What it looks like to be in a healthy relationship, as modeled by my own healthy relationship:
We do not prey on each others' weaknesses. For example, my partner learned that I hate doing the dishes because of my fear of touching wet food. (Bad texture.) Instead of getting angry or making fun of me and forcing me to make myself uncomfortable, she bought me rubber gloves to do the dishes with. Now I can help her with house chores without having extreme anxiety!
We are not hyper jealous of who we are in contact with. Of course, if I was flirting with someone else, she would be upset and jealous, but in terms of being able to enjoy media or hang out with someone I could possibly have an attraction to, she trusts that I will not cheat on her. Since she has that trust in me, I put that same trust in her! This is in reference to say, looking at thirst traps on tic tac or hanging out with a single person we find attractive. We are vocal about our attraction to people. Not in a cat-calling way, but in a "leans in and nudges her when I see a pretty person across the room, waggling my eyebrows like a goofball to which she will respectfully simp with me" kind of way. We are both happily monogamous and plan to remain that way, but we acknowledge that we have various attractions to other people too. That doesn't mean one is going to cheat on the other, as we have a great deal of trust in each other to know we would never take it too far.
We are not each other's therapist. We vent at the end of the day. We tell each other what's bothering the other. But we do not expect the other person to have the answer or to even know how to handle the situation. We both see our own separate therapist in their own separate practices. We talk about what we did in therapy and what we want to work on. We help each other work on what the therapist gives as homework. For her, that might be for her anxiety and exposure therapy for her phobias. For me that might be doing inner healing and working with my DID system rather than fighting it. We respect that the other person might not want to share everything that happened in therapy, and that's okay. We are our own people and are allowed to have privacy.
We do not place financial burden on the other. Nor do we get angry at what someone else buys, even if it's "stupid." I was not making much money and had to pay my student loan bills. She was making good money and could afford to pay all of the bills. I chipped in with the dog's food and toys and the occassional grocery run, but she did not hang over my head that she was paying all of the bills. If I came home with a new stuffed animal, she wouldn't be chastising me for spending money on something I didn't need. Likewise, every time she came home with a new succulent, I gave my showy, good natured eyeroll and helped her find a new place for it. Stuffies bring me joy as much as succulents do for her. Why would we attack each other for something that makes the other happy? If it grew to be out of hand, of course, we would communicate this. But thus far it has not and likely will never.
We never raise our voices at each other. Except maybe in shock. Like a "Babe wait! That pan is not, be careful!" But other than that, we have never yelled at each other. (Have been friends for over a decade and dating/engaged for six years.) When we have a disagreement, we talk it out calmly. It usually ends up like "[Name], I don't like it when you [insert thing here.] Can you please stop?" Or better, "This bothers me about this situation, can we fix it?" Which we would respond with "Oh, I didn't realize that [action] bothered you. Why didn't you say so sooner? I'll do my best to not do that, but please don't be mad if I mess up!"
We are mega-understanding of all mental illness related things, and don't try to constantly relate to the other when our struggles are clearly very different. If I have a panic attack, she has every right to say that she understands how I feel and can guide me down from the ledge, so to speak, because she's been there before. But she's not going to try to relate to having a child alter in a grown body. Or try to relate to having severe childhood trauma. She might giggle a little when I do my hand flappy stims, but she would never make fun of me for it. If I forget something because another alter did it or I just plain freakin forgot, she is never mad at me for it. Rather, she suggests I write it down on the whiteboard on our fridge or make an alarm on my phone so I remember next time. (In regards to a household chore or an errand.) On her end, while I do have some mild phobias of things (namely intimacy, from past trauma) I will never be able to fully grasp some of her phobias. However, I do not make fun of them or try to relate with my own fears. An extreme phobia of bellybuttons is not the same as a fear of sex. Both are related to trauma, and neither is worse than the other.
