Someone Said Relationships Are Hard
'Relationships are hard'. 'Marriage is a lot of work'. You hear so much of this drivel while you're single and then even more once you're married and you really wonder what boot camp you're signing up for in the name of love.
N and I were talking the other night and I asked him, "Don't you think things are just better than ever?" (if you say, MashAllah, right now, you're my bro). He smilingly said, "Yes" (I realise now that he didn't really have any other option at that point) and we had a tiny conversation about how despite the exhausted, typical, talk stereotyping marriages to get old and boring with time, as if they were pyaz tamatar, for us things just felt better and happier. I love him more, he loves me more. I take care of him like never before, he does the absolute same for me.
Which is why I don't believe that relationships are hard. Great relationships (even the platonic ones - best friends/parents) only make life easier. Better. More content.
And I don't say this because the both of us have seen growth in conventional ways so perhaps things feel smoother. We've actually downsized our living situation over the last five years, we didn't upgrade cars, we own even less than before (all personal choices). Every year of our life has not been compounded by a material milestone.
We've just been focused elsewhere. We've started to take more care of each other. We've gotten even closer. We understand each other's weaknesses and work with them. We've become more sensitive to what would hurt the other person and how to avoid that. We stay on our A-game with each other all the time and immediately pull the other back when one starts to slip.
Our relationship is the easiest thing we have in our lives right now.
Of course, circumstances can be hard. Potentially chaotic. But it's never the relationship that makes it terrible. It only gets you through it. Life cannot be controlled, but your reaction to it can be. N and I have dealt with a couple of hard things (nothing catastrophic, thank you God for that) but instead of letting anything put our relationship on a ventilator, we've always looked at it together instead of going into separate corners and throwing shitfits. I know we're just five years old and don't have half the challenges the world does, and I'm grateful for that. But on a macro level, if you're a teamplayer and your partner's a teamplayer, you got this.
This equating-marriage-to-a-labor-camp philosophy only exists to justify bad relationships and convince people to stay in shitty marriages. Where one or both partners don't find it worthwhile to stay on their A-game.
So if anyone's writing this down (someone needs to say yes at this point), relationships aren't hard. They're actually the only things that make hard things better.
Nabeel is my friend, I am his. I hope I never have to see anything tougher than a cheese-pizza-on-a-diet with him, but if we do (but please no, Allah mian), I'll suck it up and let our relationship make sunshine bombs out of it.