Psychologists have shown that the longer a couple have been together, and the closer they are, the more overlapping the circles they tend to pick (Aron, Aron & Smollan, 1992). They refer to this as “inclusion of self in the other.” As people grow together, the other becomes a part of who we are, like a tree growing to partly swallow a bolt that has been placed through it. This is part of why breakups of long relationships hurt so much - even if all parties agree that splitting is for the best and that they are better off apart, each is losing a piece of them selves. That’s not something one can cure with a few happy thoughts. It usually takes time to restore oneself back to being completely whole, and there aren’t a whole lot of shortcuts around this. Such is the price that must sometimes be paid. Few great things are completely free.
I found the above on an on-line magazine called In-Mind Magazine. The article reminded me of Shel Silverstein's book The Missing Piece, and The Missing Piece meets the Big O.
Then there is the advice of Khalil Gebran...
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
(From his book The Prophet)
Here is what he says about children...
Gibran on Children...
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.