No one knows what it is like in our relationship. Everyone has their own ideas, they hear snippets, pick up on emotions and make their own judgements but no one really knows – except for us.
So what is our relationship like? Complicated, testing, interesting, tender and loving.
Life’s experiences can hollow out deep grooves into a person’s psyche. Experiences mould and define us if we let them. Although changes can be made to personalities, it can be a long, drawn out and painful process. Sometimes we have to go through this pain to move on – like a rebirth.
When two personalities come together – one who’s had a sunny, carefree upbringing and the other who’s had to struggle in life, it takes adjustment. Issues about money, responsibility, ownership and territory all come into play.
Throw into this mix bouts of depression and it is like flinging oil and water into a barrel and then rolling it down a hill. It separates, comes together, swirls around and then, over time, the chemical mix changes and the two merge.
But what happens behind the scenes. We annoy each other – sometimes. We shout at each other – sometimes. He storms off – sometimes. I have to get away – sometimes. We hold hands – most of the time. When we are together, we have to touch, it may be a leg, a hand or a foot but we have to be connected. We kiss – a lot! We hug even more. We laugh – a lot. We look at each other – a lot.
For us there is no bland ‘uh huhs’ after work. We talk – really talk. We stop doing what we are doing, look into each other’s eyes and talk. We support and help each other, offer advice and hold one another.
In a hectic and often chaotic world it is good for the soul to be in a relationship where we hold on to each other like driftwood in a stormy sea. That although we may be bumped and strewn around outside, inside the relationship circle of two it is strong.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not perfect. We’ve had a plate of food thrown on the floor, he has gone AWOL for a week so the police were out looking for him. I’ve had numerous heart in the mouth moments whilst driving home when I sensed something was wrong. I’d open to door expecting to find ‘that note’ or worse still, no note. It used to be a constant, at the back of my mind and in and out of his. But as human beings, we learn how to deal with situations. We find out what works and what doesn’t.
Self-preservation for me. I cannot change this man. I can only change myself. So every now and again I have to walk away so that I can recharge my batteries. I have to find the sunshine so that I can balance out any bad weather that comes our way.
Why do I stay? Because I love him and because depression strips a person’s personality bear. It makes him vulnerable. It isolates him. I get to see my man at his worst, when nothing I do has any influence. I see the boy in the man. I see him when the world holds no hope for him and he feels worthless. And then gradually, slowly, I see the changes. The light starts to return and it is at this point, the twilight between dark and light when our relationship is at its deepest. I am not his carer. He is a grown, alpha male but I will hold him, love him and stick by his side whilst he becomes mentally stronger. It is in these moments when we hold each other, that it feels as if no one on this planet except us. We stroke each other’s faces, lose ourselves in each other’s eyes and speak very little. That is why I stay – it’s a unique and intimate relationship and I get to experience all the different shades of his character and personality.
Will it change? Who knows, we don’t know so we have to get on with our lives. We have to take the good times, love, laugh, hold one another and make the most of them. We also have to put things into perspective; we are but one relationship in millions and millions of others. In a world of upheaval and change to love one another, hold hands, go for a walk, talk, throw our heads back and really laugh is like leaving a trail of glitter on a muddy path. Long may our sparkle continue.