Horse #3: Famine
Lucky for us, the chances of our Fast Food Nation experiencing a full-blown famine are pretty much nil. But with the economy tanking, a lot of us did feel a dearth of employment and the accompanying loss of income. I work at home, so when my man briefly lost his job last year, it was stressful because suddenly we were both in our tiny apartment 24/7. I’m not going to lie—it wasn't easy. There was a lot of yelling the first week, but eventually we got into a groove. He'd go for a mid-afternoon walk; I'd meet up with friends in the evening. We gave each other a little space (there ain't much to split up!) and when he eventually landed another job, I actually missed him a little.
Horse #4: Death
I discovered I was dating one Mr. Wrong during my mom's brief illness, which was quickly followed by her death. We were laying in bed one night and I was crying. I'd just found out that my mom's cancer—which we hadn't even known about a couple weeks before—was so advanced the doctors weren't even sure whether it was "worth" operating on. I guess my sobs were keeping him awake so he asked me why I was crying. I was heartbroken and scared and said, "I’m afraid that my mom is going to die."
His reply: "I don’t know what you expect me to do about that."
In sharp contrast, my friend Heather had just started dating her now-husband when her dad fell ill with the cancer that would quickly kill him. John was everything my ex wasn't—kind, supportive, unbelievably empathetic, and did I mention, supportive? His strength and love never wavered during the entire sad experience and three years later, they remain one of the happiest couples I know.
Revelations: So, yes, while none of these scenarios are particularly pleasant (especially Ikea!), turmoil and strife can not only show you what you're made of, but help you weed out the unworthy and appreciate the gems.
Written by Judy McGuire for The Frisky.