Trust. Dedication. These are things that I thought that I understood over the years, and of course I understood bits and pieces, but now… Wowsa! Now I feel like I have the whole thing.
Nikola and I have been on a Friends binge. We are in season 3, where Ross and Rachel break up— things get tough in their relationship and Rachel says that they need a break. Ross immediately goes out and sleeps with another girl, thinking that their relationship was over. Rachel finds out and while they are trying to figure out if they can make things work Ross points out how quickly Rachel gave up their relationship, the way that she didn’t fight for it. (I wont go into how Ross failed to fight for the relationship either.) He needed to know that she was going to fight to be with him, and in the end she decided that, no, she wouldn’t. Him sleeping with another girl had destroyed her understanding of him, because before she felt completely safe with him and thought of him as a man who would never, ever hurt her. After such a painful experience she could no longer view him the same and so the love had changed. Now, here I am suspending the fact that this is just a television show, and the fact that I am not really certain of the monogamy rules as the end-all of relationships to say: “I finally get it!”
There have been times in the past that I was accused of not fighting for a relationship. Sometimes that accusation has been true. Sometimes it was, in my heart’s view, unwarranted. However, whether I was fighting or not (I realize now), the fight was always on my shoulders. It was, ultimately, a question of my investment and how much I was willing to give up to be with someone. Was I willing to give up my location, my job, my school, my values? How much room was I willing to give? How much of them was I willing to take? This is not to say that there has been no give from my previous partners. The people that I have loved in the past have given quite a bit of love to me, and accepted many aspects of me. Some have been very supportive of this wandering game that I play and my thirst to find myself. Some have put up with large amounts of insanity. Some have not. Some left at the first sign of trouble, and some have stuck it out far enough to scar ourselves into a permanent remembrance. But it has never, never been the way that it has been with my husband.
“How much are you willing to fight for us?”
With Nikola, for the first time, I feel like the question is not shooting directly towards me and only me. It is a valid question. But for the first time I feel that he trusts me enough to never ask, and I feel like I will never reach the end of his fight either. He knows that I want our life together, and I cannot question his commitment either. I have never really thought about it before, but I think about it often with him: I have a man that will never hurt me. Now, that is not to say that I will not suffer in our relationship, and that I will not experience hurt. But, that pain will never, ever be inflicted intentionally by him. I know that for sure. I know that he will support me in any way that he can and that he will always, always fight for our relationship. I can trust that. I never knew I NEEDED to trust that, but I do, and I can and it is wonderful.
I am the happiest woman in the world in this marriage.