I am the youngest of my friends, for the most part. My boyfriend is 41, and therefore, most of his friends are his age or older. Some of his friends are married and have been for 20 years. This used to give me such hope, however, over the last 2 months...I have began to think that the outlook for love is bleak.
First, Bee and I had the "great sadness". I am still dealing with that, although, it does get easier. Then, for some reason, it seems that I all of a sudden am the person all of his friends are coming to with their marital woes. Several couples we know are talking divorce. All of them have been married for at least 12 years. All of them seem happy. It really kind of bums me out. It's never "big" issues causing trouble, either. I could understand a death of a child, or infidelity. While both of those can be worked through, most people can not get past them, and they move on. No, these are things like, "She never cleans the house anymore." and "He never asks how my day was". Or even "he/she won't have sex with me anymore". I totally understand that those little things turn into big things. When you feel like no one cares, or that what you do on a daily basis doesn't matter, you start to check out.
I think about Bee and I. We have only been together now, workin on three years. We have already had one giant boulder put in our way. I almost gathered my things and parted company. Almost. I had been feeling taken advantage of. Unappreciated. Tired. Stressed out. Then the Great Sadness happened, and I was done. But as I held my Bee as he sobbed in my arms and begged me not to go, he said, "what ever happened to "no matter what"?" That struck a chord with me. I always tell him I love him, "no matter what". In fact, I have told him several times that I wanted to stand in a church, in front of God and all of our friends and family and commit myself to him till death do us part. Now, here I was standing with him in front of a huge murther-furking boulder that granted, HE put there, but I was ready to let go of his hand and walk away forever.
I thought about that long and hard. Sure. There are times when enough is enough and you walk away. Everyone is different too, and while Bee and I have had our share of struggles (as does everyone), there were minor. This was the first time a real challenge had presented itself. I was going to walk away and not even try. If I had walked away, no one would have blamed me, or thought less of me. Even Bee. However, I would have. He loves me and I love him. He was begging for me to at least TRY and move past that boulder together. I accepted and the next several weeks (and even now, still) we are working like crazy to repair the damage and move on. Thus far, we have done a great job. I am convinced that provided what caused the "great sadness" doesn't happened again, we can get through anything together.
I started thinking about my parents. I've realized that either they are pro's at this and never disagree, never fight, never hurt one another, or they are just better at hiding it from the world haha! They made it seem super easy, and I am learning it is NOT. I have always thought, you meet someone, you date, you get married, and that's it. The relationship is easy. If it's not, then you probably married the wrong person! (Yeah, it was like I was raised by Leave it to Beaver) However, that is so not the case. It's daily work. Yet, soo many people feel the same way. The last few months have taught me some things..
1- You have to always be listening. Your partner might want to express/tell you something, but doesn't know how.
2- On the flip side, SPEAK UP! Your partner is not a mind reader, so if they don't know what's wrong with you, or notice, TELL THEM. Don't punish them for not reading your mind. COMMUNICATION IS SO IMPORTANT!
3- Do your fair share. That goes for around the house, with the kids, in the bedroom.
4- Ya know how tired and run down you feel by the end of the day? Your partner does too. Keep it in mind before you bark orders at them or start complaining.
5- You are not more important.
6- Talk about everything. They are your partner. They want to help shoulder the burden. Don't shut them out.
7- Laugh. Do something fun! Money is ALWAYS tight, but sometimes, it's worth spending that extra $40 if it breathes a little life back into your boring routine.
In the end, every relationship is salvageable. Just remember why you fell in love with them in the first place, and be willing to do the work it takes to get back to that place!! :)