Thursday, October 12, 2006

Love Thursday: The Very Serious Edition

I read a post last week that is the embodiment of one of my biggest fears. It shook me then, and it's still rattling around in my brain, so I guess I need to write about it. Lucky you.

The details don't matter much, so here's the gist: husband and wife have stressful weekend, get in fight over who gets to do what he/she wants and who gets shafted. She's angry that he shut down instead of talking about it. He accuses her of not knowing when to stop. She throws something at him, misses and breaks a window instead. They scuffle, yell, trade "I wish I'd never met you" sorts of words. They take a break for a few hours, life goes on.

...get in fight over who gets to do what they want and who gets shafted.

I read this entry with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I have had this fight on a number of occasions. Over stupid stuff, over important stuff, you name it.

...he shut down instead of talking about it.

I read this entry with my heart pounding in my chest, the adrenaline clearly kicking in, because I have sooooo been there. A lot.

She throws something at him...

I read this entry, nodding my head in agreement, because I have wanted, so desperately wanted to throw something at someone in the middle of one of these encounters, but it's a move that is ever-so-much more effective in person than on the phone. But there were MANY TIMES that it was a tough call. In my mind's eye, I could see the phone slicing through the air, in slow motion, about to hit the floor with a sharp crack, preferably with pieces flying in several directions.

I read this entry and noticed my inner turmoil -- relief that I'm not the only one who finds herself in these situations and reacts this way, coupled with the disheartening knowledge that it will happen. Again. To me, to others.

I know exactly how she felt. I know it would eat at me, too. The frustration of not getting the support you want/need/deserve from a partner? Been there. In a match-up of my needs vs. your needs, sometimes there really is no compromise position. The refusal to discuss the issue? Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. (Also, the hour-long discussion of the issue that resolves exactly nothing? Oooh, boy, been there, done that, wrote the freaking book on it.) The seeming hopelessness of the situation is tough to bear.

A lot of relationships wouldn't make it past this kind of fight. A lot of relationships shouldn't make it past this kind of fight. And even the ones that do, how can they not harbor a little kernel of doubt that maybe it should have ended? And -- oh god – how do you handle this when you're already married to the person and ending the relationship isn't as viable an option as when you're just dating? (I believe, in my mental ramblings, that this is where I started shaking.) What then?

I think this is when you reach down, and find the best, most forgiving part of you and look for the best, most redeeming quality about him, and you take a lot of deep breaths, and you move forward. goes on.

And this, then, is love.


At Thu Oct 12, 08:59:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find your churning hopeful...some relationships that should'nt make it past those kinds of fights do. Fear, safety, convenience? Whatever the reason, it always happens when you both stop churning about those issues.

At Sat Oct 14, 01:51:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Sara U. said...

Something I found out only after being married is that fights after you're married are different from fights before. Granted, Joel and I have never had any really serious, awful fights, but when we have misunderstandings or get irritated with each other, what I've found happens is I sit and seethe at my computer or in the bedroom (or some place where the temptation to smack him one won't be too great!) and what always happens is I realize, "you know, I'm stuck with this person. I may be horridly mad at him at the moment, but I've got these rings on my finger and that's a commitment I take seriously. Now, why did I get those rings in the first place?" and that generally leads me back to all of the reasons why I married him in the first place. And that usually ends up calming my anger and making me more ready to forgive fairly easily. So, at least from my limited experience, fights with your husband are somewhat different from fights with your boyfriend _because_ you know that it's not going to result in one of you leaving the relationship. You know it's going to eventually result in some sort of making up.


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