We don't try to one-up each other or do the opposite. As in, we don't say "well, my situation wasn't as bad as yours, but..." That just makes the person with the "worse" situation feel guilty because the other person doesn't feel like they get to express the true feelings of "this situation really really sucked for me." For example, I have "severe", repetitive childhood sexual trauma. My parents were both abusive. I have a lot of religious trauma. My brother died when I was a child and it destroyed me. Lots of bad stuff, right? She has been through many bad things too. She almost lost her brother to suicide. Her father was emotionally absent. She was bullied in school. Some people might say my situation was "worse" from an outsider's perspective, but we don't compare our traumas like that. I know verifiably, for a fact, that these situations she was in were extremely difficult and it shaped who she is today. Why would I ever say that "Oh, well I had it worse because my brother actually died while yours is still alive." Like...what?? Her brother's drug addiction and suicide attempt shaped her and her views on life early on and if I was going to demean that intense life experience by saying I had it worse...that would be really shitty. And vise versa. If she were to say "Oh, well, my situation wasn't as bad as yours. My dad just wasn't emotionally available. But he didn't emotionally abuse me like your father did." That would just make me feel guilty about my situation. It's never good to compare traumas, even if one does seem "worse." Everyone has been through hard times at one point in their life, and at that point in their life it was really hard no matter how little it might seem in comparison to something else. (As a lame example, a drug addict parent vs. a natural disaster. Two completely different things that are each inherently traumatic in their own way. You could never compare the two in a way that makes sense.)
We don't hide our true feelings. If someone is upset by something, they say it. If they are overwhelmed by something, they say it. Because of some of my past trauma, I am hyper aware of emotional situations. If I think she's even slightly upset, I read that shit like a book and will very often question my own thinking and overthink and get anxious. Then I meekly ask if she's upset and she just blinks in surprise and says no. She knows this about me and so is very vocal about her true feelings behind something. If she is upset about something, she tells me. Not in a rude or mean way just an informative way.
We set boundaries and keep them. She is a hypersexual person. One of our alters is but the rest of us are not. We have firm boundaries in terms of what we do in the bedroom at what time. She never tries to guilt me into doing things I don't want, and this sexual alter does not try to force sexual relations at bad times either, as much as he likes it. It's consant communication and trust, and both are aware that consent can be revoked at any time, even if we are lifelong partners that live together. A less serious boundary is my distaste for taking photos of myself. I can grin and bear it, but she knows it makes me uncomfortable, so she doesn't try to force me to be in photos or to take selfies.
We do not expect the other person to always want to be around them. This is mostly in regards to me. I need alone time. While I love spending a lot of time with her, I still need my space. We will often be in adjacent rooms doing our own thing because we are allowed to have time away from each other. Or if I want to go to the store or an art gallery by myself because I want space, she is totally fine with that. While we are soon to be married, our lives do not singularly revolve around each other and we are allowed our own time to ourselves.
You learn to let some things go. Sometimes things will really annoy you or bother you. But you sometimes have to just let it go. For example, she likes watching youtube lets plays and twitch streams on her phone. Like, all the time. With no headphones. It used to really freaking piss me off. Then I realized that she moves around a lot in the house, either doing housework or doing other activities she enjoys like sewing or baking. She has bluetooth headphones, but in passing she once mentioned that it hurts to wear it for more than a couple hours. Then I realized I had my own damn headphones. Pop those bad boys in and play my music on repeat (haha stim) and I'm good to go. She gets to enjoy something, I get to enjoy something. We turn them off if we want to talk to each other. We watch the streams together sometimes, depending on the game. If I would have yelled at her about it or told her that she was annoying for doing that, I know that would have made her feel bad and self conscious. If I can keep her from feeling that way by just putting some headphones in, I will gladly do that! And if I am overstimulated and need Silence, I tell her and she puts in her headphones. Easy!
