I’ve done a good deal of moaning this year about the state of my relationship… and to be entirely honest it has been pretty bad at times. However, throughout it all I keep surprising myself by being less upset or more forgiving than perhaps I should be.
The thing is, I don’t really mind. He can be a bit grumpy – I find that kind of adorable. He’s uncommunicative – this is but a challenge to my own communication skills. His lack of consideration and habitual failure to express his feelings – an excellent opportunity to practise understanding and forgiveness. It’s mad, I know, but that’s how it is.
What is going on? I am strong-willed and deeply feminist but this unashamedly unreconstructed man has sent me loopy. It seems he is exactly, entirely what I need. My dear Dolly talks about Yin and Yang. That’s just what we have, I think. He has drive, I have imagination. I’m whimsical, he’s responsible. He’s a big bear and I’m his wee smout. Yin and yang.
I get annoyed that he is so epically poor at keeping in touch – it is the 21st century, man – the Communication Age! But then, he is very old-fashioned. He opens doors for me, helps me on with my coat and occasionally tries to make me ‘act like a lady’, i.e. stop cursing like a sailor – bless. OK, he often does not reply to my messages (I do have chatty fingers) but I know, I am certain, that when I need him he will come.
We are different in a lot of ways. Varied interests. Wildly differing musical taste (in that, I have some!). He’s something of an exhibitionist and I’m shy to the point of sometimes becoming uncomfortable when people look at me for too long. But basically, I believe, we are the same.
We are both passionate, loquacious (when face to face) and fascinated by language. We talk about everything, just everything. He feeds my mind. He is the most interesting person I know and I learn from him every day. We laugh. When I’m with him I feel wrapped in a golden bubble of warmth. When I’m upset or anxious, his very presence calms me, his voice soothes me. He makes me happy.
He’s made me unhappy too but only because of things he didn’t say or do – because of miscommunication or misunderstanding. I don’t think he ever purposefully hurts me. Over these last months our relationship has been stormy but a number of outside events have affected us too and he has never let me down – not when it mattered.
Obviously I can’t know how he feels or what he really thinks but I know my own mind. I know what I want. Also, I believe that he will love me in the way I want to be loved. So, I trust what my heart tells me, what his actions say (and what he tells me himself in the quiet moments). I trust and I love and I really, really don’t mind.