MANY of us have an optimistic, peachy, unilaterally joyful expectation of love. Unfortunately, love and relationships by their complex nature aren't always sunshine and rainbows; sometimes it rains and things can get quite muddy and ugly. This does not mean that you don't love your partner or that you aren't meant for each other, it just means you need to take some more time to understand each other, to compromise, and work through the challenges.
All Woman asked readers to share the ugly truths they learnt about love and were forced to accept when they formed their own intimate relationships.
Abby, pest control specialist, 33:
You can be in a relationship and still feel all alone. If your partner is there physically, but does not make himself emotionally available, your house won't feel like home. It's torture and it is worse than being single because at least then you know that you are. When you are in a relationship you have to still function as if you are because even though you have been abandoned in a sense you are still expected to operate like everything is normal.
Lorraine, teacher, 28:
You can have an extremely great relationship and still hurt each other and it doesn't have to be as bad as cheating it can be as simple as something you say or do. One example is that one time instead of going exactly to my husband and addressing a problem, I talked to a good friend and when he found out, it really hurt him. He said that I had broken his trust and it hurt me that I did that to the man that I love. It took a while for him to forgive me and really get past it, but after that we were in a better place.
— Penda Honeyghan
Katey, human resource personnel, 37:
The dynamics of a relationship will change significantly when you begin having children and either partner may feel neglected or abandoned if you are not careful. Usually it is the man because you know the woman is responsible for nurturing, but it can be the woman too because usually she would have most of the attention, then it gets shifted to the child.
Randy, literary specialist, 30:
You will learn that people can look into your eyes and lie to you and not even blink. All of this while they just said that they love you, and if that is not betrayal, if that isn't cold, then I do not know what is.
Joel, graphic designer, 35:
Sometimes you will feel unappreciated because no matter what you do it's almost like it isn't enough — like what you do measures nought. There are no thank yous, because the honeymoon is over and we live together now so it's 'my duty'. It bothers me, but you know what, I still say thank you even when the fridge is full of vegetables and fruits and she only makes cool aid even though she doesn't work and is home all day because she still never had to do it.
Marsha, security personnel, 43:
Listen to me, conflicts are unavoidable. You could be the happiest couple in the world; there will always be something that you don't see eye to eye on and it's natural because we are humans. We have different feelings about things and different tastes. My partner and I just find a way to make sure things don't get out of control and cause arguments, or if we see it is headed there, one of us just stops and suggests that we revisit whatever it is later when we have cooled down.