We've actually been very lucky, 4 years on and we're honestly not a couple that really fights. We bicker like children, but it's never a dramatic thing we're bickering about - it's just part of how we get through day to day.
I'm a stress-head and spend most of my time in a state of partial stress, Sean's very good at de-fusing that and bringing me back down to the ground with a bump. He's the child-like one between us, constantly bouncing about and spreading hyperactive joy. While I'm the grump, always grinding on about cooking, cleaning, work... It's a wonder he puts up with me so well. I have to actively tell myself to stop it, stop acting out, stop grumping at him when it's not about him at all.
Sean told me, earlier on when we were dating, that he doesn't actually deal with his emotions properly. He squashes any negative emotion down into a bottle - that eventually will overflow and explode but there isn't a time-limit. Four years and less than a handful of real arguments, we're honest with each other and our relationship genuinely works.
I don't know what the trigger was but June 2015 the bottle finally exploded. Not in a nuclear explosion but in a wave of discontent which rippled discord throughout our way of living. I lived with it, commenting on it but not receiving any particular guidance on how I was meant to deal with it. It's difficult when you're so used to one way of being and suddenly you're not the one with the emotional breakdown, you're watching and feeling your partner go through it but the communication isn't there to explain it. So in classic Sophie style, I had a tantrum about it and told Sean all the reasons he must be upset in a vain attempt for me to understand why. Did he want to break up? Was it a relationship problem? Why was he angry at me? What had I done?
24 hours later, Sean had finished processing the barrage of comments and questions I gave him the night before and began talking. I realised how much fear there was, we both went through the process of "what would happen if we broke up?" in our heads - we had mechanic contingency plans for what we had to do. But neither of us wanted to break up, we were just prepared for it if we did... We were more prepared for that than putting a plan for the future down.
That scares me, that we put more thought into the negative than into the positive. Does that mean something's wrong with our brains?
One thing I can't wait for... is everything going back to normal. I don't like having stress at home and I love Sean - let the clouds blow over.