Every single relationship is different, whilst there are stereotypes, archetypes, clichés and soap operas, in reality the only two people who know the dynamic of a relationship are the two in it. I made a promise to my partner to never blog about the specifics of our relationship, it’s ours and not to be put up for debate or scrutiny, so I obtained his approval to write this post.
Some couples after 10 years together still have the spark, the excitement, the passion (I’m told this by Hollywood, the printed press and various self-serving daytime TV shows). We have a strong and dependable marriage, previously fraught with its fair share of ups and downs, but we plod along nicely and have a dynamic that works. Romance isn’t dead, it’s just a very heavy sleeper, but don’t get me wrong, I’m happy-complacently so most of the time. Which is why today was such a heartachingly sweet surprise.
We went for a drive, our little one has been fighting naptime, bedtime, getting-up-refreshed-for-nursery-time and we know he sleeps when we drive, so we headed out into the rural East Sussex countryside. We got chatting about a couple we know who have recently separated, about whether they were compatible, how it had finished, how we thought they might be coping and that’s when he said this;
“It’s just for every couple you get to a point in the relationship and sometimes it’s when you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, sometimes it’s after you’re married or settled, but you reach a point when you realise that you’re not just with some other person you’re seeing. You realise that somewhere at some important point they became your family. You could no more easily walk away from them than you could your mother, father, brothers. You realise that this is it, they are actually a part of you. You don’t see it when it happens, but there’s an acceptance there, that you will make what you have work, whatever it takes, because they are you and you are them. You do know that I feel that way about you don’t you? You do know I felt that way about you about a month after meeting you”.
I’m not often flawed by the things my husband says. He’s a thoughtful man, but he’s not overly demonstrative. When you have a child and jobs and money worries and family stresses and the world appears to be imploding, you (by you I mean I) often fail to see the wood for the trees.
Right there in the car seat next to me was real love and real understanding of our life together. It brought me up short and it was wonderful to hear, it truly was. It made me stop and remember why we’ve fought to make our relationship work and I’m grateful to him not only for sharing but for letting me do the same.