Last year, a little after our seven year anniversary, my husband and I have discovered that for a long time, we were not on the same side.
Even though we were considered a good couple by almost all measurements; how often we fought, how often we made love, how openly we talked and shared our truth; we were not acting to benefit and support each other.
On the contrary.
We were resentful toward one another.
We both had our reasons.
During our Friday night ritual dates, that we kept sacred since we got married, we had hard, deep conversations.
Sitting on our cozy TV room’s loveseat, we started going back in time, tracing down the cracks that brought us where we were.
Our relationship dynamic was carved out of events that hurt us and made us shut down towards one another.
We wanted to live in different places.
We wanted to practice different religions.
We liked different types of music and wanted different types of volumes.
Along the years, we’ve always found our ways to navigate through the challenges, sometimes through couple’s therapy, sometimes on our own. We held on to our relationship, but it was only external.
Deep down, we felt that our relationship was limiting us. For this reason, we have developed resentment and anger towards one another.
These alienating emotions kept growing.
They were always present, even when we made love. Even on a romantic date when we were soaking in a hot tub and gazing at the starry sky.
But we’ve also always appreciated each other. We knew that our love was a treasure and that we had to work to make it work.
My husband was the one who took the lead. Among other things, he read the book The Masculine in Relationship, by GS Youngblood, where it says,
“Whether or not you are the problem in this dynamic, you are the solution.”
My husband was determined to become the solution.
He has made it a practice to feel me and understand me instead of objecting me. He understood the importance of my personal success, and took more parenting and household work on himself, to allow me more time to develop my career. He stated that my business was my baby and that it needed to be nourished by both of us. He started joining me in yoga classes and became a part of my yoga community. He stopped judging the music I liked and found that he could enjoy it as well. He asked to help me with my writing and became the primary editor of everything I wrote (including this post!). He became less demanding and more giving, participating, and contributing.
Slowly but surely, he won my heart.
The more I felt loved, the more I wanted to give him. The more I could give him.
He changed the dynamic.
He became the solution.
Celebrating our eight year anniversary, we feel closer than ever before. Our love is strong and solid.
It does not mean that we won’t have challenges.
There will always be challenges.
But for the first time in our lives, we realized what it truly means to be there for one another. Not just in words, but in actions.