I am very lucky to have my partner, and to be able to say that I’m blissfully happy.
Because that happiness has been very hard earned for us both.
I’d love to be able to say it’s been a fairytale, full of butterflies and rainbows and pretty sunsets. And don’t get me wrong, we have had so many wonderful times. However we’ve also recently come through very bad times – but it’s actually those that I am more grateful for.
It’s easy to look around at other people and think they have the perfect relationship/marriage/life. And maybe they do. Or maybe they just like to portray that image on Facebook.
I know though that he and I have been through the worst times together, and we came through the other side. And now have an unbreakable bond as a result. And I wouldn’t swap that for anything.
We knew as soon as we met that we were perfect for each other. After the obligatory first date nerves and shy conversation at first we stumbled across a shared passion – of all things a love of zombies. I’ve long had a secret love for reading horror, and particularly zombie horror. And so did he. From that moment on we knew we were kindred spirits. We had so many things in common – we watched the same TV shows, we read the same books, we shared the same humour, we finished each others sentences, and read each others minds. Quite literally we would both burst out laughing as we’d ask each other something random that the other person had only just been thinking about.
But as often happens real life soon got in the way.
I have full custody of a 10yo boy, and though I love him to death he is very very challenging. So there was no couple time for us. Full stop. There was no one to look after him so we could build our relationship and have adult time. Although in other ways it was so perfect to be part of a strong family unit. And we all loved it.
Then Mr ISFS (I stop for suffering) lost his job. He found another one, but it did not make him happy. We struggled financially. We struggled with broken down cars, and not enough money for groceries.
And most of all, we struggled to communicate.
Each of us retreated into ourselves.
He gamed and shut himself in the study for days at a time.
I tried to escape the house at every opportunity – taking my son out for outings, visiting friends, going for runs. Doing my best not to be home.
And it festered.
We would go days without having any meaningful conversation.
And the worst parts of our personalities came to the forefront. He became very angry and short-tempered. I shut down emotionally and refused to communicate my feelings.
And 2 years, almost to the day of our first date, I asked him to leave.
I respect him so much for how he handled that request. He was very composed, and actually comforted me over it (?!). And he did as I asked. Even though it killed him.
We kept in touch via text even though everyone was telling me I should cut all ties. I kept saying to them – how could I cut all ties when he was my best friend for 2 years? Things would happen that I would want to share with him. My son would do something funny. Or frustrating. And I knew that he was the only one who would appreciate it and truly understand.
Some time after Mr ISFS left I connected with a friend through my local running group. I thought he was all the things that I was looking for – social, friendly, easy going, giving.
But he wasn’t Mr ISFS. We didn’t have that intimate connection. We couldn’t share jokes (he and I weren’t on the same wave length). He didn’t understand my humour. We couldn’t have in-depth conversations. And most importantly – the image of himself that he portrayed was exactly that – an image he portrayed. And nothing like what he was actually like in a relationship. To put it bluntly I was miserable and not surprisingly it didn’t last.
But it did me think about what I had lost.
Regardless of the issues that we had, Mr ISFS was the only person who has ever truly understood me. He also struggled badly with anxiety and depression, and he was always supportive. And he never treated me badly. He had just struggled to cope and withdrawn into himself.
However in those months we were apart he was also going through his own journey. He sought therapy/counselling to deal with his anger. He thought about where he had gone wrong, and what he had lost.
And he humbly asked for another chance.
This time though we spoke about things in depth. BEFORE we got back together. We spoke about our expectations, what we had learnt. What had gone wrong, and what we would do differently. We established new ground rules.
It’s now been 1.5 months since we got back together, and it’s the most happy and settled I’ve ever felt.
We are 2 very different people now. We communicate in depth and honestly at every chance. We speak about the big issues, and the small ones. We have laughed so much in these last 6 weeks. We’ve shared so many experiences.
And we’ve created something so much stronger that we ever had before.
I feel so very loyal to him – a depth of feelings I’ve never felt before. I am a very calm and passive person but I would fight to the death for him. And I know he would for me.
I am very blessed that I have my best friend back. And I know deep in my heart that we always have each others backs. Always. We have gone through the hardest times together, and it’s made us both realise what we had lost. And that we would do anything to be with each other. There is a loyalty and love and connection that I have never felt before. And everything I’ve gone through in past relationships, being cheated on, being treated badly, me picking the wrong guys… all of it has made me learn the lessons I needed to to finally have the RIGHT relationship.