Just woke up. I have for the last week tried to wake up before 0600hours which has had me wake up between 0445hrs and 0600hrs which is impressive. I’m having a cup of tea while catching up on updating the vlog. Have you noticed site changes? Now you can support my work by donating while I also work on a few exciting projects that I can’t wait to bring to you. Funny enough I am still excited about this year… the discomfort has really pushed me. It’s difficult though make no mistake.
Last week I had a poll up on my Instagram asking my followers who (I rightly assume) read this blog whether they would want a marriage like their parents….and why. The results were actually interesting…it was 74% no to 26% yes. More interesting was the fact that most of the reasons I got were from people who actually wanted marriages and relationships like their parents. A lot of them sited their parents’ friendship (which is such a huge plus) and marriage longevity. The few reasons that people gave for not wanting marriages like their parents were physical and emotional abuse, and salient toxicity while maintaining good public image also known as being fake.
B and I always have these random conversations. Actually our whole relationship was birthed from talking. We would talk for hours as friends that sometimes we would actually get into trouble with our respective families for talking too long. In hindsight though, I can’t begin to tell you how useful those conversations have been… the transitions from friends to besties…to fiancé was incredibly smooth. It has gradually become easier to talk about anything because of that. I may have talked about it on this post and here.
Recently we have been brainstorming on all things marriage and whether either of us wanted a marriage like our parents. Talking about and reflecting on relationships around us at least from our perspective objectively has been a great learning source for us, and is something we always do. (oops guys we have been watching you people). We picked our parents because we have the opportunity of having front row seats in the film that is their relationship. I say film because we may have missed some behind the scenes process of putting it together and some editor cuts. However, if you watch a film keenly you are able to appreciate good plot points, pick out the bad and with a bit of back story appreciate certain film aspects of the cinematography. So it’s more or less a fair analysis based on the information that your parents and any other sources give you about their marriage. It was interesting how at a personal and corporate scale, neither of us wanted a relationship and by extension marriage like either of our parents. See our parents are actually for the most part not bad people…and would argue that they are great parents (with some cringey mistakes) but have not necessarily been the best partners to each other. Its perhaps something they grew up watching in their parents and subconsciously or consciously adopted as a norm in their own relationships…but that does not stop it from being unhealthy or outright bad. While it may work for them (or appear to work) it’s not something we wanted to incorporate in our relationship.
Getting into this relationship space intentionally is something that we set our mind to do from the minute our relationship took a forever look. So it was important for us to have conversations around marriages we knew and hang around them a little more to pick up nonverbal cues and have a close up on how these things worked. It also had us be pretty open on some family sensitive stuff because it was our way to discuss emotional trauma and a couple of perspectives. One of the earliest conversations we had was affection and the expression of the same in our relationship which I talked about in this post. Because I grew up in a space where physical expression of physical affection was typically absent, I grew up craving that and it was something that I knew I would want. Of course the only way I could express this is by supplying a back story which helped B understand where I was coming from. Other really important conversations were around consent, feminism and the concept of equality.
For the few years I have lived in and on this earth, I know better than to look at longevity of a relationship as a sole measure of its success…. A quick swipe through marriages in my parents’ era unearths relationships founded on and experiencing manipulation, marital rapes, emotional and physical abuse that we have been taught to accept is normal. Sometimes our parents may even be too embarrassed to admit that these actually happen in their relationships or have just accepted this as normal which as I said doesn’t make it right. The cool thing however is that; you can change that for your relationship. It takes a whole lot of emotional work, unpacking, therapy sessions and making bold decisions that may be daunting but are 100% what you need. Importantly though, is that because this is a RELATIONSHIP space, it’s a journey that you and your significant other take together and this requires a sh!t ton of honesty, openness and vulnerability and a WHOLE LOT of conversation… Go for therapy if you need to (which everyone needs) …you don’t have to wait for problems to do so.
Usually having a mentor couple is supposed to be a great idea but, I’m afraid sometimes it may make us complacent and afraid to explore our own solutions and perspectives in our own relationships… I cannot stress how important it is not to give anyone outside of your relationship the power to define your relationship for you. So go ahead and have this conversation …