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Jun 17, 2009

The Evolution of a Relationship

Patrick and I have been together for a little over ten years and been married for four. We have had our share of hard times, disagreements, and frustrations. In fact, one could argue that we have had more than our fair share of these unpleasantries.

Patrick doesn’t handle change well and I don’t handle Patrick well when he’s not handling change well, which has made the last few months really, really difficult for us. There has been a lot of change, which may be the understatement of the year. We became parents. Patrick changed specialties. We left our jobs. We sold our first, beloved house. We moved cities. We bought a new house. We’re starting new jobs. A LOT of change.

This litany of insanity would put stress on anyone, but for Patrick, it has been especially difficult. He doesn’t like saying goodbye to people or things or houses or friends. When faced with change, he tends to tighten his lip and keep to himself and is generally a big grump. I do not take kindly to this and become even pushier than usual, more annoying and more task and list driven, feeling the pressure to “do” for us both, since Patrick is, in my view, out of commission.

This is an ongoing conversation for us. It always has been and, truthfully, it probably always will be. These are fundamentals of our personalities that don’t mesh well, so we’re constantly fighting ourselves to keep from killing the other. It’s not pleasant.

So it was incredibly refreshing last night when, upon leafing through boxes of basement stuff trying to sort the important from the sentimental, I found my journal from the months I lived in Colorado. It was a great career move (for that career, anyway), but it was an incredibly hard time for me and Patrick, a critical point in the development of our lifelong relationship, as it was then that we learned that we could not be apart. I wrote on June 28, 2003, no doubt in the wee hours of the morning:

“If I had a real choice, I would choose someone else. I would choose someone I loved less desperately, someone I could perhaps live without. Someone who would light up my life but could come and go easily in my heart. But Patrick is buried in my heart’s very lining, unmoving and permanent, closer to me than my hand or my mouth or my breath.”

And, though the sentiment is thick with the dripping loneliness and drama that accompanies young love, it is still true, years later, and will likely be true until the earth crashes into the sun.

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