“If I get married, I want to be very married” – Audrey Hepburn
Firstly can I say, this article is in no way here to shame you or make you feel less than. Everyone’s story is different.
So recently my husband and I have had several people refer to us as a ‘power couple’. What was intended as a compliment, left me feeling really uncomfortable.
Both of us are specialists in our field and strive to be excellent, but sometimes this can be falsely perceived as ‘we’ve got it all together’. Sometimes we do, and other times we really don’t.
Someone asked me recently my opinion on the secret to a long and happy marriage/committed relationship. The question made me feel again, a little uncomfortable. Not because we don’t have a happy marriage, I mean have you seen my husband? Damn gurrl.
But rather, because it was this perception of perfection that just isn’t real. We are both pretty clear on the fact that we don’t want to ever be fake.
We’re committed to 100% authentic. That doesn’t mean telling the world all of our intimate moments, beautiful or ugly – it just means we don’t want to mislead people into thinking that we are great all the time, because again, that’s just not real.
So, this was my impulse response; “We’ve put divorce on the table 2-3 times in the last 9 years”.
Some of you may have read that with shock and perhaps a little judgement, and others would have read this with utter relief that you’re not alone.
Can I say, we didn’t talk about divorce because we didn’t love each other. We talked about it because we kept having the same disagreement over and over and over again, and we couldn’t see a way out.
But let me just say, I’m thankful to my past self for choosing to take divorce off the table. At the time I was mad at myself, with some feminist-independent-roar that I could get things done better by myself.
But this is the thing, loyalty or commitment is not synonymous with ‘settling’.
I didn’t stay married for the sake of staying married and ‘settled’ for unhappiness. We chose to stay married and actually work through the challenges.
Some of those challenges we’ve come through the other side, others we have brilliant days, weeks and months, and then we go back to negotiating again.
By taking divorce off the table we didn’t settle, we just fought harder for what we believed was a good choice nine years ago when we chose each other.
And it turns out, he’s not wrong all the time. Who would have thought!
I married an imperfect person, as did my husband. His greatest gift to me, is not ‘settling’ for a rubbish marriage, but working hard for a great one, even if sometimes that feels a little harder then we care for.
So this is my conclusion, we are a ‘power couple’, but not for the reason that people think, not because we’re perfect, but because we’re willing to believe that the best is always yet to come.