How does the sunk cost apply to interpersonal relationships?



My train of thought never takes a straight route. It is always curvy, with multiple stops in unexpected places. It was like this today. Nothing tremendously abnormal happened—just being myself. I sat outside, on my back porch, staring at the apple tree in the middle of our yard. A light breeze swirled the yellow and orange leaves around, and I couldn’t defeat my intrusive reflection. Years ago, we planted this tree without really contemplating the spot. Of course, there were two other apple trees of different kinds – Golden Delicious and Red Wine, but they were planted close to the woods by the creek. Granny Smith took the noble place, spreading its branches in all sides over the meadow. What amazes me the most about this tree is its incredible survival. Not a single branch has fallen even though we've had pretty good storms in the area. Despite weather conditions, it remains in-all-ways healthy and gets bigger every year. It is a joy to the eye to see this tree so strong and thriving.


I have been feeling down lately, which is a bit unnatural for me; especially during a season of change when leaves turn to bright colors and the scorching sun gives way to invigorating, life-giving rain. We, people, are very sensitive to life challenges, not to mention that sometimes our moods correspond to seasonal changes. This shows just how vulnerable we are, unfortunately. Looking at Granny Smith today, I reflected on my broken marriage

that knocked me down for good. Already for four months, I don’t feel like getting back to my book. I'm stuck. I'm stuck with 39,898 words, even though I know what to write, and I haven't yet experienced a lack of imagination. My problem is that I cannot force myself to type my story. Every time I open my laptop, I stare at the screen. Then, I try to hit the keyboard but immediately take my hands off of it… Love is a subject to be reconsidered thoroughly.


Feelings get hurt even more when you realize the whole stupidity of the situation: intolerance to the other's hobby or interest. Or perhaps, this was just a reason to start a disaster?


Why is it so painful to break off a relationship with someone you have lived with for years?


1. Your partner may have instilled a sense of helplessness and worthlessness in you. He/She probably did this by paying the majority of the house expenses; leaving you to spend money on yourself and your children. You were the one who paid for toys, games, birthday parties, school field trips, clothes, shoes, hygiene items, educational materials and utensils, or any other after-school activity. Since you weren’t the one paying for the house expenses, this largely went unnoticed and minimized your importance in his/her eyes. Keep your chin up! YOU CAN be on your own, and you will recover quickly once you get some fresh air.


2. Having fear of staying lonely. Based on your traumatic experience, you also may develop anxiety about starting a new relationship. You may think, "I can find someone worse, and I better keep this relationship."

STOP! Don't let anyone enjoy your misery! BE HAPPY!!!


3. You would rather struggle than see the waste of your 10-15-or-more years in the marriage.

You may think, "Oh crap, I have invested too many years in this relationship to let it go now." If you are still thinking like that, imagine an old basin or any other vessel that is supposed to keep water. If you sealed a crack in the old basin, it might withhold the first rain. But after the second or third one, the tape will peel off, revealing the ugly crack. To make you feel better, I want to bring the economic term “sunk cost” into the equation. This term refers to an investment that is no longer in profit and cannot be recovered. Some people tend to cling to their old funds, or they won't get out of a business, because of their sentiments towards losing their investments. As a result of waiting too long, they lose even more, if not everything. This is also true of a dysfunctional marriage— the earlier you realize it doesn't work, the more healthy and happy years you can save for yourself.

















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