Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain.
I think that since I've worked on not having so many expectations of others, I been able to forego a lot of pain. I've learned that there are no perfect relationships but there are ways that we can connect with others in a meaningful honest way.
My wife has been reading the Diana Chronicles and we discussed it last night. From what I gather, the Princess of Wales had a lot of expectations going in her head. There was the fantasy of the Prince and the Princess living happily ever after. And there was the fear of rejection that pervaded the Princess's life. She wanted all to be perfect in picture-book form, but it wasn't real. She didn't count on the fact that such an existence doesn't account for the personalities of others that are beyond our control.
Having a real relationship means that sometimes we will get upset with others, or they will get upset with us. But if we are to stay in a relationship, there needs to be a basic commitment for honest communication and to work at making the relationship better through acceptance and lowering our expectations of others. There will also be a need to work through those crises that come along. If we don't do that, then no relationship is going to grow. One or the other will walk out eventually or become so resentful that the relationship dies.
I don't know whether the Princess ever realized how co-dependent she was and perhaps Al-Anon would have helped her (her father John Spencer was a heavy drinker and her mother an eventual alcoholic so she would have qualified). I think that without a program of growth, I would not have been able to handle the rough spots or stay in my marriage. I knew that things weren't right but I wanted to feel better about who I was. And I realized that there was no way I could change the other person. My life wasn't a fairy tale. It was real and instead of running away from all the problems forever, I eventually had to face them. And by facing them, I finally came back to reality and consciousness.