functional

  
random pic of benna on my phone // I don’t have any pics of my parents lol

My family doesn’t have any functional relationships for me to look up to.

My parents don’t live together. I know it bothers my dad, because he still loves my mom. I don’t think my mom cares. I don’t think she loves him. When I was a freshman in high school, my dad and mom each told me separately that they were thinking of getting a divorce. I threw a huge fit and told them I would never talk to them again if they got divorced. They are still together, but I don’t know if they should be. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t said that stuff. Then maybe they would be happier.

Grandpa Rogers diesdabout five years ago so I never really saw how functional their relationship was, but he was an alcoholic so it probably wasn’t a great. Also, he couldn’t give up cigarettes even after he had throat cancer. I think nicotine was his true love.

Grandma and Grandpa Hall fight so much that I don’t want to be alone with them. They constantly bicker at each other. I’ve barely ever heard them speak nicely to each other, and that’s only when I have friends around. They never laugh or joke or hug or pretend like to like each other.

Julie and Rodney are a pretty strange pair. They started dating when Julie was a sophomore and Rodney was a junior, so they had like a year and a half until Rodney left for college. They haven’t lived in the same city for three years and only see each other on breaks. I love that they are independent people, but they don’t talk that much. I don’t know their relationship that well, but I know being long distance is difficult when there isn’t an end in sight. They don’t have a physical relationship at all and I think that’s a really important part of a romantic relationship. I respect their decision to wait until marriage but I think they should make sure they have physical chemistry somehow. But if it’s working for them then I’m happy for Julie.

I seriously think the most functional relationship I’ve seen is Ben and Jenna. I love that they have known each other so long. They definitely have that best friend love and that very important chemistry. Like every couple, Benna has their problems, but I never dount their love for each other. They have a mature, long term relationship. They talk about money, engagement, kids, dreams, and the future. They don’t break up everytime they have a fight. They still make the effort to talk and be involved in each others lives, even though they live across the country from each other. They are independent, but lean on each other. They are their own people, but they are better with the other person. Ben writes the cutest Instagram captions about her. He got her a giant teddy bear for vday. They aren’t perfect, but their relationship is loving and functional. If I could force myself into their relationship I would happily be their third wheel for life.

I’m worried that I won’t be able to have a functional relationship. I want to hug and touch and kiss, even after a long day. I want to laugh and joke and have fun with my husband. I want to tease him and have him tease me back. I want to sing off key as we clean up after eating dinner with each other. I want to continue going on dates even after we’re married. I want to miss him when he goes out of town for the weekend. I want my husband to be my first call when I hear news, whether it’s good or bad. I want to go to him for strength and comfort and I want him to come to me for love and support. I want my husband to be my partner in life, not just someone that lives in the same house shares the same money. I want to be married for twenty years and still be in love.

And I really never want to fight in front of my kids.

I never want my kids to wake up to their parents screaming at each other in the kitchen. I never want them to have to choose sides in a fight between their parents. I never want them to dread getting in the car because it’s going to be a ride full of passenger seat driving. I never want them to see us lose our tempers over something small. I never want them to think we’d be better off divorced.

I know that’s a really hard thing to follow through on, but I am going to try my hardest to keep our fights away from our kids. I don’t want them to think that we are perfect or that we don’t fight, but I want them to see us work things out without yelling. I want to model a relationship of love and respect for my kids. I want them to know that at the end of the day, their dad and I still love each other.

I think everyone wants these things out of marriage. We never think that we are going to end up unhappy or divorced, but it’s a real concern. I’m pretty convinced that I’m going to have a bad marriage, because I’m the one with the issues, the temper, and the expectations. Expect the worst but strive for the best, right? Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and break the cycle of unhappy marriages in my family.

 

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