Looking for the holes.

November 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm 2 comments

It’s been a pretty laid-back weekend. I successfully slogged through my take-home exam for interpersonal communication and am confident I earned an A, and rewarded myself for my diligence by drinking too many egg nog lattes yesterday afternoon and today, as well as half of the contents of two bottles of wine last night while I watched PCU with some friends. I was not excellent company, but I did my best, and still my bad mood and the wine contributed to a stupid spat with my husband that ended with him sleeping on the couch.

We don’t argue very often, but when we do, it’s typically over something insensitive or asinine one of the other said or did under the influence of alcohol, which makes the whole thing all the more lame and unnecessary. Today we spent a good amount of time apart, which was helpful, but I always feel so bruised and tenuous after we fight, probably because it’s so infrequent.

I know couples argue, but we really seldom do, and we’ve never had what I would consider a fight. We don’t yell, we don’t slam doors, and we don’t call names in a fit of rage.Β  People have said things to me in the recent past to indicate that this is somehow freakish, that if you have a passionate relationship, you fight, that yelling and name calling and door slamming and/or object throwing is somehow par for the course in a romantic relationship, or the couple is unsustainable.

I agree that it would be unsettling to be with someone for any length of time and not get annoyed or even a little pissed off from time to time, but the implication seems to be that relationships in which the couple doesn’t fight are doomed to failure because they lack passion. They lack drama, sure, but I think it’s a bit unfair to say that if a couple doesn’t engage in screaming matches or door slamming, they must not feel passion for each other at all.

I feel immense passion for my husband. I love him fiercely, strive to make him proud of me in ways I never have with anyone before him, and I care intensely about helping him realize his goals as much as my own. But I have never once felt so angry with him that I felt I would say something we’d both regret, and it doesn’t feel unnatural, like I’m bottling things or that I back down. I just have never been that angry with him. Nevertheless, I’m given the impression that this makes me an aberration.

I admit it’s strange, only because I’ve never had that with anyone else, nor have I loved anyone else as much. Regardless, I refuse to let it worry me or start a campaign to pick fights in order to comply with the norm.

I’m sure there will come a day when I’ll have to eat my words. We’ve had it pretty easy so far. We have no mortgage or pets or kids to complicate things, but I’m sure, in time, at least one of those things will change, though almost certainly not the latter, and with those complications will come disputes that are not so easily resolved. We will say things we don’t mean or wish we could take back. But, for now, I’d rather appreciate the calm and comfort rather than get mired in looking for the holes.

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Entry filed under: marriage.

ROFL I don’t have to drink myself into oblivion tonight!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. deni  |  November 12, 2007 at 7:14 am

    We don’t fight with all that drama either. We just get real quiet. And then real mean. But it’s a quiet kind of mean. I hate fighting. Also I probably cry.

    Reply
  • 2. Ed  |  November 12, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Eileen and I have only had a couple serious knock-down-drag-outs in the almost 15 years we’ve been together. Most of that rarity comes from not sweating the small stuff, not needing to be right all the time, and both of us being nondrinkers. We also have a set of unspoken categories where by default her opinion wins out (usually dealing with aesthetics) or my opinion wins out (usually dealing with functionality).

    Also, we go out of out way never to make ad hominem attacks on each other. We both have histories of verbal abuse in our backgrounds, so we agreed very early on in our relationship that we would not do that because it would be an unfair exploitation of the other’s weakness.

    Verbal violence is still violence, and we don’t want that.

    Reply

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