3 In Love

Dealing with Relationship Baggage

Dealing with baggage in relationships can be challenging

Regardless of how old you are, when you enter a relationship you always bring with you some degree of baggage, and so does the other person.

I’ve been with my partner for a while now – how time has flown, and we both entered the relationship with our own fair share of baggage. I came with a neurotic dog, a distrustful nature towards men, body image issues, and depression. D, well, he was a newly divorced dad of two.

Dealing with baggage in relationships can be challenging

Like every couple we’ve certainly had our ups and downs over the years, after the first few blissful months. We moved in with each other too soon to be honest due to both of our accommodation situations, and it was hard, especially me as it meant having the kids and becoming all parental on weekend!

My depression also came back with a vengeance, and whilst he liked to go out for a drink, hang out with his friends and chain smoke, I swore off alcohol, went on anti-depressants and rediscovered my old phobia of hanging out in crowds (and leaving the house). My itchy feet also came back (for travel), and even though I introduced him to travel, he really wanted to own a house. We also happened to work together – and the strain of the office gossip became too much for me to bare.

And then there were the kids

Don’t get me wrong, they are FABULOUS kids and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I remember the hard times my siblings and I gave our Mum’s partner when we were young (for reason – so we all realised later). I am lucky! My partners kids are loving and nice to me, but it’s still been difficult. I was about 27 when we got together, and hadn’t even entertained the thought of having children of my own, let alone being a ‘step’ mum on weekends. It has been a huge change for us all, but we are getting there slowly.

Almost 10 years later, with my depression and agoraphobia under control again, us having brought a house and found time for more travel, a near death scare, redundancy and other life ‘hiccups’, we know we are on a good thing and are now engaged and working hard to find a sense of balance in life and to do what we love – both separately and together.

Relationships are never easy so don’t listen to people who tell you otherwise.

But, I can tell you this – some things, such as a wonderful relationship, are worth fighting for.

  • Hajra
    January 16, 2011 at 3:10 am

    The hardest part is accepting a person as they are, with their baggage and ultimately liking them unconditionally. Once we get over that any relationship becomes easier. Judging others makes life tougher and we have to decide what we want for ourselves.
    Nice post!

  • Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur
    February 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I can see why you’re referring to this post as blog “therapy”. 🙂

    And I think it’s healthy! You should pat yourselves on the back for hanging in there (through thick and thin)and overcoming some pretty big challenges.

    I’m proud to know you. Your life isn’t perfect, your partner isn’t perfect, but you’re making big strides in finding ways to make it work. That’s all that really matters. People will always have problems, baggage, and the like. It’s what you DO with that information that counts.

    Sounds like you’ve got some darn good problem-solving skills — good thing you’re carrying those in your suitcase (baggage)! 🙂

    • Janine Ripper
      February 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      That’s very touching Melanie. I’m blessed to have met you as you lift me up with your words and leadership!

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