Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Prelude to "The Talk"

As a couple becomes more attached to each other, I find that they are also more sensitive to things. They are more easily excited and more easily affected, but they are also more easily annoyed and more easily angered…

…We both know something is wrong, but neither one of us is saying anything.  Both of us think we are good actors—nominees for the Academy Awards, but we are both delusional, because we aren’t fooling anyone. And we definitely aren’t fooling each other. It’s impossible for us to hide things from each other; we can try to put on a performance—change our tone of voice, act nonchalant, change the subject—but we both know the show only lasts so long. It’s exhausting to put on a mask, act a certain way that is not the authentic you. So we avoid each other. We make up reasons why we can’t talk or why we have to get off the phone:   

“Um…I have to get up early in the morning, so I need to go.” (But its only 8 o'clock at night; clearly, I could risk staying awake for another hour or so. 

“OK,” he says. “That’s cool... is everything OK”? (There it is….the question that always leads to a discussion of some sort. Whether it be now or tomorrow or later in the week, that question always precludes a debate.) 

Not quite ready for that debate yet, I answer, “Yep, everything is OK.”   

Clearly, we both know that is not the truth, but we both go with it, because we are both exhausted and aren’t really up to a “discussion” tonight…

So we went to bed. We tried to avoid the situation. Why—Because we didn’t want to argue. Since we are more sensitive to things, something that starts out as a minor annoyance can turn into a major argument about the status of our relationship and where we stand and what’s next for us. This is a conversation that at least one or both of us wants and needs to have, but are waiting for the right moment. To be honest, what’s really behind the sensitivity and the anger and the discontentment is care. These emotions are evidence that we care about each other and care about our futures together. If we didn’t care, the minor things that we do to each other would also not matter. 

These things affect us because the care that we have for each other is strong and hopefully lasting…so that night we avoided the talk, but I’m sure it’s coming soon…

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