It seems like it should be easy. Man is a social animal. Relationships should be natural.
We’ll they’re not, and the sooner you can let go of that, the happier you’ll be.
People who work on their relationships, especially when they are extremely difficult, are heroes. When relationships are difficult, when two egos with overlapping pathologies are constantly mud-wrestling, it’s either going to be ugly or incredible. Because when you survive a battle like that, and come to embrace your opponent (with or without makeup sex), you both grow.
Fighting is typically very healthy, especially if you are both learning and growing from it. In contrast, avoidance is fertile soil for resentment.
You are either in the ring or in the stands. And no one gives a hoot about the people in the stands.
I just love this quote from President Teddy Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.