I have been married to my husband for over 11 years now and we have an exquisite and strong relationship that is forever deepening in the love that we share with each other.
We form an amazing ‘team’, working through the many demands of life together, and though we can’t claim to have greatly enviable dance moves as a couple, in life we do know how to tango together with grace and tenderness. But this was not always the case.
When we first met there was a clear connection between us and we established a solid friendship before deciding to get together.
From the word go we were incredibly at ease with each other, so comfortable being together, and our relationship felt so natural and familiar there could be no doubt that we were made to be a great couple. In fact most people assumed we were husband and wife before we even started going out. But we had many things to work on in our relationship.
Both of us carried many hurts from previous relationships, and we also had certain views and ideas that were restricting us from deepening our connection and expressing more love for each other.
It was like there was a certain level of love we were ok to express, as well as receive from the other, and beyond that felt really scary to go to. But as time went on we were granted many opportunities to explore the things that stopped us from evolving in our relationship.
Mostly this involved sharing with each other how we felt when certain things happened, when certain issues cropped up. This was often an excruciatingly difficult experience involving many tears, raised voices and sometimes door slamming. No physical violence ever eventuated for us but the abusive tones we used and the shutting off from the other was strong enough to feel like it cut to the bone.
Our relationship at this time was one of function and one of convenience, completely lacking in any joy.
There were three clear occasions where we got to a point that the communication was so poor between us that we discussed separation and divorce. But what was interesting was that we both knew that whatever it was that we had to resolve, was something that could not be left un-dealt with, otherwise it would just come back and ‘haunt’ us again, be it in this relationship or be it in the next one we would move onto in case of divorce.
So around and around we went, knowing that divorce was not the answer and yet a relationship based on function with only a smidgen of the love we were capable of sharing with each other was not it either. We were stuck.
Finally, we decided to seek help. We found some help with counselling offered through Universal Medicine practitioners, and for 18 months we worked hard at our relationship, the way we communicated with each other and the way we treated each other.
At times the only communications we had without reacting strongly to the other was saying “pass the salt please”. In other words, we went through moments in our relationship where communication was so difficult one could have said that the only time we got along really well was when we were not in the same room.
However, thanks to the counselling support as well as implementing some amazing and simple tools of communication, we were able to bring understanding to what was happening in our relationship and each other, and we could begin to bring back more love into the way we were with each other.
I will be honest in saying that it was a hard road to travel – a difficult time working through the issues between us, exploring areas of discord and discussing things that just did not feel right – but I cannot begin to express how worthwhile it has been to lay the groundwork and foundation for our relationship as husband and wife: groundwork that has allowed us both to deepen and expand the qualities that we bring to each other.
This is not to say that we are perfect, for of course issues will still crop up for us to look at – but, in truth, these issues are very small matters indeed, and are nothing compared to what we now bring as love and appreciation of each other.
The most beautiful thing to feel and appreciate too, is that with this now as a foundation, we can feel there is no coincidence in why we are together.
We can feel that there is much more for us to share with each other and many more around us. This is practising a tango with truth, which would never have been possible had it not been for our dedication to each other combined with the support of these amazing practitioners and the community of couples to be inspired by.
By Henrietta Chang