NAVIGATING the waters of love can be tricky, and this is why for the most part many of us try to learn as much as possible about our partners before diving in too deep. Unfortunately, even after years of taking our time to get familiar with the water's currents and density, some of us get bowled over by unexpected tides that seem to come out of thin air. And naturally, this will force us to re-evaluate all that we have learned on our journey.
We asked readers to share the elements of the tides that caught them off-guard while on the high seas and forced them to reassess their relationships.
Simone, 29, medical doctor:
I didn't think that he would be an on and off dad. Before our son, he was always loving and supportive. When I got pregnant we had been together for four years, almost five, but when I had the child he was barely there. He watches everything, and makes sure he isn't giving more than half. I love him and want things to work out especially for the sake of our son, but I hate that he is so stingy with our child. I am grateful I can fill the huge gap he leaves.
Jae, 26, human resources manager:
I realised that he has a huge temper and it put a real strain on the relationship. That compounded by other issues, including him just being difficult about everything all the time, makes me wonder what I have got myself into.
Aja, 36, immigration officer:
I have always helped him out because his degree was not accredited when we met; he was only being paid half the salary of a regular paid staff. Soon I realised that it was a competition for my money — always a sad story, needing something, always borrowing, and not repaying. The real reality check came when he was awarded his money — I think three million in back pay when his degree was accredited last year. Even with this happening, all he did was get flashier things, never repaid, never brought me out like he said he would. When he does take me out, he takes the card from my purse when the waiter isn't looking and makes the payment himself. Now that I am looking back and working on me, I realise that he is a gold digger.
Rashane, 39, insurance agent:
I think she keeps score on everything and she doesn't understand what it means to reciprocate. For example, if I come home tired and hungry I have to come in and warm the dinner myself even though she is there and knows when I am getting home. When I am running late for work, I still make her breakfast in bed. If she comes home and I cook dinner I plate it and bring to her. I think these things should flow naturally. And sex has become a chore... every time I have to initiate it, almost like it's my assigned task. I love and want to marry her, but trying to communicate these things over and over with no improvement is draining me. So, of course, I am trying to see if this relationship is even viable anymore.
Markland, 46, engineer:
About 10 years ago I was getting my life together — making good money in my prime and I checked for her and everything. I helped her with school, was giving her pocket money, and just about everything else she wanted. Then they made the position I was in redundant and I had a medical emergency around the same time and needed a little more funds because my mom was also sick at the time. I linked my girl and asked her to lend me, I think it was $35,000. She told me straight up that she didn't have it because she ordered hair and couldn't cancel the order because she would look bad. Right there I lost every respect for her. When I talked to her about it she said it wasn't that serious and it's not like I didn't have options. It didn't take long for things to dissolve after that.