“We had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
– Louis de Bernieres.
When I saw this quote it described perfectly something that has happened a few months ago. Also bringing to mind another quote, with regard to relationships. I can’t remember it word for word, but it goes along the lines of: If you feel the grass is greener on the other side, perhaps you need to tend to your own yard better.
Relationships aren’t easy. They take a whole load of work, whether you’re monogamous or polyamorous. We often see either in books, social media, relationship writings in magazines and online etc. that once you find the person/people for you, it’s smooth sailing and happily ever after with no bumps in the road, ever.
But that’s not true. Even with the love of your life, you’ll have times where no matter how much you love each other, you really have to put in some elbow grease at things.
We live in a world right now that is so insecure. By that, I mean that we don’t know what will happen from one day to the next. People are getting sick, people are dying, people are losing their jobs, financial worries are very real and we don’t know what the next week holds, let alone the next year. Everything is up in the air and it’s putting the strain on families, marriages and relationships.
Honestly, I wasn’t going to write about this, but I feel it’s important to, with one, being a sex blog writing about the complexities of relationships, but also because my relationship, despite what I may or may not share, is not unlike others.
This past summer, me and my boyfriend went through a rough patch. Every relationship experiences these at some point. But this was a ‘make or break’ rough patch. One where we came incredibly close to calling it quits. We weren’t arguing or anything like that, but trying to figure out issues that were playing on both of our minds, and talking, trying our best to come up with a solution together.
But at the time, we couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We didn’t know what to do. And if we couldn’t see through this, then what future was there for us?
What has held us together through issues that understandably tear couples apart, has been the sheer amount of love and not wanting to give up on what we have. We know what we have is special, and the love we have is that kind that hits in the pit of your gut. But, not through any malice, that one night, we just couldn’t figure out how to move forward. I felt I couldn’t give him what he needed, and he felt he couldn’t give me what I needed. Perhaps we’d just got to a point where many couples do, where no one’s done anything bad, but they need to go their separate ways.
We were both in tears (to be truthful, just writing about this is making me cry) and I packed some stuff, saying I was going to stay with my parents, for however long I needed to. Our relationship was hanging by a thread, if that, and so both of us completely devastated, I stayed with my parents that night. We both barely slept, not knowing what the next hour, day, week would bring for us.
Needless to say, my parents were amazing. My mum, bless her, fed me cups of tea and chocolate and we talked through everything into the early hours. They both love my boyfriend to bits. My father practically treats him like a son.
So the next morning comes, and I just feel numb. I feel pretty much resigned to my fate, as it were, that perhaps this was it. Back I was, alone, having to sift through a sea of jerks before finding a good person again. Hoo-bloody-rah. Neither of us wanted it, and what made that prospect equally comforting, and ten times worse, is that he’s a good man, and never went out of his way to hurt me or treat me badly. Quite the opposite in fact.
He said he’d call me around noon, and sure enough he did. And immediately, the waterworks came as soon as I heard his voice. His was in tears. He wasn’t ok, at all.
‘I’m not ok,’ he says. ‘I can’t do this. I’m in Hell, Violet, you need to come back.’
I’m not being dramatic here when I say, I’ve never in my life heard him so upset. He was utterly heartbroken, as was I.
‘I know we’ve been having problems, but I woke up this morning and you weren’t there and it just hit me like ‘Oh shit, this is what it’s going to be like.’ I can’t do it. I need you back here now.’
I know the first days are some of the hardest, but this was different. It was a declaration from both us that we just couldn’t do it. Though in many ways, we can be polar opposites and at times (I say with a loving eye-roll) he drives me to distraction at times, a life without him would be truly, truly miserable. That time away was like my colour world had been plunged into black and white. I knew from then on there, anything I had with anyone else wouldn’t be like with him, the bond we have. It wasn’t even a question for me.
‘Ok.’ I said.
‘Ok, I’m coming to pick you up right now.’
‘Are you sure you’re ok to right now?’
‘Yeah don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I just need you here.’
Like I said, it wasn’t even a question. Those few hours apart for us was the kicker when we realised that, no, we didn’t want to be without each other and not just that, but we couldn’t. We didn’t want to be. The problems would get sorted, we just needed to see it from a different perspective, in how to approach and deal with them better.
My parents, who were brilliant I’ll say again, it goes without saying that they were thrilled to bits that we were staying together, them giving me the pep talk and support I needed as I left. One thing that particularly has stuck with me, is something my Dad said as I was leaving and giving him a hug and kiss.
My Dad is a very thoughtful and perceptive man. Especially when it comes to matters of love and relationships, he’s a man of few words, so when he says something, you know he means it. I think him and my Mum see a lot of them, when they were younger, in me and my boyfriend. Despite driving each other mad at times, there’s a whole load of love there. As I was heading out the door, my Dad said this:
‘Go and love each other, you inseparable idiots!’
I think that pretty much sums it up. Two young idiots in love. Like any problems, you work on them. Some can’t. Some can. But what we realised, is we’d spent too much time seeing what issues we needed to work at, as ‘Perhaps the greener grass is better for him/her.’ When in reality, the prospect of being without each other was enough for us to realise that yes, we can fix those issues. It might take time, but it’s doable. Like I said before, we know what we have is special, and we don’t want to let it go.
We needed to water our yard and tend to the flowers and grass, together.
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