Sharing a life and living quarters with the one you love means experiencing moments that are more often than not less than perfect. I’ve found (in my very unscientific research) that couples are often reluctant to tell you the entire truth–that relationships are hairy and that they can turn ugly on a moment’s notice.
I don’t believe in brushing things under the rug which is why I’ll be the first to call a girlfriend when things go south and I need an ear, a shoulder, or an accomplice (you do know I’m just kidding abut that last part, right?). Dialogue is the gateway to happiness and understanding. You don’t just go from honeymoon phase to happy marriage without a few hiccups and bumps. And how you navigate those rough terrains says everything about compatibility and longevity.
In a recent and brutally honest conversation with Bryan, I explained that if he were to propose tomorrow, I would have to say no. At this given moment, there are way too many aspects in our relationship that need to be ironed out first. It was a revelation that seemed to shock us both. It was the first time I openly acknowledged that I wouldn’t settle for anything shy of hard work and dedication and that maybe it was time to bring out the big guns to see us through. More importantly, I have realized that our strength as a couple means more than a flashy engagement ring.
There are no shortcuts to a happy marriage and I am okay with taking the scenic route if it means sustained happiness in the end. He didn’t protest. He seemed to understand that maybe things are bigger than both of us right now and he agreed to do whatever it took to get us on course again. But it’s not just him. I have my own hang-ups and demons that I have to contend with, and now is the time to focus on working through some of those issues myself.
In no uncertain terms will I accept complacency in this–or any–partnership. The thought of leaving Bryan pains me to the core. It is, in short, unimaginable, because of what we have both invested and because the love between us has never faltered. There is no reason to stop trying. And at the end of our discussion, we agreed THIS is worth the blood and the sweat and the tears. You don’t just walk away from a good thing…. You work together, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.
“We need to talk” are four of the scariest words you can ever say to your loved one. But how you choose to fill the space after those words have been uttered will make all the difference in your relationship.