The benefits of love and compromise
A friend and I were talking last week about whether you always end up with the love of your life and decided that not everyone does and that any relationship needs work to keep it on track. Until a few years ago I think we had one of the most equal marriages I knew. We made decisions together, discussed ideas and moved in the same direction (almost) at all times. We knew what we wanted from life, which was most definitely not to be stuck in a rut and drift into middle age and that was what we worked towards. If we went away anywhere Ash would always pull a bottle of champagne and two glasses out of the bag as soon as we arrived, he would drag me to see a particularly spectacular sunset, he planned my birthday celebrations and, whenever I achieved some milestone or other, he was always so proud of me. He was also the one person I knew I and everyone else around us could lean on in a crisis. We both however had strong personalities so we argued occasionally and those arguments could be quite spectacular. The thing was they never lasted and we could always talk about things afterwards. Neither of us was perfect; Ash loved spending money we didn't have on things we didn't need but that made life that little more interesting, I was easily irritated so the slightest thing could send me into orbit and I wasn't always as contented as I should have been but we pulled together and made it work. We got together as teenagers and I think when that happens you either grow up together or grow apart. Luckily we went with the former rather than the latter. When dementia started putting its tentacles out neither of us knew what was happening, each of us thought the other was at fault and things were rocky for a long while but we hung in there and now I feel we're back on track. Life still isn't perfect, it never has been and it's never going to be. It has taken effort, understanding and compromise on both sides to get this far but if I had to come down on one side or the other I would say that he is the love of my life and that my friends can make all the difference when the chips are down.