This is a comment by Leia on the post “What Marriage Isn’t“.
When did you figure out what marriage isn’t?
That is a great question…
We only got married after being together and long-distance relationship for 10 years. If you can get through grad school and career start-up years together (or sort of together), then you can get through anything … that kind of training tends to shatter all your illusions and helps you to get real and prioritize what is important in life.
That said, our relationship has definitely not been perfect … and there have been many times I did not speak freely or as honestly as I should have because I was afraid of losing the relationship. Actually, speaking up sooner would have been the thing to have made it stronger.
Death of a parent, illness, layoffs, various health crises, and parenting issues all test you in real life … how you resolve conflict like mature adults and with respect and empathy to your partner is the key.
Pent -up anger is best dissipated with close friends and a great psychotherapist. Sometimes you need a person from outside the relationship to keep you in perspective and to bounce off stuff and be the pressure release … I think I have been holding in a lot of negative feelings for years and it is terrible when you think you have to hold it in or that no one is listening … always best to just let it out somehow, some way/
Photo credit: Flickr / gordontarpley