"Are you sure that she is the one for you? You both are very different."
This is the question that I get asked often by my friends. Seeing us fight, argue, and debate over "who's that girl that you're texting?" is daunting to them. We, by their words, are the embodiment of a toxic relationship. However, we do not think that our relationship is toxic. We think that it is an opportunity to learn each other more through hardship.
Yes, of course I have my doubts. Seeing other people flourish in their relationship makes me jealous. I had a mindset that if someone is ‘the one’ for us, it will just clicked right away. Like a puzzle pieces fit perfectly together. However, that analogy does not apply to our relationship.
Our relationship is forged by putting effort, time, and most importantly, patience. Along the way, we start to being more appreciative with each other. As per an old saying:
"The grass isn't greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it."
Turns out, we survive. We are now in the process of getting married with one another. How do we persevere through tough times? These are the points that we learn during the course of our relationship.
Different lives, different mindset
People in this world are unique and different in their own way, and so are we. We grew up in a different areas and surroundings, which forms our different point of view in life. When we argue, we will have our stance based on our past experience as our guiding stars. This leads us to be more ignorance to each others point of view.
We fight, debate and argue. We really love that. At one time our tantrum become so uncontrollable, that we both start hurting each other. Swearing, bad-mouthing, physical contacts, you name it. It took us a while to realize that we are spiralling into a bottomless pit of despair. But through time, we finally change our way.
One thing that I learn is that do not fight just for the sake of winning. There are no wins and loses. When you are together long enough, you will appreciate each other mindset and way of thinking. By respecting each other principle, you will adjust your mindset to conform with the principle.
Relationship is not only about you, but your other one as well
People will have a bad day every now and then. You just have to understand that it is normal to be angry with each other. Just don't hurt each other, and still respect your other one.
One thing that you can try is by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. You will be more aware to what they feel and understand their view.
An example of this is when my girlfriend is having a bad mood (it is her time of the month). She will sulk, comment, bad-mouthing everything that happen on that day. Mundane things will become a big things for her. By setting aside my needs and giving her the attention that she needs help to make the day calmer.
When you lower your ego, it does not mean that your pride and ego is being trampled. It shows that you are already mature enough and have tolerance. Sounds impossible, but it works. There are no more ‘you’ in a relationship, it is about ‘both of you’.
No objective truth, only subjective.
“If she is right, then how can I also be right? There is no way the she is right!”
My lizard brain often pop this question, as anger, hatred, and an image of me winning the argument that YOU ARE WRONG flows to my mind. However, after we argue, the conclusion is that I am the one who is wrong. Or is it?
Turns out, there is no universal truth in a relationship. You can have your own version of 'truth', but so can your other one. Like it or not, it is like being accustomed to a set of rules.
As my girlfriend and I are both lawyers, we have a set of rules that we make in our relationship. We see this as pacta sunt servanda. What is pacta sunt servanda? The term translate to:
“An agreement must be kept and act as a law between the parties who enters the agreement”.
For example, we both agree that if we do not like something, we must tell each other. Maybe that is weird for others, but that is an agreement that we have made with each other. Breaching that will have consequences or reasons to get mad with.
There are no rights or wrongs in a relationship. Relationship is made, not born with. Others can say whatever they want from their point of view, but once you have decided on the rules, make that as your guiding stars.
From the above points, it will look like the relationship will be more constraining. However, the opposite happens. The constraints create a more balance relationship. We have made a seemingly toxic relationship into a healthier one. We may not be a perfect couple, but we try to learn, grow, and accommodate each other to become in unison. Try this, and you will be in a more balanced and happy relationship.