I have always been a simple and pretty level-headed person. I never raise my voice, I don’t get into fights and I try not to keep a grudge. So I pretty much grew up with an idealized image of myself. I’m an all-round good person. I knew I wasn’t perfect. But I never considered myself a difficult person at all.
So sometime when I was about 20 years old, I heard a story about a couple who fought all the time.As a matter of fact they were about to end their marriage. I thought to myself, ‘How odd?’ Why would a couple fight all the time? Didn’t they love each other to begin with? Why would you fight with someone you love?
I tried to think of one thing that I would fight with my future husband over and …nothing, absolutely nothing came to my naïve 20-year-old mind.
Don’t blame me. What did I know?
Fast forward a few years. Now I’m married and I confess I can’t help myself sometimes. I want to sleep on the couch because I’m upset. I want to give him the cold shoulder plus the silent treatment because he hurt my feelings. I snap at him when I’m impatient and get this; I raised my voice at him because I felt he was being unreasonable about something I can’t even remember now.
Wow! Where’s my pretty level-headed self now?
I have learnt that relationships can bring out the best in us, but sometimes this happens only after it brings out the worst in us. It makes us see ourselves the way we really are. Only then can be face our issues and become better people.
We can show a nicely regulated or calculated image of ourselves, at work, amongst friends, at church… but at home, we let down our guard, even when we don’t plan to. Living with our spouses in such close proximity, we become our true selves.
How many people got married only to realize that they had no idea who they thought they married?How many people get married vowing to do right by their marriage only to find themselves in counselling few years down the line struggling with issues they are ashamed to admit?
These things happen. Let’s not pretend.
We can choose to keep carrying around that idealized image of our prim and proper self, then act uncharacteristically when we least expect it. Or we can accept the fact that we’re not perfect and work hard at being better people. The choice is ours. I already made mine.
Remi Roy is a writer, author and graduate student of Emerging Media and Communication from the University of Texas at Dallas. In the past she has worked as a Magazine Editor and written for several magazines and online platforms. Her first book, Ms. Unlikely, is the story of a young woman’s search for meaning, fulfillment and love. Visit http://msunlikely.weebly.com for more information.