Up until this point everything I have written about in Our Story* has all be lovely and rosy. I’ll bet that at some point you probably wondered if I’m exaggerating, or if after three years my memory has chosen to eliminate any rougher parts of our relationship. Well, let me reassure you that I have recounted the first four months of our relationship (yes, to this point we had only been together for FOUR months…) as accurately as I possibly can. I’m really proud of the fact that in nearly 3.5 years we have never had a real “fight”–you know, the disagreement/argument that usually leads to raised voices, saying things you later regret, and often tears. While we’ve never had a “fight”, tonight I’m going to tell you about the closest we’ve ever come to it.
While getting engaged to the man of my dreams after only seven weeks is / was wonderfully romantic, it did have its problems as well. As we prepared for our upcoming marriage we were both often asked the question: “How well can you really know someone in so short a time?” And you know, it really is a valid question… but I don’t really think time has anything to do with it. You could think you know someone for 10 years before you really learn who they are, and at the same time I believe that you could meet someone and know who they are as a person in a few short days. It really depends on the type of relationship / friendship you develop and the level of openness you share with each other.
The Hubster is my best friend in the entire world and I now feel like we know each other better than anyone… but during May of 2005 we were still learning a lot about each other. As the words “time and all eternity” loomed ever closer we both felt there were some big issues we needed to discuss before we got married. It was through these discussions that we learned that we don’t always agree on everything… in fact, we often have very different opinions. But first let me explain…
The first of these big talks happened one afternoon as we were sitting on the grass in the middle of my favourite parks. It was a beautiful day, and for the life of me I can’t remember how it came up, but we began discussing children. It was our first real talk about kids and our future. After a few minutes we quickly realized that we both had predetermined ideas about children, families, etc etc, and when we should have children. And we also learned that our predetermined ideas were different.
At first I didn’t know what to do about that.
To that point in our relationship we hadn’t really ever disagreed about anything. This wasn’t deciding where to eat for dinner though, this was something we had both put some thought into on our own but hadn’t discussed with each other until then. The idea that we had really different ideas and opinions really set me back at first. It shocked me… I hadn’t even thought about the possibility of it, as stupid as that sounds. Was this ok? Were married people allowed to have different opinions?
Without going into too much detail, the “issue” of children was actually one we talked about and sorted through for several weeks. But even though we disagreed on some things and agreed on others, that talk was nothing compared to our first discussion on our finances.
To all my readers, unmarried or not, talk about your finances with your spouse, partner or significant other. Together. It’s important that you are both aware of your financial situation and that you make decisions together.
The first time we talked about our financial future together was late one night after I had worked both jobs and was lying in bed half asleep.
Problem #1: It was over the phone.
Problem #2: I was exhausted.
Problem #3: He was tired.
Problem #4: I can be a stubborn beast. haha
The Hubs proposed a thought about banking, and (I’ll blame it on being so tired…) I reacted badly. For whatever reason that I can’t even recall anymore, I absolutely abhorred the idea he proposed before even thinking it through. He reacted to my reaction and we quickly realized that we had very different opinions about what should happen.
Before it could escalate into an argument we both might regret, we decided to stop talking about it until we would see each other that weekend. I was heated over the issue, and I could tell he was bothered by it as well. Despite being upset, we made sure to tell each other that we loved each other and let it go. It was the type of disagreement that could have easily blown up into a major fight… and in all honesty, if the Hubs hadn’t put things on hold my stubborn streak might have let things escalate. But by giving each other a couple of days to think about it, explain our standpoints well and discuss it when we were cooled down we avoided a major blowup. And I’m so glad… because now I realize that it was such a minor thing. Really. It just seemed big at the time.
We really learned a lot about each other through those “almost fights”… and best of all I learned that I was marrying a really really incredible man who, despite his many different ideas from my own, actually listened to mine and wanted to work together to decide what our best options were / are. I really love that we have different ideas, because hey–guess what? I don’t always come up with magical solutions on my own.
So, even though we were presented with two opportunities where a “fight” could have easily been occurred, we learned to talk about things and accept that we won’t always agree on everything. And that’s okay. :)
Three and half years later we still have never had what we’d call a “fight”. We talk about everything… and while, sure, we both get upset about things or with each other (hey, we’re human) we walk away to cool off and think it through before talking it over. And once we’ve done that, it’s done. Gone. There are no grudges or holding things over the other person’s head.
After these big talks I knew without a doubt that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the Hubster (well, I guess back then he was the Fiancee). And while I’m not naive enough to say that we’ll never ever have a real fight, I think we’re off to a pretty good start so far. :)