This is a Selfie of Ralph and me on our honeymoon in New Zealand climbing a volcano. We look happy, I am 17 weeks pregnant. A week into the trip a month earlier on the Andaman Islands he had told me he basically hates my guts and looks (or that is what I heard). After initial devastation I was ready to hear it and told him spill it all. I actually took notes. It was an ugly time. I wanted to fly home every day, leave him there and get a divorce.
We realized quickly that we needed to get constructive somehow, and had to come up with a solution as how to talk to each other without getting into a fight. Every day after breakfast, one person got to talk, the other had to listen and was not allowed to say anything back until the other day. In this way we got down and dirty into working things out. It was hands down one of the most challenging times of my life.
I chose to stay and not fly home, he chose to face some demons of the past, we chose to work through our entire two months long trip. We could have reached out for distractions just as easily. We could have brushed it aside. We could have clung to the expectations of how this trip should have looked like. There were no victims, we both made a choice.
It all comes down to choice. Every day we choose our partner. We choose whether to forgive or hold a grudge, whether to support them or dismiss what is on their mind. We choose to care for the little things they enjoy. We choose to take one for the team and compromise. We choose to work on catching ourselves when we project something onto the other. We choose to ask for forgiveness.
Romantic relationships are a choice. Long after the initial attraction seems to be gone, you get to choose every day. No marriage certificate will make a relationship last or happy but two people choosing each other every day.
I dedicate this blog to Ralph, my love, my partner, the father of my beautiful baby. Thank you for choosing me. You are the most interesting person I know, yours is the opinion I want to hear first, you set the examples I want to follow, you are a shaker and a stirrer and the world needs people like you. I would choose you again any day. Happy Birthday to you.