Why Do Healthy Relationships Need to Bend?

Any healthy relationship is built upon trust and communication, without it you are doomed from the start. Those two items you should never compromise on, yet it’s the little things that are just as important.

You know, the cap on the toothpaste. The money handling, the kid raising, the cooking duties, and all the rest where we get tripped up and build resentment or complacency over time.

Those little things can kill you and your relationship. So how do you overcome them? You overcome them by being flexible, by being willing to bend.


I’m going to share with you a photo of my wedding band. If you look closely you’ll see a callous where my wedding band rests against my hand. It’s been there for 17 years and counting.

I’m sure you’ll notice that it’s not a perfect circle either. It’s worn and misshapen and looks like it’s seen its share of life, and I’d say you’re 100% right. It’s seen happiness, joy, sadness, and anger. It’s a symbol of my relationship with my partner and our journey together.

It all started when my partner and I got engaged and flew to Macau to visit her family. I was to be formally introduced to her family and of course evaluated for mate suitability. After all, I was the first non-Chinese suitor in their family and they wanted to know if a white boy would make a good mate for their daughter and sister.

In case you were wondering, we hit it off smashingly and I was welcomed with open arms into a very traditional family and culture.

We had set a date for the wedding, just over a year in the future, and decided to buy our wedding bands locally.

Two unconventional people, with two unconventional wedding bands, living an unconventional life together.

I don’t remember how and why we decided on this particular ring but we went with the white gold option. We engraved each other’s names in the band and tucked them away for the wedding.

After the wedding, we began to notice that our rings would bend, they molded themselves to our hands. We both started to develop a callous on our hand in the exact same spot.

These bands were real white gold and gold, if not hardened, is actually quite soft and pliable. Our bands were not hardened. In other words, we have very unconventional wedding bands.

One day my partner suggested we get new wedding bands, ones that were harder and less likely to bend. I told her “no, I like these just the way we are,” and how they remind me to bend in our relationship.

Two unconventional people, with two unconventional wedding bands, living an unconventional life together.

Any long-term relationship will see its share of disagreements, fights, explosions, and drama. No matter how similar you are, you are still distinct human beings making a choice to be together. It’s just par for the course that the connection will never be 100% perfect, and that’s a good thing.

Why do you want to match perfectly anyways? There is so much joy in the journey of discovering your partner, why not take that journey?

My partner and I are not perfect people, and we realize that.

My partner and I, over the course of the last 17 years have had our ups and downs, our fights, our disagreements, but through it all, we have always come back together.

We chose to bend because all that is good in our relationship and life is so much better, so much sweeter, together than it would be apart.

To bend means not to take a hard-line stance on anything. To bend means to be willing to listen and acknowledge that you, yes you, could be wrong.

To bend, like a reed in a storm, means you will outlast the mighty oak that is felled in a raging storm.

To bend means that you shape yourself and your partner into something better. To adjust and overcome whatever obstacle you face together.

My partner and I are not perfect people, and we realize that.

Our rings aren’t perfect circles either, but most importantly they remain intact.

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