Friday, November 24, 2006

tension

We had an incredibly tense day while we were away (I know it wasn't that long ago, but my only reminder is my peeling shins - ewww). We both woke up grumpy, and it was one of those out of sorts days for both of us. Ironically, it was the day with the best weather we had the entire time, and I hold it completely responsible for my sunburnt shins. Of course my inability to correctly apply sunscreen had nothing to do with it.

It was one of those days where there were great parts, but the tension was still there, and things just didn't click. We decided to do some laundry and potter around in town and then have a quiet dinner back in our treehouse before going out for a couple of drinks. Didn't quite happen. Neither of us knew where the laundromat was in town so we drove around a bit and didn't find it. Rather than go to the information place he decided to park and then we would just walk around looking for it. We walked around for a couple of blocks without any success. I'm not sure about anyone else, but my idea of a good time does not include wandering around an unknown town with a bag of my dirty clothes in 30 degree weather.
It was one of those angry walks (mmm ... Jason Isaacs on the TV .... must focus...) where 2 people are walking together fast, not speaking, and obviously not happy. We ended up standing on a street corner "discussing" where the laundromat (be still my heart, Alan Rickman just appeared) was and what was going to happen. I've never had a public discussion like that before - my voice got raised and my hands were flying all over the place. I don't think I was making much sense - I seem to remember saying that he could go and do his laundry wherever he liked, but I was going to get a cab and go home, and I thought it would be a good idea if I slept on the balcony in the hammock. Straight into the martyr fight pose - not one I like, and not one I'm proud of.
The tension wasn't helped when we got back to the car, and discovered that the laundromat was across the road from where we parked, and we had completely missed it in our angry walk. We went and started the laundry and then he decided he was going to go for a walk. Much as I never wanted to see him again, I was even angrier being left alone with the laundry, and then having to get it all washed and dried. He used the magic trick of managing to reappear right as everything was washed and dried, having finished all of his family gift shopping. Not amused - me, as I didn't get to get mine finished.
Being the mature adults that we are, we both went the silent treatment at each other all the way back to the treehouse, except for me giving directions (boasty moment, I'm better at navigation!!), generally left here, next right, straight ahead. Silence continued once we got back to the treehouse, and I ran away downstairs to have a cry in peace. He decided that it was a good time to go out and fill the car up with petrol, and then I just lost it - had a bit of a yell, mainly about being left alone with laundry and selfishness. Back to silence, and not a happy one. Him, the angry brooding silence, which I really don't cope with well, even though I'm very good at it, me, the pouty, sulky silence, which generally means that I'm sitting there thinking "why aren't you asking me what is wrong", "can't you see that I'm upset", "why aren't you psychic, why can't you see that I'm pissed, and try to make it better". I've never been one for high expectations really.
Eventually, still in daylight hours, he decided to start telling me how he was really feeling, and had a bit of a yell. One thing I have learnt from experience is how much he hates to be interrupted, so I just let him go. We are both very good at bottling stuff up, and then I tend to yell, he tends to be angry and just cut everything off. After lots of talking, and more crying from me, we eventually managed to resolve it all. I sometimes think that me crying is unfair, because I know that he really hates it when I cry, especially when he can't do anything to fix it, but at the same time, I don't want to bottle up tears when I feel like crying. I did it for 20 years or so, and it doesn't help.
I'm proud that we worked through it all in the same day, and I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons we were both so tense and the fighting actually happened is that we were both testing the boundaries of the relationship, seeing if the other wanted to use it as a get out of the relationship card. I think we both still have times that we are scared, and occasionally wondering if this will really work. One of the things that I'm really happy about is that we agreed way before we get around to getting married (his threat of December 29 is past - we don't have time to get the paperwork done! That and he still didn't get around to asking properly) we will go and have pre marital counselling. I really think it is essential - I'm scared of divorce, and the pain that it causes, and I've seen it rip mine, and too many other families apart. I think that if we can learn better ways to deal with issues and conflicts it is definitely worth doing. I don't want him out of my life - and the one thing that I was scared of when we were fighting was just that.
I first wrote this post nearly 3 weeks ago, when I was still very emotional, and way too close to it, so I have been editing it over the last week or so, so please forgive any disjointedness and epicness.

1 comment:

velvet girl said...

Relationships are tough. At one wedding ceremony that I went to, the officiant said there would be times when they loved each other, even if they didn't like each other very much at that particular moment.

All the married people laughed. He said that the ones who were married the longest tended to laugh the loudest at that one.

It's true. Relationships take work. Good luck to you both.