Arguing and having little falling outs is all part of being in a relationship. It’s a side effect of sharing your life with someone. While it might not be the most beneficial thing in the world, it’s a constant just like the unconditional support that partners give each other.
An argument is natural and bound to happen, sooner or later. Let’s not dwell on that, instead what we need to remember when bickering happens that communication is key, but it is far from the only factor to consider. Sometimes having moments from the past to remind each other about the long journey it took to get to where you are, is enough to lighten things and let cooler heads prevail.
Words, They Mean Everything.
What makes me go all nostalgic is an old fashioned letter. In the era of email and texting, I don’t think holding onto it makes me a relic of the past, far from it. I mean, as long as it’s something that I have an emotional connection to, like the words written in it – it’s priceless. In fact, I take it with me whenever I have a business trip. That’s because I received it when I was away for six months.
A long distance relationship, is no easy thing – we argued a lot. It was separation anxiety but it didn’t change how we treated each other. Over the phone, our discussions would get heated and sometimes we would get mad at each other. It was silly but it still happened.
One particularly difficult conversation, where she wanted me to go home for the week ended in ashes. We stopped talking for a few days, that is until I got a surprise in the mail. I mean, who even sends honest to god, hand written letters these days? It was thoughtful and sweet; it reminded me of her in every way. It gave me the strength to man up, and call her – to apologize about the hasty things that were said in the heat of the moment.
Even to this day, I keep an entire drawer full of hand written – heartfelt letters and she does the same with my letters. Reading them one by one tells a story, our story and it’s our reminder to ourselves of everything we’ve been through. I mean there is no better person to tell you, how you’ve felt about each other than yourselves. It’s like a diary of sorts, only to each other.
When things get tough in our marriage, we only need to remind ourselves with these tokens of the past to get through it. It’s not a magic pill that will automatically fix things, it’s a symbol of our love and devotion to each other and the challenges we faced and have already conquered.
Photos, A Timeless Moment Captured Forever
I know it’s cliché, but around my house there are pictures, a lot of them in fact. Their indisputable expressions of everything my wife and I, have gone through over the years. When arguments get nasty or maybe just some overblown bickering about the garbage, they serve as a subtle calming effect. It happens in the back of my mind. Like it’s saying, hey, we went here and did this; weren’t those happy times? If I try hard enough there will certainly be more of them.
Of course, when subtle reminders don’t work, there are heavier guns to use in the game of nostalgia. My wife and I have created a number of photo albums over the years. Every now and then after a painful disagreement we make a conscious choice to leaf through them together. It’s our ritual, it keeps our marriage strong. One of our favorites has to do with my proposal and our wedding. It’s something we carefully put together a few months after our honeymoon. Back then we put so much time into it that; it could probably pass for something a professional has done, one of those magnificent photo productions wedding albums.
All in all, seeing myself bent over on one knee while seeing the shock and surprise on her face does wonders for my mood. Mainly because they’re bunched together with all kinds of moments where we’re smiling – like young lovers in love. It doesn’t hurt that she looks ever so lovely in her wedding dress. There are even letters we wrote to each other to use as the introduction and ending, as if the album was a book.
We may no longer be young, but we are still very much in love. When things get tough, sometimes it’s hard to remember the good times, the great times but a cherished memento like the photo album we created can make us realize the important things in life. My love for her, and her love for me.