When you get to a certain age, and you are either still dating, or you have re-entered the dating scene, you find that everyone brings with them some kind of ‘baggage’. You even bring your own. It can be past relationships, experiences in life, debt, divorces, kids…
I’ve been with my partner for a while. I think we are in our fifth or sixth year now (we both don’t keep count very well). He’s eight years older than me. Some people really have a problem with differences in age, but I’ve always found age irrelevant.
Our baggage. Well, I brought into our relationship a dog, a distrustful nature towards men and depression. My partner – he was a divorcee, who was bordering on bitter and was continually labelled as ‘arrogant’, with two kids.
I cannot say it hasn’t been a challenge. Like every couple, we have had our ups and downs over the years. The first few years were bliss, and then reality set in. That’s when things got difficult. To my surprise, my depression crept back with a vengeance. 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 Europe and Hawaii, he really wanted to own a house. We also happened to work together, and I believe the strain of that got too much, especially with the office politics and gossip.
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.
With my depression and agoraphobia under control again, my partner having quit smoking, us having brought a house and found time for some travel, we now find ourselves working for different companies, and are working hard to find a balance so that we can find time for us, the dog, the kids, our families, friends and ourselves.
Yes, it’s never going to be easy. But some things are worth it.
- Recapturing Romance After Kids Come Along (everydayhealth.com)
- Insight into Agoraphobia Symptoms (brighthub.com)