When we live in a world where one picture of a celebrity couple looking miserable means ‘They’re breaking up!’, how do normal people deal when they haven’t got the worlds media to tell them they don’t look happy? And to split that wide open, do we always have to be 100% happy in our relationships?
I think no…
For the last couple of weeks, I have wanted to kill my boyfriend every day. He has been irritating me no end I found it increasingly hard to bite my tongue as well as trying desperately to sit on my bursting suitcase of anxiety that said ‘Oh my god, its happening again, you hate him. You’re gonna break up. I’m frightened :(“.
Anything from not taking the bins out to moaning about how tired he was. Eugh. Shut up you absolute douche… I was raging.
However, I have recently been trying some of this mindfulness crap as well as various techniques to get a lid on my anxiety. So when it came to Friday night, tensions were getting pretty high and the un-said crap was at boiling point for both of us. But rather than enter our normal cycle of a massive argument (usually starting around something to do with a chore) followed by me crying, him sulking, us evaluating our whole relationships existence followed by us making up but not being completely happy on the ‘who won that one?’ front…. I tried something different.
We’d had a couple of choice words over his…. (HA for the life of me I can’t even remember what I was mad about!) but for some reason I was mad, I had to get an early night for work over the weekend so I huffed myself up the stairs and decided to go to bed.
He followed about 10 minutes later.
Back to back in bed, I thought ‘No more’. I took a big breath, counted to ten and turned around, tugging him over on to this back too. I kissed him and said the following:
“Right, I think we are definitely having a rough patch at the moment but I actually think that might be okay. I’m working every weekend, you’ve got exams and we’re just generally both trying to figure ‘adult’ out.
I don’t have an answer as to how we get out of rough patches but maybe us at least both accepting we’re in one is a good start perhaps?”
“Yeh, okay. I think we’re both just stressed.”
Wow. Wasn’t expecting that. Okay, I thought, quite cheerfully, we’re just in a rough patch. It doesn’t mean I love him any less. I may not like him all of the time but neither of us are interested in ‘the talk’, we’re just irritating each other.
Next weekend the boy goes away for 10 days for a surf holiday that he’s terribly exited about. And I’ve realised that I’m really excited too. I get to starfish the bed, watch MY programmes on the TV and just have some time to myself. And on top of that, I have time to miss him.
Whether you live with your parents, friends, partners… I think rough patches are inevitable. Its accepting them and riding them out that is where it counts.
To add to that, we all go through rough patches in our lives just in general. I know I certainly have and sometimes you just don’t want to get out from under the duvet to deal with stuff that you don’t even know how to deal with!
I really like this article from mindbodygreen.com that recommends 5 things to remember when going through a rough patch. Here I’ve taken three that work well for rough patches in our relationships:
1. Experiencing things that you don’t want makes you clear about what you do want.
When we decided to take on one of our best friends on as a housemate to help with bills, we really didn’t think about how it would affect our relationship. There was always three of us in the living room, three of us trying to cook, three of us making plans. And we took it out on each other. Badly. So when it came to our contract being up on the house, we knew we had to downsize and go back to just us and the dog. We were sad to leave a really lovely home by the sea. But the decrease in bills due to a smaller home plus one less adult in the house… it was completely the right way to go for both our relationship and our sanity. Now we know that we just aren’t cut out for sharing a house with other people other than each other.
2. Challenging life experiences gives you more empathy for others.
Both my boyfriend and I are from divorced families made up of steps and halves and god knows what else. When something happens in each of our family dynamics, we have learnt to lean on each for support rather than playing the game of ‘my families crazier than yours!’ Through doing this we realised that actually, along with the dog, we’ve started our own little family unit between us.
3. When the going finally gets good, you will appreciate it more than before.
When you come out of a rough patch, it should only make you stronger and wiser in your relationship. This leads the way to you appreciating the wonderful memories you share together and a stronger partnership where you’re both working towards the same goal of simply making each other happy.
You can find this awesome article in length here: