How to Keep Relationship Issues from Weighing You Down
Is your personal baggage ruining your life?
Last week, my husband struck up a conversation with a young couple while we were waiting for our dinner reservation to be called. The pair appeared to be in their late twenties, and more than just friends.
I should mention at this point that my husband is a social animal. I can count on meeting someone new, no matter where we go. Anyway, getting back to the story.
The girl asked my husband how long we’d been married.
It’s one of his favorite questions to be asked, because there’s quite a story behind it. I won’t go into the details here. Let’s just say we’ve known each other for a long time. But that’s fodder for another article.
When he told her we’d been together over thirty-five years, she seemed surprised. To clarify, not all those years were spent in blissful couple-hood. We both had external situations to deal with and resolve before connecting. Mine were more complex and entangled, leaving him to wait things out.
In the meantime, suffice it to say, he kept his dating calendar open, honing his relationship skills by tasting a few selections from the buffet. Just sayin’.
One of the points he made to his new friend was that when you find the one, it’s worth whatever it takes — however long it takes — until the timing is right.
My husband began to talk about all the baggage so many of the women he dated carried around with them.
He once described a potential partner as being like a dump truck pouring its weighty contents directly into his lap. He said he did a good job avoiding the temptation to pick up a shovel and clean up the mess. Because other people’s past issues and problems had nothing to do with him.
Where am I going with this story? The truth is we all have some sort of baggage in our lives. Some people can get away with only a carry-on, while others require the use of over-size suitcases with heavy-duty rollers. And then there are those who can’t go anywhere without a convoy of trailer tractors.
And what about the two of us?
Sure, we both had trailing debris when we finally ended up together. But we decided upfront that it was best to leave whatever previous issues we had in unclaimed luggage and move forward together clean and hands-free.
And the baggage that ultimately shows up in every relationship that’s worth having? We discovered the bumps and hurdles are much easier to manage if we each grab a handle and share the load.
At least for as long as we insist on carrying it along with us.
In health & happiness,
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Jill Reid is the author of Real Life, Discover Your Personal Truth, Life in Small Doses, and Please God, Make Me A Writer. Her books, videos, and newsletter explore life, relationships, self-improvement, health, and personal success strategies for working through the challenges of everyday life.
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