I found the man of my dreams in my high-school. Well, honestly I didn’t know that he’d become the man of my dreams back then. High school isn’t the time to be imagining 10 years ahead in future, but it surely is the time to explore yourself and maybe get into the first ever relationship of your life.
That is what we did in 2011. We never really felt the need to get out of what we started, and the rest is history. We got married in 2019 and got ourselves a permanent official government-signed deal to stay together.
10 years is a long-time to stay committed to one partner. Some might even find it excruciatingly boring while some might find it fascinating, but in all honesty — it is commitment, a promise and above all, simple stupid love.
But can I confidently say that we did everything perfectly in last 10 years? No. Can I even claim that I knew everything before getting into a relationship with him? Definitely not. We discovered a lot of things, as we moved ahead in the relationship, and thankfully we didn’t discover anything so extreme to decide to part our ways. But if we had, maybe we’d have broken-up already.
There are many things that you should know about your partner if you are planning to get into a long-term relationship with them.
Anger issues and how being patient might worsen everything for you
Thinking that all your life will be rosy and happy is a myth and a dream. You will argue, you will have your differences and you will fight.
Every day is not perfect, and some days are simply uglier than others. Some days, you might feel so in love and so romantic that you will not feel like getting out of the bed — being with your partner is all you need. But on some days, you might feel like not even seeing each other’s face in the morning!
Not every morning starts with a happy couple, springing around in the kitchen, preparing breakfast together. Some days start with screaming at each other, throwing things out of the fridge, and venting out your frustration in the kitchen-sink. Not everyone might be doing that? But well, I do that.
The magnitude or the extent of anger that you or your partner can put out on display is something that you might not discover in initial few weeks or even months. It might take one triggering moment for them to lose their shit, and pour down like a thunder-storm, and when they do, you might think it’s better to head out.
The only thing you can do is, be patient with them at that moment. Know that this shall pass. Patience is the key to understanding and handling each other at your worst. But there are some people with whom, you don’t need to be patient. You just need to part your ways.
The key is to know ‘when’.
Sometimes, things can turn uglier than you can imagine, and might even get out of control. That’s when ‘abuse’ starts in a relationship.
Abuse isn’t something that starts right from day-1. It’s the perpetual and gradual increase of anger, frustration and violence. It starts with a small argument, a small misunderstanding or even a small issue like why did you leave the bathroom-seat up? And it magnifies to an extent that the victim never realises that they’re being abused.
To prevent yourself from getting into anything like that, always draw some really strict boundaries for yourself before getting into a relationship. Boundaries of tolerance, that you will not take any shit beyond this point. And once that line is crossed, act on it. If you know when to deal patiently with someone, you should also know to take an action and pack your bags.
How good or bad your partner is at managing or handling finances
While you might love each other till death does you apart, but bad management of finances or simply misinformation about each other’s finances can do you apart faster than you can imagine.
When you are in a relationship it’s important to be transparent with your partner, not just with what’s going on in your office or in your life, but also with your money.
Money plays a very important, rather crucial, part in everyone’s life, and you can’t underestimate that. You might think that your relationship is above and beyond everything else, but when it comes to paying bills and spending on things, your love cannot be cashed out.
It’s your money that will help you out, and not knowing how much each other has, or how can you plan for your future, will surely put you in a tough position. Partners who do not talk openly to each other about money-related issues or finances usually have the majority of their fights and arguments on this topic alone.
There are studies and surveys that have been conducted to understand why divorces or breakups happen in couples, and money has been deduced to be the most common reason behind the separations.
Beliefs, religion, cult — anything
Agreed. That we are in 21st century and that issues related to religion should not even be brought into consideration anymore. We are progressing as a civilization and we’re developing humanity as a culture where homosexual, transgender, transsexual, binary, non-identifying human beings are also represented equally.
Absolutely agreed with each point mentioned above. But if your partner believes in a particular religion and you do not, it’s going to be a problem sooner or later. Religion-related separations are more common than you think.
There are people who’ve broken-up with their partners, the moment they got to know that they are either too conservative or too liberal. As an equal partner in a relationship, you should know how open your partner is or what they think about religion, do they follow a cult or whether they have any extreme beliefs. Knowing such things well in advance will surely prevent you from getting surprised later!
Responsibilities, house-work and balance
If you are planning a long-term relationship, moving in together or getting married, it’s absolutely important that you address the fact that it’s not going to be a cake-walk, and once all the events and ceremonies are over, you will be pushed to household life like the rest of the world.
Live-in relationships or marriages aren’t easy, and there are things that you must clear out before entering into this new phase of your lives. Talk about the things that you like or hate to do. Be open about everything.
Don’t say yes to things that you hate to do, only for the sake of your partner or love, because you might have to do those things for a lifetime. Don’t forget that, you hate them in the first place!
For example, my husband hates doing dishes or even accidentally touching the wet food in the sink, and he had that written in stone before we moved in together so that I had no false-expectations from him.
I didn’t mind cooking or cleaning, but I find it difficult to wash, dry and fold laundry, so he the charge for both of us. There are roles and responsibilities that we have divided amongst each other to avoid any sort of clashes or frustrations in future.
Peace of mind and happiness is most important in any relationship or marriage, and it is important that you should feel like you are enjoying your life while living together, and not completing a prison-sentence!
And finally — your sexual appetite
Knowing about each other’s sexual interests and appetite, is absolutely necessary for any relationship. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a short fling or a long-term relationship, being dissatisfied or not matching your partner’s requirements isn’t going to end well for either of you.
You must not only know how much and how frequent you need each other, but you must also know what you expect from each other in bed. There are couples who don’t talk openly to each other about their sexual requirements or expectations, despite being married to each other over decades.
If you also identify as one of such couples, it’s important to address the issue, and talk it out rather than waiting for the other person to initiate things. You shouldn’t feel like you made a mistake when you look at the face of your partner every morning!
As a couple, you should complete each other and give each other a purpose and meaning. You shouldn’t suck happiness out of each other’s souls, and make each other feel deprived and frustrated.
Knowing about most of these things will help you avoid getting into any unwanted situation in the future and prevent fights and arguments that can ruin your relationship.
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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