(This is not about baseball!)
Four at bats, and four strikeouts. I don’t know much about baseball. Honestly, I don’t know much about sports in general. I am not that guy. But I do know this about baseball, if every time you come to the plate you strike out, most people would consider you pretty bad at it. I was actually pretty bad at it when I did try as a little kid. But unlike in my relationships, I KNEW I was bad at it. I do recall receiving a trophy when I was a little kid called the “Sportsmanship Award.” This pretty much meant you were the worst player on the team. I hated that trophy because it reminded me of how bad I was at baseball even though I didn’t care much about the sport myself.
On the other hand, I do care that I’m bad at relationships. Unlike baseball, where I would stand in right field looking at the clouds and the dandelions in the grass, and a ball would go whizzing past me because I wasn’t paying attention, I did try, and I did think I was paying attention in my relationships.
I am 0 for 4 in marriage. But I was 2 for 4 in leaving, and 2 for 4 in being left. I really say this more for me than for you, and perhaps only to make me feel like it is possible that I am not a total loser in relationships. Then again, I am still 0 for 4, and like it or not that makes me pretty bad at it. I suppose I deserve the “Sportsmanship Award” for relationships as well.
Do years of experience really matter?
Until I divorced the last time, I had been married most of my adult life. In fact I had been married most of my entire life. If I wasn’t married, I was on my way to becoming so in fairly short order during the in between times. I know that I am a somewhat right brain dominant guy, but I am logical enough to presume that years of experience should count towards getting better at a thing. I’m pretty sure it’s Benjamin Franklin that said “Experience is an expensive school, but a fool can learn in no other.” Well the problem is, even though I am a fool by many people’s reckoning, all of the experience I’ve had has still not taught me enough to keep it all together when it comes to relationships. So what are you when you are worse than a fool?
While my IQ is actually very high (I won’t say the number because it really doesn’t matter), my EQ (Emotional Quotient) by self admission just can’t be very high. If it were, surely I could have held my relationships together better than I ever did. So I suppose that I can conclude that years of marital experience do not necessarily equate to learning enough to keep it together. In fact, I would have to say that I never had the kind of perception required to allow a long term relationship to grow because I didn’t choose to learn and grow myself along the way. On the contrary, it seems to me that time on its own does nothing other than to bake into a relationship the flavor of the ingredients that make it up. No matter how appetizing it appears, if the ingredients are bad, the cake is going to taste bad. If you are not inclined for baseball, then years of playing won’t make you better. It will just solidify your badness. Unless… you get help from someone or something outside yourself that actually knows the game well and is qualified to teach you. In baseball a coach would be a good idea. I know there are even coaches for life in general now, and there are certainly coaches for marriage. Perhaps if I had stopped trying to coach myself in areas where I was clearly not skilled, I may have actually improved even though I wasn’t naturally inclined for it. In intimate relationships I already have the “Sportsmanship Award,” but it sure would be nice to get “Most Improved Player!”