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Imagine Magazine Question For 8/1


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Love...

It can be grand, it can be sweeping, it can be adventuresome. The feeling can brighten up the darkest days and sometimes soothe the worst of past wounds. Whether that love was ever returned to me or not...I can't, honestly, say that I regret any of those nervous, stuttering, swoon worthy, moments in my life...and I'd never den the fact that I'd be willing to do it all over again if I had to. Love can be...mind-blowing.

However...it's been my experience over the years that there is one thing that love simply can't be...and that's 'perfect'. Not for me, not for you...not for anybody. There will be challenges. Obstacles. Disagreements. It's merely a part of the process...at least when you're being honest with your partner and vice versa.

So this leads me to ask a very simple, 2-part, question...

1 - How do you figure which problems are merely a temporary flare up and will simply pass you by in a day or two? Or when one of you is dealing with a problem that is, essentially, 'unfixable'?

2 - And as you discover a few more unfixable problems in your relationship...can you deal with them? Or will they keep piling up until you have to decide that maybe this wasn't the kind of paradise that either one of you were searching for?

Now...when I say 'problems', I'm not talking about something tiny like 'he forgets to take out the trash sometimes'. And I'm CERTAINLY not talking about something HUGE like 'sometimes he gets drunk and comes home to abuse me!' No no no...nothing like that. I'm talking about dealing with differences like maybe he's a bit guarded about his past or his feelings, or maybe you'd rather stay home when all he wants to do is go out and party. Maybe you don't like his friends. Maybe he doesn't like your family. Maybe he's a bit more reluctant to tell people that he's gay while you'd rather be out and proud. Or maybe you're a morning person...but can't sleep because he's a total night owl. You know...not stuff that you'd want to break up over by itself...but if you find one unfixable problem after another where you end up with actual personality clashes and the like...what then?

Remember that there's real LOVE and affection between you two. It's there. You both can feel it, without question. But sometimes people just are who they are. You can overlook it or turn your head, just to maintain the peace. You can try to sit down and talk it out to see if you two can reach a decent compromise. BUT...if either one of you ends up being asked to fix the unfixable...what do you do? End it? Remain friends while looking for someone else with a different set of flaws? Think about it...what would you do?

Would love to hear your answers below! Anonymous answers are welcome as always. Let us know what you think, and I'll see you soon!

  • Love 1
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I think it really comes down to communication, first of all...but it doesn't stop there. You can't just sit down and be honest about something that's bothering you and vice versa, get it off of your chest, and that's the end of it. The real test comes from the respect you both have for that conversation, and the actions to follow afterwards. Otherwise, what was the point, you know?

Now, I can be an extremely tolerant person. I can adapt to my current situation. I have a pretty good grasp on what's a harmless little thing and all of the degrees of escalation that lead up to something that I simply can't put up with anymore. But it depends. For example...I don't smoke. I just don't. Now, if I fell really hard for someone who was a smoker, and it was unbearable for me to breathe the air in our own house...we might have to have a discussion about that. I'm not going to demand that my boyfriend simply 'give up' smoking...but can you do me a favor and take that outside when you do? If we have that talk and come to that compromise, he gets to continue being who he is, and I get a break from choking half to death on the fumes. Hehehe! It's never been my goal to 'control' anybody, but that's something that we're going to fundamentally disagree on. So let's work it out.

I think every relationship has a grace period where each partner has to bump up against one another's boundaries for a little bit while they learn to weave both personalities together and create something worthwhile.

Now...if I come home one day and you're doing lines of COCAINE on the living room coffee table? Ummm...no. That shit has GOT to go! Or YOU'VE got to go and take that shit with you. Period.

I guess I just think that it's important to be honest when it comes to this stuff. Maybe you snore in your sleep, maybe you don't like the way he laughs, maybe you gobble up all the groceries in the kitchen and never replace anything, maybe he has a pet cat that drives you CRAZY...whatever it is, I think a lot of it can be worked out with some communication and an active attempt to compromise.

However...when it comes to those same individual issues piling up on you? That's where things get tricky. Because, if there are things about me as a person that my partner can't handle or simply despises...but it's, like...a fundamental part of who I am? That's going to be a problem. If there are parts of him that he likes about himself or cherishes or feels protected by...but makes my blood boil? Again...that's a problem. Because we are who are. It would be unfair for me to ask you to change to fit my personal vision of who you should be. I certainly wouldn't want you to feel like you could do that to me. You know? So I think the catalyst is just how 'unfixable' these problems (Or should I say 'differences'?) are, and how deeply they run within us. Because if we turn out to be two completely different people...then so be it. No need for us to both be miserable. We can walk away and find someone that might be more suited to us as a companion. But, like I said, that takes communication.
 

  • Love 1
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My husband and I rarely fight. I guess, maybe because we're so similar to each other? We nearly always agree on issues, and we both prefer to talk about any problems we have, whether it's something small like taking out the trash, or something more serious, like relationships with difficult family members. I can count the number of times we've had a "big fight" on one hand, honestly, though I'm aware that our marriage probably isn't typical. 

(Not finished; will edit later)

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Okay, so, technical difficulties are forcing me to post an addendum, rather than simply editing the previous post, so....here goes part two!

My husband and I always try to talk through our differences and "clear the air", before those tiny little resentments fester and grow into angry infections, which helps us reach an understanding and "head off" any real arguments before they get out-of-hand.

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