Many of us remember William and Harry as loving brothers adored by their mother, Diana. Their bond appeared unbreakable. However, in recent years the emotional distance between the two is tangible in photographs and video clips of their brief reunions. Whilst the media devours every awkward moment and revealing gesture, it is hard not to feel great sorrow. Diana would be heartbroken by this unexpected rift. This week, at Elect Club, we discuss how and why this has happened, on our podcast. Here is our analysis of William and Harry: When Love Breaks Family Ties:
When we fall in love, three key feelings begin to consume us – euphoria (you’ve found The One, at last!); personal endangerment (your heart is now in the hands of another person); exhaustion (due to the first two key feelings). During this heady stage, it is impossible to remember that these feelings are biological, and hormone based. Instead, we begin to see the object of our love as a form of perfection. Put simply, we will move mountains to ensure that this person does not disappear.
During the first phases of love, the question of whether our values are genuinely shared by our new partner is often put on a back-burner. Even when it’s obvious that the two parties have vastly different ways of operating around family or friends, couples believe that somehow they will come together and find a middle ground.
Often, this works.
But occasionally, as in the case of Harry and Meghan, one half of the couple loses family members and friends to a startling degree.
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For her own valid reasons, Meghan has kept her circle small. An ‘urban family’ of trusted friends surround her, as opposed to blood relatives; her mother was the only family member to attend her wedding.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Meghan’s way of operating around family was at the opposite end of the spectrum to Harry’s.
Harry’s situation now mirrors his wife’s. This drastic change of circumstance may suit him. He may feel free to live life, more or less, as he pleases. However, it is hard to believe that the loss of his closest family ties does not cause Harry great pain.
William and Harry have married very different women. Kate appeared to know from an early age that being William’s partner was her destiny. Meghan is a self-starter with burning ambition and determination. Whilst the media plays the two against each other, Kate and Meghan are simply very different people. It is likely that the lack of common ground between the women added to William and Harry’s frustration with each other.
It did not have to be this way.
It is essential that couples work to find a meeting point when it comes to family ties. No two people ever see everything in the same way, but solutions can be found by working together and embracing each other’s values while staying true to our own.
The best thing for William and Harry to do right now would be to take some time out together, away from other family members and photographers. Perhaps a private visit to one of their mother’s favourite holiday destinations to reminisce, laugh and play together again. When relationships get tough, returning to the simple things is always the answer. By starting to rebuild their own bond, William and Harry will feel clearer about how to communicate their needs and wants to other family members, creating a new balance around their relationship as brothers.