“I am going to be mad at you for the rest of my life,” Cheryl Strayed said during a disagreement with her husband.
Amused by her statement, her husband wrote it down and stuck the note on the refrigerator, where it sat for a decade.
I first heard Cheryl describe this scene on the Dear Sugar podcast. She mused that at first glance, the statement sounded like perpetual rage. Yet when she looked closer, her intent is that she chose to be with him despite the rage. That there is nobody on earth that deserves that rage, that anger, that disappointment.
And to me, that was a beautiful sentiment.
Relationships are messy. Long gone is my former belief thatÂ love was this magical thingâ€”the kind where two people spot each other from across the room andÂ bam, a spark rumbles into a rolling fire. Besides the fact that this moment never happened to me (if it did, it certainly was not mutual), IÂ learned that persistence and endurance is what matters in relationship. In the face of conflict, it is the partner that one can blame. Because simply put, the partner is there. They witnessed all the drama, the rejection, and failure, how can they not be partially to blame? Because they were present? Of course what I mean by that is they chose to be present and not to leave at the sight of conflict. That the nuance in all of this is the madness of persisting and enduring. That we chose one other to be mad at for the rest of our lives. Because without that other person, nobody will ever know that we existed.