As a single male in his mid twenties I never showed much emotion. It was when I fell in love with a girl in 2017 that I began to feel them come back to me. And my oh my have my emotions have been thoroughly tested this past week. Sometimes you have to test your smoke alarms just to make sure they are still working. And even though I had no intentions of testing my ability to break down and let the tears roll, I certainly went through the motions.

Those first few months of any decent relationship are usually pretty perfect feeling. All you want to do is learn more about the person you are dating, and neither of you judge the other, or look very deeply into one another’s flaws. And if I’m honest, my relationship felt like that for a very good and solid 6-9 months. Beyond that things were still very good for another 3-5 months. But these last 4ish months have been rough between my fiancée and myself. Even though we knew of particular flaws, quirks, or obsessions between us, we had never really had to live with them. We would only see each other on the weekends and by that point we were just focused on each other and enjoying our short amount of time together. But once we started spending Friday and Saturday nights together too, it gave us a better picture of what living with each other would be like, especially being in the house we bought back in September.

I am not saying that we found it to be a living hell by any means. It’s not that at all. But on my side I will admit that I am OCD when it comes to keeping a clean house. I don’t want clutter anywhere, and I want the table tops to be smooth and dust free, and the floors to shine. I also have a high sex drive, and since we were sleeping together every weekend, I developed an expectation when we were in bed. She on the other hand does not have this same drive…in fact I wouldn’t even say she has a sex drive at all. It isn’t something she needs, and she doesn’t crave it like I do. She also doesn’t share the same need that I possess to have a perfectly clean house. My cleaning habits and obsessions with keeping the dining room chairs perfectly in place, and so and so on, just don’t fit her definition of a clean house.

These are only two items, but you can see where I am going with this. A couple of weeks ago she and her son moved in with me officially. I helped them pack up their stuff and transport it almost an hour to the house we had bought. This included her Dachshund. He is a great dog if I’m honest and very adorable. The problem was how much fur he was shedding in the house. I would clean, and two days later the floor, couch, tv stand, table tops, literally everything had extra dust and dog hair on it. Very frustrating for someone who has always had high expectations for living in a clean environment.

We didn’t see eye to eye on that issue as well as others. This led to her moving out this past Monday. I woke up Monday morning, got out of bed, walked to the kitchen, grabbed my car keys, and I drove away. I like to drive when my head is cluttered with thoughts. My intentions were good. I wanted to allow some thinking time so I could accept living differently than I had in the past. I was already working on changing for her, and I wanted to continue to do so. My mistake was not saying anything to her when I left. She took it as me not wanting this anymore, and so she packed up and left while I was out.

When I got home she was on her way back to get the rest of their stuff that she could not fit in her car the first trip. We spent some time talking about it and decided on taking a break as opposed to breaking up. She wanted some time to work on her and some of her own issues that were holding her back from giving this relationship everything it deserves. And even though we are good now and we have made some changes in our relationship that do feel good, and are already helping us get on the right track, her leaving was still a bitch. I haven’t felt like that in a very very long time. I don’t feel mental pain like that very often and it sucked. We had been so excited to live together, and in hardly no time, what was our home, felt like my house all by myself.

What are we doing different now? Well our weekends before she moved in were always planned to the T. That was my fault. We aren’t doing that anymore and we are going to go back to being spontaneous so that we can just focus on enjoying our time together both her and I, and her, myself, and her son. She is seeking some outside counseling to help with some of her own issues, and she wants to be a better partner for me. And I want nothing more than to be the best partner I can be for her as well. We did not argue though the process of her moving out, nor did we argue in the short time she lived with me. The advantage we have had, is being able to see our own flaws in this relationship and furthermore we want to improve and be better companions. It means we have done a lot of talking, and these talks haven’t been easy, but they have been fair and understanding for both of us.

So the bottom line is that even though this has been a VERY tough process, we are actually both very happy right now. Our love is just as strong as always and we have NEVER questioned our love for each other. The plan is to work on getting “us” back on track and working through all the details, big and small, so that she can move back in and we can all be happy together as a family. Communication with each other has been the key. I failed by not telling her where I was going when I left Monday morning. But the reality is that had she not moved out, our tendencies that were driving us crazy could have driven us apart to the point that we would argue and wouldn’t be able to just talk about it. We chose a very difficult path…and I say we chose it because the truth is that I could have talked her into to coming back. I could have convinced her to not move out. But I knew that she needed the time to work on her own problems…problems that had nothing to do with us, but were affecting us along with our very own problems. Meanwhile, it allows me time to adapt to a different way of living, rather than feeling like I have to do it over night.

So yes…WE chose a difficult path. But it’s the path that can save us. It’s worth whatever it takes because love like this is hard to find, and a girl like her is like finding a rare diamond in the middle of a corn field…if you do defeat the odds and find one, you keep it and cherish it, because you won’t find another like it anywhere else, especially in a corn field.