Yesterday, a Chinese woman, whose fiancé reportedly called off their upcoming wedding, tried to commit suicide by jumping out of a high rise building. She had dressed herself in her bridal gown and crawled out of a top floor window, only to be caught by rescuers who already had arrived on scene, and dragged back inside to safety. As the image above, and video below, can attest to, this is a harrowing, emotionally-traumatic scene to watch. But the first thing these dramatic photos brought to mind was the link between emotional and mental health and our romantic relationships. They’re so interconnected that it’s almost as if one cannot exist without the other. Many of us are happier when we are in love, and as in this poor woman’s case, sometimes we even believe there’s no point in living without it. But unless we’re aiming for a single-people genocide, to me this is proof that we can’t depend on others to make us happy.
As someone who’s gone through her fair share of love and loss, romantic love and debilitating heartbreak, I learned the hard way that you cannot allow someone else to be owner of your happiness. After each colossal failure in love, I realized that I was allowing the other person to own my happiness. I couldn’t be happy unless they were in my life, providing it in large amounts. But there are so many other things in life that can provide happiness outside of romantic love. Unfortunately this poor woman hasn’t learned that yet, but the good news is she’s only 22; she has some time to figure it out.
Of course, you could make the argument that anyone who attempts suicide probably already has mental health issues that need to be addressed, or that there are cultural factors I haven’t considered. But it seems to me that across many cultures and demographics who would be considered otherwise emotionally and mentally sound, there are always those who are driven to such extremes after their love affair goes sour. It’s Romeo and Juliet, the modern version. When we’ve loved and lost, and loved and lost again, especially for people who have gone through messy divorces (in some cases, more than once), it’s not any stretch of imagination (or sympathy) to understand what drives people to mental disarray.
Jerry Maguire famously said, “You complete me.” But I discard that idea entirely. I don’t need my partner to complete me, because I’m complete all on my own. I want my partner to compliment my life. Because hearts get broken, and relationships fail, but the relationship I have with myself, and the happiness I get from within, will last forever.
Can you relate? Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where too much of your happiness depended on someone else? Sound off in the comments section, below:
(Photo: AP; Video: ABC News)