As an attendee of a Catholic college (shout out to you Bennies!! You know who you are!)...I was required (well, not I myself, but, you know, everyone at the college) to take a certain number of theology credits.
One of my requirement fulfillers was a course titled, "Marriage, Family and Spirituality"...and, certainly, one of my favorite classes! I also think I learned the most valuable information from this class (aside from, of course, my nursing classes...in which the information was pretty valuable too!).
The lesson that is still clear as a bell in my mind, was one about marriage (imagine that, a lesson about marriage from a course titled, "Marriage, Family and Spirituality)...about the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows. Our instructor taught us the "Dark/Light" aspect of relationships.
If you imagine your relationship a series of peaks and valleys (or is it vallies?) the valleys are the Dark times, the peaks are the Light times. Of course, since this was a theology course and all, we all know WHO helps us in those Dark times, and that it is HIS light in which we are basking when we are in a Light time!
It is entirely normal to have these cycles in your relationships...expected, really. Sometimes the Dark times last longer, are deeper...and, conversely, sometimes the Light times last longer and are higher.
It is this "theory" that has gotten me through tough times in our marriage (and who doesn't have those?)...times when Mr. Wonderful isn't quite so wonderful (well...he's actually still wonderful, my perception of him is what's less than wonderful...and it's a two way street regarding his perception of me). When times are tough and our relationship tense, what gets me through it (besides communication, understanding, and heavy drinking...kidding!! Really...kidding!) is knowing that what we're going through is normal...that we are just in a "Dark" time.
I can almost feel it, as we start to climb out of that valley...up, higher and higher...'til we're back at the peak. Sometimes that peak is more of a...a butte, if you will. Not much of a peak, but just a plateau of "betterness", and sometimes those peaks are sky high! Same as the lows, the valleys. Some lower than we've ever been, and some just a slight decline from the peak we were at.
I comforts me, this knowledge I gleaned from my favorite class. It's kinda like "riding out the storm" when I recognize that we're in a Dark time...sometimes it take a bit of rumbling, complaining, arguing for me to "see" that we're in darkness ('cuz, you know, it's hard to see when it's dark, right?!)...and when we arrive back in the Light...it's just all that much more brilliant!