Denial is a cruel little tool that emotion uses to avoid the inevitable. We clearly see our choices but we allow a barricade of bricks to build up around us. What is it we fear most? "What do we fear but fear itself." I find when two people are viewing life on a different plateau, that hope and faith must be redirected. If they choose to stand idle in the center of a storm, no amount of reaching will pull their partner to safe shelter. I found this to be interesting, I read it many years back " when a person enters into a relationship with the hope to change their partner, either one of two things happen, they fail and realize that no amount of coaxing can change or encourage a person to grow, unless they also want it or they succeed in bringing change on their partner just to watch them walk away." Either way walking into a relationship thinking you can bring about change in another rarely ever works.
I found this story a couple of years back about a women who was strong enough to walk away and counsel many women in abusive situations, only to be murdered by her x husband. We use to think it was a Pennsylvania problem, men who think marriage is ownership and the more I read, the more people I talk with the more I see it is a world wide problem. If you have a chance view the story http://efstew.tripod.com/Rachel.html
It is called respect you cannot have a partnership without mutual respect for one and other.
Trust just as important, without trust you have already fallen off the first step of a good relationship. Anytime fear enters a relationship for any reason, it becomes a warden and prisoner. I thought to myself why would anyone want a person who doesn't want to be there.
Life with out smiles, joy and happiness. I might be a bit Idealistic but as short as life is if you cannot be happy then you are already dead.
I have been there, where I felt dead, just a spectacle of a mere existence. Living the life someone else deem to be the path I follow. When I looked at myself, I barely recognized who I had become. Someone's mother another's wife and a huge part of me was dead.