It seems like every month, we are embroiled in the same “discussion,” which inevitably turns into an argument, and if we go down the well-worn path, eventually becomes an ear-splitting match.
Talking over each other’s voices, we battle it out in an attempt to be heard. The more we try to explain ourselves to each other, the farther apart we push each other. Still, we persist. We want so badly for each of us to try to understand where the other is coming from, but we can’t seem to do it at this moment.
You think, If only she would just listen. I wonder, Why isn’t he listening?
We talk way past the point when we should have stopped talking. I have to take the blame for that. I don’t know when to call a timeout. I truly believe the more we talk, the better our chances of finding common ground. But that has never happened on this particular subject matter. And, I’m not sure if it ever will.
As the night wears on, I see your face get weary. You top up to cope—Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels soothe you. I turn to my friend Google. I pour over relationship articles, voraciously scanning them for solutions to our current predicament while at the same time silently cursing myself for once again not handling things in a more mature way. I try to implement strategies the experts suggest, but they never seem to work that well for us. Are we so far entrenched in this cycle of negativity that we can’t dig ourselves out of it?
You feel as though we are doomed to repeat this cycle for years to come. The same argument. The same accusations. The same frustration, hurt, and disappointment. Followed by the same tension that always looms like a thick fog in the air for a few days after.
You’re fed up.
In moments like these, I start to wonder if we made a huge mistake by choosing each other all those years ago.
Would we still choose each other again knowing how callously we can sometimes treat each other in the heat of the moment?
My mind races. My head spins. My heart hurts.
You don’t like that I always spiral down this path of thinking, and neither do I. Yet, sometimes I can’t stop myself. I pictured us having tough discussions and figuring things out together in life as mature adults would. I never imagined we would be slinging shots at each other, turning into rivals, and fighting over what seem like trivial issues.
But it’s never really about the issue we’re actually fighting over, is it? It’s never actually about the dishes. It’s always about something deeper, something lurking beneath the surface that we’ve somehow missed. The dishes are just the tipping point that sends us over the edge.
What is the underlying issue we’re missing here?
I often find myself pondering this very question whenever these instances come about.
A few hours have passed now, and I’m exhausted. The fight in me is gone; the fight in you is gone. I want to reconcile but things feel so awkward, so contrived. How is it possible that someone who knows my most intimate parts and has seen me at my most vulnerable feels like a complete stranger to me now?
I don’t know how to approach you. I have no sincere words of apology to offer just yet. The peace-maker in me may want to patch things up, but the stubborn side of me isn’t ready to give in first.
I am at a loss for how to make things right between us.
Perhaps then, there is really nothing to say at this moment. Like all married couples, we’ve weathered a bad storm, and we’ll weather more down the road. And although it may feel like we’re the only married couple going through these storms, it only seems that way because no one ever truly knows what goes on behind another couple’s closed doors.
But I take solace in the fact that I know you won’t go running in the other direction, and you know neither will I. We don’t have to say this to each other, but we know it to be true. We’re both in it for the long haul, on this journey of marriage together that can be as arduous as it is rewarding.
Maybe then, that’s all I need to really know at this moment. Tomorrow, you’ll still be here, and tomorrow I’ll still be here. Can we talk then?