Sometimes in life we get lucky, and the universe is on our side for a moment. That’s how I feel when I look back on my life with my husband. Sure, we fight and bicker, but I have grown so much just through knowing him. It has been almost a year now since we were married and I’ve learned a few things in this time.
The biggest thing I’ve had to learn is to let the small stuff go. “Oh No, my husband put his socks on the table,” ask him nicely to remove them and move on. “No one has cleaned the litter box in a week,” clean the litter box and move on. These are small things, in the long run the don’t matter, they do not mar the larger picture, in fact they accentuate the beauty of the small coloquial moments.
Sometimes, when we have bickered in the morning, I expect to come home to him still mad, carrying my own grumpiness back into the home from my day. To my surprise, he very rarely is. He is much better at this letting go business than I am. My mind is always questioning, always wanting answers or to understand, but his is much more willing to back off of a sore subject. In some ways he’s better at noticing those unspoken, or spoken cues of discomfort, where as I prefer to remain happily oblivious of the discomfort my pursuits cause. Being his partner has helped me to learn this about myself, and now I can acknowledge this is something I need to work on. How to improve without digging will be the real challenge.
Something else I’ve learned about myself through this relationship; I’m not entitled to know everything. Married or not, my husband is still entitled to his own feelings, and inner thoughts. I may want to know why he is chuckling, but he is not obligated to share that with me. I’m also not obligated to listen to the long drawn out version of every story. I found that I would get annoyed when he wouldn’t share, but I also didn’t want to know what he was laughing about half the time. So, I came up with a way to gauge how much I want to know, while still getting to engage in his world. When he laughs about something and I’m curious, I ask for a one word description. At first that really bothered him, how do you condense a series of comments on reddit into one word, but he’s getting the hang of it, and it has become a fun way for us to share and engage, without oversharing, or one person hogging all of the conversation.
We both tend to lecture about things we find interesting, and we both suffer from short attention spans. I am always frustrated when I finish a “monologue” about something that matters to me, and he just nods, or shrugs and has nothing to comment with. Sometimes, by the time I’m ready to ask for his thoughts, after giving him some time to think, I’ve already forgotten what I had been talking about! Really drives home the truth that I am not entitled to know everything.
Through him I am learning to be more humble, more patient, more kind, and more thoughtful of the impact my words have on others, and he is too. We have all the signs of a great relationship, we challenge each other to grow, and help each other through the rough terrain. A year ago we shared vows, that I wrote myself.
I take you for who you are. I love you with a deep, unconditional love. I recognize that this means I may not always like you, but I promise I will always respect and trust you. I will encourage you to keep growing. I can’t wait to meet the person you’ll be in five, ten, fifty years and to fall in love with that person too. I may fight with you, but I will always fight for you. I will put myself first, but you will be right there with me because you are my partner. When life feels out of our control, I will hold you with me in the eye of the hurricane. Today we set out on a lifelong journey and I will choose you every day.
I like to keep these in mind whenever I get frustrated, when we have a bad day, or when life seems to be falling apart all around us. We get luck sometimes, in life and in partners. Sometimes we find the fit that is just right.
What have you learned from your relationships? Can you think of one partner you’ve had, or many, that helped define who you are, or shape you? I’m always growing and learning, so I’d love to hear from you about lessons in life and love that you have picked up over the years. Please, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.