I never thought my parents had an incredibly loving relationship. They fought a lot. Neither one of them were very good at communicating their wants and needs to each other. They were guilty of being terrible listeners. Neither wanted to compromise.
It was a marriage of convenience in my eyes. My dad needed a pretty housewife who didn't need him around all the time since he's incredibly busy with work. My mom wanted independence and financial stability. My mom said she was too realistic to marry for love.
What they shared in common was their love of their children. Once we left the nest, I was worried how they would co-exist.
I revealed to them last year that I was in an interracial relationship last year. There were definite reservations from both my parents but one of my arguments was that I wanted a relationship with love.
My dad was very defensive and argued that what my parents had was a loving relationship. I argued that all I saw them doing my entire life was fight and tolerate each other's company.
In retrospect, I have to admit that my judgement came out slightly harsh.
I was discussing this with my younger brother the other day and said, "Don't you think our parents are getting along much better now?"
He nodded and said, "I think they are learning to communicate better and to accept each other."
They've been spending more and more time with each other. It seems that they are finally learning each other's quirks and their relationship has deepened.
I received an e-mail with photos of their recent excursion. On the weekends, my dad loves to go hiking and he'll persuade my mom to join him. My mom doesn't really like being outdoors but indulges my dad's interests.