I knew when I met my current boyfriend that he was different and that he was something special; however it was the past year that showed me how extraordinary he really is and how unbreakable our relationship is.
Much like how you have to date a few bad boys to appreciate the nice guy, you have to endure tough times as a couple to know how strong your relationship is and find the good in the bad times. Now when I say hard times I do not mean constant fighting and “excitement” the hard times should not be anything to do with the relationship. I don’t believe fighting is in any way necessary for a successful relationship. By hard times I mean someone loses his or her job, a sickness strikes and other curveballs life likes to throw our way.
Have you ever thought about what your significant other would do or how they would react if you lost your job or have you ever thought about how you would react if your significant other suddenly fell ill? I suppose one could ask the other what they would do or how they would act but truthfully nobody really knows how they would react until faced with the situation.
The first year, my significant other and I were together, we had an easy year filled with stable monthly income and good health. The next year was completely different. Last November my significant other was diagnosed with a rare eye condition that hindered his sight drastically for a month. I had it in my mind that I was going to be there for him whether or not he regained his sight, which thankfully he did. I was not going anywhere and my new full time job became keeping him positive and strong and getting him through this rough time. We got through it and came out stronger.
A few months after that, I became unemployed and the reaction from my significant other absolutely floored me. Instead of pushing me to jump to the next job immediately or use up my savings, he urged me to relax and find happiness in the down time. He told me nothing would change with regards to our relationship and whenever I felt unsure of things he reassured me and loved me. He kept it together so I could fall apart and any time if felt like I was slacking in the relationship, he reminded me of the time when he fell ill when I was the one that handled it all. We learned the true meaning of being a team and it strengthened out relationship even more.
Before getting involved in a lifetime commitment, there are many questions each person may want to answer. I feel blessed that the hard times we experienced answered all the questions and strengthened our relationship more than I thought possible.
Here are three hardships a couple may endure which can make or break the relationship
Moving in together is a huge step and a step I would recommend before saying I do. The act of living together will either bring the two of you closer together or it will drive you apart. The two of you will quickly find out if you have the same taste in furniture and colors and if you don’t, you will find our how to navigate it tactfully.
Technically moving in together is no hardship but if you both are moving in to a new place, there is plenty of work to be done and this can put a strain on the relationship. It is important to see how your partner handles the move and how your relationship does after you have moved in together.
One of you is likely to catch the common cold at one time or another during your relationship but an illness is different and you are far less likely to go through a serious illness in your early twenties than you are in lets say your late fifties. Although one always wishes for good health, should one of you fall ill use this as an opportunity to show the other how much you love them unconditionally and to dig deep and muster up as much inner strength as you can. This is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship.
If you are the caregiver, the hardest part will be staying strong and keeping up the morale of your significant other. I would wait until my significant other fell asleep and then if I needed to cry I would go to the bathroom and let it out but he never saw me cry during that time, partly due to his eyesight and partly due to me being stealthful. Remember, you cannot fall apart and you have to be strong in front of your partner so that they can fall apart.
Look at how they handle the illness. My significant other and I, although not quite gym rats, enjoy going to the gym together almost daily. When he got sick he lost quite a bit of weight and therefore most of his strength. I remember the first day we went back to the gym together, I watched him struggle through his workout and I became completely amazed at his determination and inner strength. Although he had lost his physical strength his mental strength was stronger than ever and I fell more in love with him through that time than I even thought possible. I am happy to say that he has regained all his strength and is back to kicking ass in the gym.
We live in a time where the job market is volatile. There is a possibly that in your lifetime you may endure a layoff. Yes this is a terrible thing to happen to anyone but it’s a realistic worry. Should this happen to you, watch carefully how your partner reacts to the situation. Do they stress you out more or calm your fears? Do they encourage you to get a new job quickly or are they patient with you and more concerned with you finding the right job?
If your partner is the one who loses their job, watch how they handle it. Do they let you help them both financially and emotionally? Do they become unbearably negative and hard to be around? The tough part for me, as an extremely independent person, was allowing myself to accept the help of my significant other but in doing that I learned how much I could lean on him and he learned that I could not be stubborn and let him in. I focused my time on making sure the place was clean and on cooking up delicious dinners using new and exciting recipes. I made sure I got up, stayed busy and kept positive.
The key to not only surviving these hardships but also coming out of them stronger as a couple, if using “us” versus “I.” It is so extremely important that during any hardship, you share it with your partner and you too help carry the burden. I feel extremely blessed that the universe threw us these crazy curveballs because it answered every question I could ever have about our future together as a couple.
It’s like the saying “when life hands you lemons make lemonade.” Well we made our lemonade and drank it happily together and now that we know how to make the lemonade together, I know that we can handle every lemon life hands us.