5 Things I’ve Learned About Relationships — Part 1

Per the Weekly Writing Challenge, I’v spent a good deal of time thinking over the last 11.75 months. What did I accomplish? What did I leave unfinished? What have I not started? The list gets longer as I move through the questions. One constant, however, of this year has been my relationship with my fiance. So, in memory of love, relationships, and everything (anti?)romantic, I offer 5 lessons I have learned about relationships in 2012. These lessons are divided into two segments, because of the level of detail. 


1. Disagreements Happen. Space Helps.

My fiance and I bicker on an almost daily basis. It’s generally about the little things, like the fact that I don’t like to wear socks (or anything, ideally) to bed, or that she is a prima donna when it comes to her hair, which has made us late for numerous occasions (if she doesn’t like how hard it is to style a short ‘do, then I say grow it out a bit). It’s when we get into the big disagreements that we have problems.

This Is My Set Of Keys

This Is My Set Of Keys (Photo credit: awmalloy)

My fiance and I both have a tendency to keep hold of things from the past — a guy who innocently sent flowers to her work, or an attractive friend’s behind I admired once — an arsenal of monkey-poo to throw into one another’s faces when we’re angry. Generally, when we get to this point, it’s time for one of us to leave the house, stay with mom or a friend, and blow off steam in less-than-constructive ways (friends are usually pretty good at getting you drunk, though moms can help more than you’d expect).  We don’t call, we don’t check up, we just get the hell away from each other for awhile.

9.99 times out of 10, when we do see each other again, there is an adult conversation, an apology from one or both sides (depending on the situation), and a return to the normal, loving bickering that we both adore.

2. Support is Key (if not Convenient).

I graduated from college in August 2012 (the story behind that success is a week’s worth of blog posts, at least). I was ecstatic, my fiance more ecstatic than I. We had a plan, built over 2 years, that would not only help with my student loan debt, but also our current living/financial/whatever situation.  We would both still have to work to make ends meet (and somehow find time for both to be a part of her our 2-almost-3-year-old son’s life), but we had a tentative grip on the whole idea. And then, my fiance lost quit her job.

I can’t say I wasn’t upset or even a little outraged (go back to number 1), but I gritted my teeth, tightened our belt, and went with it. She had a strong reason for quitting and I supported her decision. I didn’t, however, take into consideration two things: 1) how much I relied on her income to help with daily expenses, though I paid all the bills, and 2) just how expensive our daily cost-of-living, even after paring it down, actually was. Let’s just say I had to beg, borrow, and all but steal to keep us afloat; I was on needles the entire near-three months she was unemployed, though my fiance did her fair share of begging/borrowing and was on top of the job search.

Lo and behold, my fiance has been employed for nearly a month now, at a job she loves and is more than capable of doing (to the envy of some co-workers… which may prove troublesome). She’s helping me recover my “losses.” We still have some ground to regain before I can start turning my extra income into gas money for that farther-away-but-better-paying job opportunity. But now we both have a little something to put away for later, and everything is getting back on track.

Funny how many people told me just to get rid of her — to cut my losses and start anew — that she wouldn’t find another job soon enough, or one that paid enough (or one that kept us away from number 1 above). In a way we are starting anew, together, and I feel that nothing outside ourselves can hold us back.