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Picking up Pieces

The other morning I was woken by a loud smashing sound from the kitchen. It was followed by a lot of muttering and sighing and the clanking of bits of broken crockery being gathered into a pile.

The curious part of me wanted to get up and go and find out what had happened.

The sensible part of me stayed where I was. It was first thing on a weekday morning; Steve's work was short staffed; he had been up late studying; and something had just gone wrong. Me standing over him in my dressing gown, questioning him about the problem, wasn't going to help. I would just get snapped at, get defensive and we would both spend the day feeling grumpy as a result.

I used to find this kind of thing difficult to accept. Perfect couples have perfect lives, right? I hadn't signed up to have my vintage crockery smashed, nor to be snarled at when I asked about it. This isn't how it's supposed to be!

This isn't how it is in the movies, where couples live happily ever after.

This isn't how it is in other blogs, where other halves only get mentioned in gushing posts about their birthdays.

From the outside, other relationships seem sleek and problem free.

It's easy to forget that even perfect couples are stuck with imperfect lives. Perfect couples all have bad days at work and cars which won't start and crises beyond their control. Life as a twosome isn't all kisses and cuddles.

Steve isn't going to have a good start to every day.

And nor am I. I've lost count of the amount of times he's had to deal with me having a meltdown because I'm tired and Polly has pooed in the bath/the washing machine's leaking/I've actually just spilt the milk.

"There will be times when I burst into tears for no good reason," I told him, right at the start of our relationship. "Don't try to fix it. Put your arms around me and keep quiet until I stop sobbing."

And he does.

"Sometimes I'll have bad days," he said, early on. "I won't want to talk about it right away; I'll want to sit on my computer for half an hour and blow things up."

I leave him to it.

A relationship of nothing but romantic dates and in jokes sounds lovely, but I think it's unrealistic. Everybody has bad moods and disasters.

It took a long time for me to stop seeing life's little crises as something bigger than they are. They're not a sign that's something's wrong with our relationship; they're just the way things go some days.

What is a sign, I think, is knowing how your partner needs you to deal with them. And that's a sign of strength.

15 comments

  1. I love this post, I'm sorry for your broken treasure tho. But I completely agree and understand. I have been with my mister for almost 14 years! I can not believe it has been that long. When I look at others and read other people's blogs. Sometimes I wonder if they ever have bad days or are ever miserable. I know that right now, where I am in my life I'm not that happy. I make the best of what I'm dealing with and I try my best to not let my hatred for my job and well pretty much hatred for where I live bum me out too much. I try not to write about it and I try to write about only the positive. I don't want anyone thinking I'm a constant complainer. But what is wrong with us that we can't accept that life isn't like it is in the movies. Why can't we feel free to vent and to have a bad day shouting from the rooftops, "My life sucks today!"

    I'll say it again, I love this post - thanks for the honesty. It is quite refreshing in a sea of "my life is perfect".

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  2. Well said. There is no such thing as perfect. A real couple learns each other's quirks and knows what to do (or not do). It took a break up for Liam and I to learn how to react and connect as a couple, but we couldn't stay apart and we have a greater understanding of each other and our relationship because of it.

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  3. Thanks Trisha! I find my bad days are easier to cope with if I wait them out and turn them into a story; where better to do that than on my own blog?

    Oh, and it turned out it wasn't anything irreplaceable which smashed. :)

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  4. I'm sitting nodding at this comment but I can't think how to phrase that. :)

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  5. So true! I think a sign of a good relationship is when both people acknowledge bad moods and let them happen. Everybody gets them! 

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  6. For real! I am so glad to read this post this morning as my Mr. stayed up all night playing video games instead of coming to bed. Whatever. Its the weekend. Couples are still this person + that person. Still individuals. 

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  7. Steve's attached to Mass Effect 3 at the moment and keeps forgetting to come to bed/drink enough tea. There's no point fighting it. He'll be back to normal soon.

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  8. This post is just perfect. I know what you mean that other halves get hidden from other blogs - the strongest relationships are the ones who have a roadblock and deal with it.  I hear a lot of people say "we're perfect, we never fight!" which just makes no sense.  If you aren't arguing now and then, you aren't communicating, and communication is one of the most vital aspects of a healthy relationship. Thanks for your honesty here friend.

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  9. Definitely - there can't be many couples who agree on absolutely everything, and accepting that and learning how to deal with it seems more valuable to me than pretending that life's always easy.

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  10. Vintage Crockery

    Vintage Crockery supply beautiful and authentic vintage crockery for weddings.
    We are based in the Cotswolds and serve within a 30 mile radius.

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  11. Ohh. Yes.
    I think one of the places where the boy and I went wrong before was taking it badly when each other was in a bad mood or upset. He can get very prickly when he's annoyed and I used to take it personally, and he used to feel useless when I was upset and not know what to do, which made me feel worse. Talking about it has helped so much. :)

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  12. Glad I'm not the only one who's been through this! And I'm glad things are better now. :)

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  13. good post. 
    i think people watch too much tv and live in anticipation of finding mr perfect and magically becoming mrs perfect upon meeting him. HA.

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  14. Well, I mean, you and I are ALREADY Mrs Perfect... but...

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Please play nice.