Once upon a time, we hit a rough patch. It’s clear that’s what it was now. But at the time? Not so much.
That’s the funny things about rough patches. When you hit them, it feels like a crisis. And to some degree, I suppose it is — it’s just a matter of whether it’s a temporary one or a permanent crisis. Are you going through a rough patch or are you ultimately incompatible? Is this a simple test of your relationship — or is it the beginning of the end?
I didn’t know back then. I had my suspicions — that it was just a rough patch. That it was a temporary challenge. And that if we worked through it, not only could we weather it, but we could emerge from that rough patch better than ever. Stronger. And better people.
That’s what I thought would happen. But I didn’t really know, do I? You typically don’t at the time. I was guessing. Guessing based on a lifetime of other experiences, to be fair, but guessing nonetheless.
Some of my friends that I confided in about the difficulty at the time thought I was guessing wrong. And they didn’t hesitate to tell me so.
“You say you can see the improvement,” they’d tell me. “But it seems like there’s more bad than good at the moment.”
“Well, I don’t know about that,” I’d say. “And anyway, there was so much good for so long. It isn’t like it’s always been that hard. That gives me hope, too.”
“If you say so,” they’d say, their concessions to my own judgement lukewarm at best.
But I stayed the course. We fought. Tried to communicate. Sorta did. Fought again. Rinse, repeat. Each time the cycle was closer to a real understanding — although it evaded us both for quite some time.
And then one day we got there. And we stayed there.
Now here we are.
Anyway, I just want to say that I’m so glad I stuck with you and so glad I stuck with us. I’m glad that I could see what we could become and that we not only got there with time — but exceeded my expectations.