Marriage is really hard. No; really really hard.
Even when you adore your spouse, they light up your world and make your heart ﬂutter in that funny way, marriage is still hard work. Never more so than when you disagree on something and have diﬀerent ways of working that out.
My way of working out a disagreement is to talk about it, put my side across in a calm and eloquent manner… and this, no matter what the subject, is enough to send Adam into a feral rage. He fucking hates it. Really hates it. He sees me as patronising and condescending, as trying to twist his words and trip him up. I’m not – well, actually, if we’re being honest here I am sometimes and I’m REALLY fucking good at arguing ( #DebateSquad2002 ) which is, I have to admit, a quality I ﬁnd useful when talking to Susan at the council who wants to ﬁne me for parking the wrong spot but NOT so positive during spousal disputes – but it’s how he sees it, and my attempt to talk it out simply aggravates the situation.
Adam’s way is much more simple. He builds up his annoyances, his frustrations and anger and then ﬂips his lid like a Pringle tube in one of those annoying af commercials. Let me tell you, once you pop you really can’t stop, especially when you’re Adam. There is shouting, hollering, raging and quite frequently stamping of feet and banging of ﬁsts. He turns into a giant twatty shouty person, and since we’ve all been that raging giant teat at one point or another, now imagine yourself in that frame of mind with someone saying to you “Could you please calm down, you’re behaving worse than your children and I would love to discuss this with you like a proper grown up, so when you can be one, come back to me.”… I know, I’m always shocked he manages not to combust too.. He gets to the point where he’s let all the little things rage on internally that he just pops and it often ends in him stomping out of the house for a few hours whilst I sit at home and fret. He proceeds to sulk for days, whereas if I sulk I’m given the “ugh, look we’ve discussed this, that’s the end of it, turn that frown upside down” and I somehow, *somehow*, manage to avoid punching him in the throat and feeding him to Yoda in chunks.
There are the odd occasions though where I have screamed back, pre kids, dropping the attempt to discuss things like grown ups and it’s ended in a much more rapid exit than usual, harsh words that still sting many years later and get trotted out like the nice cutlery once or twice a year as a “well you said this in 2009, maybe you meant it you giant WANG.”
Arguing with your spouse is exhausting and when you’re in your early twenties I genuinely think you have the time and energy for it, or we did anyway. We would argue all the time, but now, I will be honest I just don’t have the inclination… and I’m becoming less be-angry-and-discuss and more store-it-up-swallow-it-down-don’t-piss-him-oﬀ-it’s-not-worth-the-screaming-match-you-aren’t-that-bothered-anyway… but I am sometimes. Not good is it? Not good at all.
Don’t misunderstand me. I call Adam on his big bullshit and I’m not afraid to do so. If you are then I think you are encroaching a territory where you have a relationship that is unhealthy and perhaps needs a bit more thought as to why you are both there and should you be. No, I’m not afraid to trot out anything that bothers me, more that I can’t be bothered with the drama of me trying to rationally (and apparently patronisingly) explain what has pissed on my chips – cricket, football, the lawn mowing, the kids school forms not being done, the fact that it’s my job still somehow to sort out passport forms, the fact that I feel like a mug for YEARS of being the stay at home parent and doing EVERYTHING but appaz that isn’t what a stay at home parent does, he’s not a errand boy, duh – I build it up. I push it down and hope that the tipping point doesn’t arrive where I really want to discuss it because I feel less Pringle top and more giant motherfucking volcano about to erupt and throw shit. Solidly mature solution to just keep whittling away at life and occasionally grip my mug a little bit harder than I should.
You have to talk about what pisses you oﬀ, whether you want to or not, but when talking to each other makes the situation worse, it’s a tough one. Communication is key, resentment and stone walling are toxic – something I’ve always pointed out to my beloved husband as a natural stone waller, and yet here I am becoming very thing I really dislike the most about him (and it’s ok to dislike things about each other, if Adam is honest I know he dislikes things about me, but what I like and REALLY like farrrrrrr outweigh what I don’t like.)
There comes a point at which the cheeky bum squeeze by the tumble dryer is going to lose its eﬀect if you can’t use your words and chew it out like big peoples. I like my cheeky bum squeezes and in amongst the moments of irritation and feeling hard done by, I can’t see with Crystal clarity that I adore my husband and we’re in it together.
There isn’t so much a conclusion to this post so much as a friendly reminder to myself that it’s ok to argue, you have to argue from time to time and we all do it in diﬀerent ways. When we stop being bothered, that is when the real issues start in a healthy relationship.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bone to pick with my husband…