Let me preface this by saying – I don’t have a heck of a lot of experience with long term relationships – aside from with my husband. I have a history of short and very short term relationships, if you can even call the very short term ones relationships (well, that just sounds bad, doesn’t it?).
That does sound bad. I would not by any means call my past a very seasoned or “well traveled” one. I just never really had much in the way of long term stuff until I started seeing my husband.
We were friends in high school. Hated each other at first sight. Or he hated me anyway, apparently I said something to him the first time I spoke to him that referred to him getting the **** out of my way. We were both working backstage in a high school production, it was a very fast paced environment and well, he was in my way. I don’t remember this particular exchange, but hey – if he says so. Apparently he went back to his side of the stage and asked his manager who the hell I was. She told him, mentioning that I was really a nice person. He was quick to voice that he did not agree.
We met up again a year or so later in a class. We fell in “like” rather quickly. I loved spending time around him and we soon became inseparable. So I wasn’t as bad as he thought I was. I developed a crush on him in my last year of high school that I didn’t share with him and nothing really came of it at the time. I went away to university and as he was a year younger than me, he stayed behind to finish his last year. We eventually lost touch.
Until about a year or so later, there was a message on my voicemail one day when I got home. It was him. I immediately called him back and we picked up right where we left off. He was just out of a relationship at the time and I was in one (one of my short term, very different ones) and we fell back into the groove of hanging out with each other very quickly. My relationship ended, as it was meant to, being short term and all. Within a few months we began dating. That was almost 13 years ago. We were married 8 years ago and have a beautiful 2 and a half year old son.
We have a good relationship. We’ve had our ups and downs, made our mistakes, but we’ve always managed to find our centre again. We’ve grown from our mistakes and our marriage is stronger now because of them. He truly is my best friend. I enjoy spending time with him. I miss him when he’s not around. We worked together for about 9 years and a year or so he left his job and went back to school. He is now a PSW. He’s happy and loves his job, but it has certainly changed our schedule quite a bit. I work straight days. So did he when we worked together. Now he works all shifts. We don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to. At first that bothered me quite a bit. I am slowly adjusting to the change and so is he. I don’t mind so much when his job keeps him from being with his family. I wish he was around more but I’ve also seen it as an opportunity to spend more quality time with my son.
I think, and I have always maintained this and will continue to stand by this – that communication is the key to a good relationship. If your communication suffers, your relationship will suffer. All the other things – trust, loyalty, honesty, passion, etc, all stem from good communication. I don’t feel that you should ever fear telling your mate something because you are afraid of how they are going to react. If there is something that you are keeping from them….well, it usually means that you are avoiding getting in trouble for something that you know you shouldn’t have done. (I knew I shouldn’t have went into the Coach store armed with a credit card).
I think that the fact that we were friends before we were lovers helps us because we have a solid foundation to fall back on. He is my best friend. I still think he is sexy, and funny and wonderful, but most importantly, he is a part of me. We’re not just family now, as our marriage license states, but we’re friends. We were friends first, friends still, and friends always.
As I said earlier, I’m not too experienced at long term relationships, but after having a pretty good one for the length of time that I have, I’ve learned some of the keys to them: Communicate with each other, love each other, forgive each other, and never, ever take each other for granted.
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Fredrick Nietzsche