It’s no secret that going through difficult times sucks. Things feel particularly strange and confusing at the moment with everything that’s going on. Lots of couples are being tested to their limits. Not only because during lockdown they had to spend 28504 hours stuck in a house together (having plenty of domestics) but also because this situation is stressful and at times, scary.
Have you ever had a moment of despair where you’ve felt let down by the whole universe? But despite how crap you feel, a strange thing happens. In the darkest of times, a tiny flicker of light can burn brightly. Your love for someone grows stronger in that moment than it has ever been.
Sure, the happy moments where you’re both elated are pretty sweet. But it’s a light, fluffy sweetness, not a deep connection of lost souls.
When they get down on one knee, you feel a burst of emotion. When you share your first kiss and the first time the words ‘I love you’ leave your lips. We all love the quintessentially ‘happy’ moments. It’s just these aren’t the moments that test you, and turn you into a rock solid team.
If you truly care about someone, you’re likely to feel your strongest love for them when they get knocked down. If you’ve ever had a partner put you back together again after you break into a million pieces, you’ll experience a whole new level of appreciation, gratitude and most importantly, the purest form of love.
Individuals who lived through posttraumatic growth typically report positive changes in the areas of relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, openness for new possibilities, and personal strengths.
Scientists have actually discovered that many of us thrive in the aftermath of hard times. But how do stress and difficulty impact relationships with lovers? Let’s explore.
Tough times make you stronger
Are couples who haven’t been tested even real couples at all?
The best relationships are the ones that are able to withstand all the tests that are thrown at them. You might have moments where you’re both at your worst, and maybe you don’t display a side of yourself that you’re proud of. When you find the right person, they see this side of you and they’re still your biggest supporter – despite all that.
It’s important to remember the tough moments too
Think back to a challenge you’ve taken on with your other half. What did you feel during those moments? If you compare the feelings during tough times with moments of sweet joy, you’ll see how different you felt. You know you really, truly love someone when they hit absolute rock bottom, and you want to hold them in your arms and make it better. So take a moment to reflect on these times just as much as your happiest moments – because they are just as meaningful.
Testing times make you grow as a couple
Peaks and troughs. If you both just sailed along in a straight line with no ups and no downs, well, not only would everything be a little dull – your love just won’t be very meaningful. Every time you get hit with a stumbling block, you tackle it together and either come back stronger, or fall apart. So which is it going to be?
You know you can count on someone
They’re not going to go running for the hills the moment the shit hits the fan. When you go through dark times together you discover if you can really trust your partner. Can they see you at your lowest, still love you, and help build you back up again?
It’s both of you against the world
There’s no better way to feel united. If someone wrongs you as a couple, you come back fighting. It makes you lean on one another in a powerful way. That protective instinct comes in. You clasp each other’s hands and hold each other like you’ve never done before, because nothing matters more than protecting your future and happiness.
Appreciating what you have
When life as you know it slips from beneath your feet and you’re faced with a new reality, you tend to reevaluate your life. It gives you a different perspective, but most importantly, it pushes you to value what you have – in particular, the people in your life. The chances are if you love someone, then after something difficult happens, you love them just that little bit more. And you take the time to appreciate them more. It’s always good to get a reality check sometimes to make us stop and think, hang on a minute, I’m really lucky to have this person in my life.
Hard times help us empathise more
When we experience something not so nice, we tend to develop a better sense of empathy for others going through a similar thing. So if your partner has a setback, you’re able to relate to them and show compassion.
Do you agree? Have you shared difficult experiences with a partner and come out stronger for it? We’d love to hear your stories, feel free to contact us and comment below.
Main image by Kristida Photography.