Sam: “I’ll do the washing if you do the washing up.”
Andreas: “Done. And I’ll phone the plumber, if you get the insurance claim on the car going.”
Sam: “Aw, no fair. The plumber’s nice, and the insurer’s going to be rude about how often we ding the car.”
Andreas: “I’ll throw in the project on Egyptian snakes and – this is a one-time offer, you understand – I’ll supervise clarinet practice for an entire month.”
Sam: “Grief, you really hate the insurance folk, don’t you? Done.”
Ah, the heady romance of it all.
The truth is, while I’ve always loved Andreas, I now NEED him... in a highly practical, not just physical, way. And when you’ve intertwined your life so inextricably with another’s, well - the concept of ‘the unforgivable’ becomes interesting.
Let me explain.
When I was 18, I remember telling Andreas that if he kissed another girl without telling me, I’d put all his books in his car and stick a lit rag in the gas tank. (It was the very meanest threat I could think of... and pretty good too, if you consider this is a guy who now runs a bookshop.)
Now that I am 37, with 2 kids, a bond, 2 dogs, a cat, a house with ridiculously temperamental wiring and a fair selection of ‘comfy’ pants... well, if I came home to find him in bed with the neighbour; in all honesty? We’d have to have a serious talk.
Because I’m sure as hell not throwing away this whole intertwined life on a fit of pique.
Of course, I’m being flippant. In all probability, our relationship wouldn’t survive such a breach of trust; but I’d be lying if I said it would be the total dealbreaker it was when I was a teenager.
Of course, this is all speculative, and for all I know... I am talking out of my arse completely. But I still find the idea of shifting ‘the unforgivable’ goalposts interesting, and I hope you do too.
Which is why I’d love to hear from you. What do you consider unforgivable in a partner? What have you forgiven, and was doing so a good or bad idea? Have your own ideas of what is ‘unforgivable’ shifted at all, due to age, circumstance or experience?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.