Lastly, and this one is specific for DID systems, she knows she does not have the same relationship with every part of me. There's 20+ people in here. She's dating three of them. In a sexual relationship with one of those three. She is like a mother to the children and a best friend to others. The ones attracted to men admit that they enjoy their romantic relationship but aren't actually dating her. The three of us that are dating her have learned to co-con together. (Three in the front was hella hard at first, but it's gotten easier with time) so we can all spend time with her. Sometimes we give each other space to spend time with her alone. i.e. one of us will front and one be half-co and the other off doing whatever in the inner world. She has a special relationship with all three of us and loves us each individually and together. She knows we are the same person technically, just different facets. She knows if we ever fuse (which if anyone did eventually fuse, we would likely be the first three to do so after perhaps the kid parts) she wouldn't be losing anyone. Hell, she knew the three of us existed separately long before the host did. She just thought it was different sides of the host's personality. Once she noticed the extreme memory issues and dissociation, she knew it was DID probably about a year or two before we were diagnosed. However, when it was brought up it was vehemently denied by the host as something foolish or fake. Looking back on it makes me laugh because of how obviously I was showing symptoms, but I was firmly rooted in denial at the time. Either way, she has always been supportive and aware.
If any of you have things you want to add, feel free!
Yi-jin, your love is deep.
I am loving you, Na Hee Do. I don’t need a rainbow.
After the endless screaming, crying, and giggling after Yi-jin’s beautiful confession of love and respect to Hee Do, I am so much inspired to write my thoughts about their relationship.
After hearing those words, I kept asking myself, what kind of love Yi-jin is saying? Then, I realized that I underestimated Yi-jin’s feelings for Hee Do. Throughout all these episodes, Yi-jin has kept a boundary with Hee Do making sure that it will not become romantic in nature, but it was all along love for him, and no better episode can express this than episode 9.
It doesn’t need to be romantic and physical in nature, it can just be about sharing happiness, providing comfort, supporting one another’s dreams, and caring for each other. At least this is what I felt about how Yi-jin is showing his love for Hee Do, especially in today’s episode. From smiling like his usual self because of Hee Do’s, “I have to have you” confession, to being vocal, serious, and sincere that he doesn’t want their relationship to fall apart just like that, how he kept emphasizing that she should trust him, to making sure that Hee Do wouldn’t be hurt and to being this mature rookie reporter who seamlessly says “no” to his superior because he wanted to be a good reporter because of Hee Do. Yes, dear 2521 fam, he sincerely loves her. When we thought that no one can top Hee Do’s confession of, “I have to have you”, Yi-jin did by straightforwardly answering Hee Do’s question that it is love for him.
May I also emphasize how he repeatedly said that Hee Do must trust him and how he wants Hee Do to answer him if she trusts him—because at first, I really thought it was just because he was being protective as an older “guy”. But it was just not it. He wants to be trusted by Hee Do because he wants her to learn that she inspires him to be better at his job and to be a better person in general.
When Hee Do’s mother said that he should keep his distance from Hee Do because he’s a sports reporter and when I saw how much Yi-jin really cares for Hee Do, I got worried a little bit because I thought it would harm them both, especially him. However, what surprise me was how he showed maturity in the best way possible. His affection and special relationship for Hee Do doesn’t harm him but leads him and inspires him to be better just as what he said to Hee Do in the confession scene. We also see this in episode 4 where he’s very vocal on how much Hee Do gives him hope.
So, yes, I love that kind of relationship built on a very healthy ground.
When Hee Do got hurt because of the reenactment of the simultaneous touch with Yu-rim, Yi-jin’s action proved that man is mature enough and his love for Hee Do will instead lead him to pursue better judgments. Like how athletes not just Hee Do could be injured and who would be responsible if that happens? My man is really smart, brave and very mature to against his senior. I mean, how can I not fall in love with him? I really hope for the best for these two.
So, when it has been love for Yi-jin? Can we really be better judgers at that? But since I love silly theories, I’m guessing that it was on the whole time they were apart and when he had a talk with his mother about that love that inspires each other to grow. Yi-jin already knew.
I cannot be sure of what will happen in the next episodes, but I do believe it will still be like what they are doing right now—pursuing happiness together just with acknowledged feelings of affection and respect for one another.
Gosh, I am so happy.
Also, Yi-jin knows that Hee Do’s prettier side is her left side! Please, I love them both.
It’s really not “Saranghae, Na Hee Do”, my mistake, sorry! Also, the real translation is, “I am loving you, Na Hee Do”.
Here’s also a very good twitter thread to understand even better his confession, it translated a korean article about the nature of Yijin’s confession and the meaning behind, “I am loving you” and why it is even more special than, “I love you”. ♡