Some of you will probably think that I am crazy. I won’t deny it, I might be. However, before marrying my husband, I had to make sure of certain things. For some, this might represent a lack of trust in one’s partner and that is okay. I know where you are coming from and I have heard it all time and time again from my friends. I am not asking you to understand, I am asking you to listen.
Here are the things I did:
I got into a fight with my boyfriend when he was drunk
One night many years ago, my boyfriend came home drunk after spending time with his friends at the local pub. Most people would have disappeared into a different room and let them be, others would have attempted to take care of their partners and make sure they were okay. I have done so on the rare occasions when this happened in the past. However, there was one time when I decided I could not let the opportunity go and I got into a huge fight with my boyfriend on purpose.
Crazy, right? Getting into a fight with someone who is drunk is probably one of the stupidest things one can do. But I had to do it. I had to make sure that no matter how drunk or how angry, he would never hit me.
I have experienced abuse in my early teens and that deeply affected my ability to trust people. It is not that I did not entirely trust my boyfriend, but people pretend all the time to be nice when they are not. Sadly, I am familiar with more cases of spousal abuse than I care to admit so I wanted to make sure that I would not be one of them. You can never be entirely certain of course, but I had to try.
I needed to see how he would react before I said YES to a marriage proposal. That night taught me a lot and I don’t regret my decision. It was reckless, I completely agree, but it made me feel more secure in my relationship.
I offered to babysit my sister’s kids
There is a big age difference between my sister and I and since I am the baby in the family, I never really been around children. The same goes for my then boyfriend, now husband.
One day when we had some pretty big plans, I offered to babysit my sister’s kids. Not only was this something we had not done before, but it also got in the way of some major plans we had already discussed.
It is safe to say that babysitting did not start as the most pleasant experience. Initially my boyfriend was quite upset as I made this decision without consulting him.
I agree that it was not fair of me to do so and I normally would not do something like this. However, it was a special case.
Anyway, after some of the annoyance passed, I was glad to see that Mr H. accepted his fate and even though he was clearly terrified of spending time with children, he tried his best to make my nephew feel comfortable and accepted. My niece was too young at that time so she spent most of the time sleeping.
I wanted to see how we would react when being put on the spot in a situation that he did not feel comfortable. Once again, this is not something I can bring myself to regret. The experience brought us closer together and forced us to discuss the big elephant in the room – children. This made a huge difference when we got pregnant years later.
I told my boyfriend about the tests before saying YES
On the day he finally proposed, I told him about all the tests I put him though before responding to his proposal. It was only fair to do so.
I am not a manipulative person and what I did might not have been the right thing to do, but it was something I needed to feel not secure, but safe in my relationship. For this reason, I thought it was only fair for him to know before deciding whether he still wanted to marry me or not.
Purchased enough furniture from IKEA to fill a room
IKEA trips are notoriously known for causing many breakups. Assembling furniture from the store is not far behind.
I refused to get the help offered by IKEA to assemble the furniture for the guest bedroom in our house and asked my boyfriend to do it instead. Let’s just say that one hour later he was screaming by himself inside the guest bedroom while surrounded by nails and pieces of wood from random furniture items. I asked whether I could help and of course he said no.
Three hours later he was beyond angry and was considering throwing everything out. I asked again whether I could help. He said no, but he was not as convincing as before. I sat down and got started.
Let’s just say that I managed to assemble most of the smaller items and asked for his help with the larger ones as I could not lift them by myself.
To be honest, I was sure that IKEA would be the end of our relationship. There hasn’t been a man in my family that was able to accept that the women could fix things they couldn’t.
I was not going to pretend that I needed his help, I refused to pretend for the rest of my life that I was someone I am not. If he couldn’t take it, then better tell me and leave before it is too late.
Hours later as we sat down in the living room, me with a book and him with a glass of Armagnac, and he apologised for not accepting my help when I offered as well as thanking me for the help, then I knew that I would do whatever it took to ensure that we would have a life together. It was in that moment when I fell in live with him all over again. That moment which might seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of thing was what convinced me that there was no one else I would rather spend the rest of my life with and that I would be a fool to run again.
Sure, there have been other things along the way, but these are the 3 major things that helped me make sure I was dating the right person, the person with whom I would not mind spending the rest of my life with.