Back in May, an old friend emailed me to invite me to a private island he co-owned with some other guys. They were planning to meet up on the island and take on a few carpentry projects to make it more habitable.
What a cool opportunity, I thought – I could learn some useful handyman skills and connect with interesting people. Maybe make some new friends.
I wanted to reply immediately and say, “I’m already there!” The only problem was…
My wedding was three weeks after the date of the trip. There was still so much to do and I didn’t want to leave my fiancée alone for eight days to fend for herself.
Anyone in their right mind would say, “Don’t even think about it, Nick. It’s way too close to the wedding date. Brides freak out about this kind of stuff.”
And of course, I always want to support and help my partner, that’s what a relationship’s about. But it wasn’t so easy to just pass up an experience like this. Still, I was prepared to compromise because I knew the wedding was something we had worked on together, every step of the way.
So I sat down and told my fiancée about the invitation. Before I could really get into detail, she said, “You have to go.”
I knew we had an understanding relationship, but even I was shocked at her reaction.
She continued, “It’s an incredible opportunity. You’re going to have so much fun and meet really awesome people. I know it’s going to be tough without you here but I’ll be fine.”
She supported me because despite how important our day was, she knew this trip was important, too. She knew that nurturing my own happiness was not only beneficial for me, but for our relationship. And so when she also got the opportunity to attend a five-day teaching conference that ended the day before the wedding, I excitedly said yes.
People thought we were crazy.
Many couples struggle to build a healthy foundation because they don’t make each other’s happiness independent of the relationship, a priority.