based on their conception of where they think everyone is going together.


Obviously a creative person, or a performing person, must make a careful decision whether something they present to the world will pose a difficulty as they travel together.  If it is simply a matter of the artist wanting to go slower or faster than the audience, these kinds of things may be reconciled.  Either the audience or the performer will adapt, or someone will leave.


If, however, the audience feels as though the artist implied they were going one direction when he or she actually intended a different one, the results may be more severe.  The audience may feel the same kind of betrayal that a spouse feels when she realizes she’s been relating to an inaccurate picture of her partner.  Such betrayals result in animosity, nastiness, repercussions.


Are we free as artists to do as we please?  Do we retain the right to go where we choose because we’re the ones contributing the stuff on which the relationship is built?  What is our responsibility to those who support us?


I don’t know.  I just thought I’d bring it up.  Should we talk about it?

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