My relationship has been on my mind lately, especially as, with the time apart, I’ve had time to reflect on how we truly are and where we’re going. I’ve realized that I enjoy being with him while I’m with him, but when we part, I realize how wholly unsatisfied I am with our often superficial interactions.
After we finished a movie yesterday, I decided to push him. Sitting on my bed, side by side, I asked deep questions; I prodded; I push far past his comfort zone and questioned his beliefs. He quickly grew frustrated and changed the subject. But instead of acquiescing, I let him know that I was upset. I let him know how much being challenged, and having deep conversations, and pushing each other meant to me; I told him that I needed it. I lay my head on his lap, looking up at him, eyebrows scrunched. I did not sugarcoat. I did not back down. I was an open wound. And he took me seriously.
I lay on the bed and he lay on top of me, his body even placed on mine. I stroked his head and hair and face as we talked, kissing his shoulders as he responded to my catharsis. We discussed our differences. He acknowledged his. That was just how he was, he said. He would try to improve, he said. He didn’t know if he could actually change.
I look deep into his eyes, gather up my breath, and say:
I just wonder where we’re going in the future, if we differ so much in this foundational way.
He was silent for a moment. He gazed at me. His eyes were aware of the implications of my statement. My eyes were sad.
I’ll get better, he said. I promise.
Now I was silent.
Looking back at my actions, I wonder how I was so brash. But I realized that in that moment, it was all or nothing. If that conversation hadn’t gone the way it did, I was ready to walk away from the relationship. The truth of that statement scares me even now. It scares me because of the hurt I know I would go through, and it scares me because of the hurt I know he would go through. But I love him. And it’ll get better. It’ll be ok.