My husband, Jacob, and I woke up, got ready for work, and spent at least five minute just hugging and kissing each other saying how much we couldn’t wait to see each other again, and all of the “I love you so, so, so much,” and the “I love you so, so, so much MOAR.”
That was the day my life fell apart. The day that my soulmate passed away without warning.
While I’m taking a temporary step back from social media and while my heart is in shreds, I wanted to share some of the unique things about Jacob’s love and our quirky relationship to brighten the world in this dark time.
Jacob and I made a decision very shortly after we started dating to never speak badly about the other, whether the person was present or not. We had read an article (which unfortunately I’m not sure where we found it) that stated something along the lines of if you speak negatively about your spouse-regardless of if they ever know about it- that will only sow seeds of discord in your own heart and thoughts towards the other, while making you more aware of their flaws. In contrast, if you speak positively and lovingly about your spouse “behind their back,” it strengthens your love towards them, and helps you be even more aware of just how incredible and perfect for you they are.
We also didn’t speak anything derogatory of the other, whether in jest, nicknames, etc. We as humans have so much emotional and mental baggage as it is, and see enough hate speech and negativity on a daily basis. We decided that we wanted to be each other’s biggest supporter, biggest encourager, and biggest ambassador 24/7.
We made up little rules, such as: when we signed our marriage certificate, we signed a contract to flirt with and hit on each other for life; or, whenever one of us was home and the other had just gotten back from work or errands, we would always greet each other with arms up at the top of the stairs while the other would run up the stairs and give immediate hugs.
We found the little things to brighten each other’s day, and always sent memes to each other, and texted how much we missed the other person.
We made spending time with each other our number one priority. We rarely went out for dates, but we always made sure to talk to each other, watch something, or play a game.
We genuinely cared about and asked daily how each other’s day had been, how they were doing, and if they felt and knew how much they were loved and appreciated.
After our first year dating, we spent three more in a long distance relationship with each other before getting engaged. Many people said it wouldn’t work, but in that time, we were able to build critical communication skills that made our relationship go further than just the surface level.
His pain was my pain; and my pain was his. Whether because we were just so closely connected that we physically felt the other’s pain, or if we had slight empath tendencies; if one of us was in pain, the other physically hurt or felt off too.
We noticed each other’s little nuisances and tendencies, and made each other feel seen by taking those into consideration. For example, I never liked using the big forks or spoons, only the small ones; so if Jacob made dinner, he would always give me a little fork. With Jacob being lactose intolerant (and the pills not working well for him), I had an emergency reserve of dairy free chocolate chips hidden, so that if he ever felt tempted to eat dairy while he was out, all he had to do was tell me, and chocolate chips and/or dairy free ice cream would be waiting for him when he got home.
We had dorky nicknames for each other-as any couple does-but ours sprang from when we were engaged and Jacob couldn’t spell “fiancé,” so instead, he called me his “fancy.” Added to that, while we were in college, we had the nickname of the panda couple, as we wore all black, chains, and spiked bracelets (I could even crack hard boiled eggs on mine), and quite frankly, looked like we never spent any time outdoors in our lives. Thus, the Fancy Panda nickname ensued, along with a panda hoodie, panda lamp, just panda panda panda.
Snuggle. Just snuggle all the time. In the summer though, that air conditioner had better be on.
We got into arguments almost daily. And no, not the kind you’re likely thinking. Our arguments consisted of “I love you more,” “No, I love YOU more,” “No, I love you MOAR.”
Most importantly though, we valued each other and would let nothing stand in the way of our relationship with each other. If one of us needed to talk and it was not the best time for the other; it didn’t matter. We made the time then and there, and whether advice was needed, talking things out, brainstorming, or just sitting in silence to listen, we made it happen.
We moved into a tiny 650ish square foot apartment three days before we got married (please, do NOT do that! Way too stressful!), and we were told by countless people that we would get frustrated with each other, just want our own space. I can honestly say that in the three years we lived there, we never got on each other’s nerves. All we ever wanted was to be close to each other.
I’ve seen a lot of joking memes lately about working in close proximity with your spouse while self quarantining with COVID-19, and I wanted to say don’t take things for granted. Sure, you’ll get annoyed with your Significant Other from time to time, but at the end of the day, it’s not you versus them; it’s you and them versus the world.
I hope what I’ve shared might help you grow your relationship with your Significant Other in this difficult time, rather than put a strain on it.