My mother says that every relationship has a fatal flaw– an issue that attempts to gnaw away at the bond between two people until there is nothing left but a sticky residue of bitterness, tears, and regret. Part of being in a relationship is deciding what fatal flaws you can combat though possibly never conquer. Essentially, you must pick your battles. Can you don the glistening armor, raise your sword to the smoke-filled sky and fight against the venomous fire-breathing dragon of infidelity, apathy or preoccupation for the rest of your life? The good people at Disney have embedded in me the notion (or perhaps the hope) that every person has a soul mate, true love is instantaneous and every story has a happy ending. I am one of those who truly, down to my bones, believes in these concepts — especially the happy ending bit. I believe in marital bliss and soul mates; maybe not in the “one person for every other person” sense but instead, I believe in the idea of one person completing another in some way — making them a better person, a happier person. Getting to “happy,” however, might not be an easy road — even the conclusive sentimental harmony of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty is only achieved following a struggle of epic proportions — there were wicked stepmothers, deadly potions and evil enchantresses to overcome before true love’s kiss. The trials of real world love are far less physically formidable; bodily harm is unheard of in most cases, but emotional harm and invisible wounds run deep and abundant.
I’ve never been one to give up when things get difficult or complicated in a situation. And I will, without protest, wake up every morning and slowly nudge my relationship and it’s fatal flaw– my unavailing boulder– up the infinite hill in the hope that all that friction, day in and day out, will turn my rock into a manageable pebble that instead of resting in my shaking arms, sits happily in my shoe — always present but not a problem. Maybe I have too much faith in love. Maybe I’m naive and young, and maybe one day I won’t want to push anymore. I believe that true love exists in the world wholeheartedly, but on some mornings can’t help waking up to the pessimist inside me whispering cynical doubts of my love’s survival. Eventually, I am picked up and put back on my feet, feeling foolish, guilty and at ease to be in my happy, love filled place once again. As much as we battle a fatal flaw, we also battle ourselves. One of the fortunate things about being in a good relationship is that when your spindly arms get tired, when there are dark days of doubt, there is someone else there to pick up the slack and push for the both of you.
So I think the question to be asked is: “what is your rock Sisyphus?”, quickly followed by “does everything else make that rock worth it?”
I, personally, have never been one to give up without a good fight.