On Saturday, my partner and me had an argument, which is out of the ordinary because we rarely fight. We’ll have disagreements. We’ll have tiffs. But we rarely raise our voices. We try and be civilised grown ups about these things. We’ve learnt the value of communication and we try and put it into practice. We’re adults. Uh huh suure.
Well, weekend before last, my partner fractured his ankle in a freak trampoline dodgeball accident (yep, there’s a story for you!) and this was his first weekend in a cast with crutches. He was understandably downcast. We’re both huge summer bunnies who basically live at the beach come summer plus he’s booked a day on the harbour on an amazing boat for his 30th and he was worried he might still be in the cast by then. PLUS, to make matters worse, we live in the least accessible apartment on the planet – in the middle of a steep hill and then two internal flights of stairs. Things were looking grim for him.
I was battling my own demons that day and, although he asked me what was wrong, I wasn’t really willing to talk about it. Mainly because I knew I was being unreasonable and what I was upset about wasn’t anything I had any right to be upset about. It wasn’t anything to do with him but, without me communicating and telling him what it was, he assumed I was pissed at him. Mainly for having a fractured ankle and ruining my plans of an active summer spent dancing in the rain and skipping through fields of clover (no, not really but yeah kinda).
I’d been messaging a friend throughout the day and he suggested we go out. I jumped at the chance, not wanting to be cooped up in the house any longer. My partner had previously given his blessing for me to go out on my own if he didn’t feel up to it but, when I suggested we go out, he agreed. However, the problems began when I blitzed it to get ready and asked (a few times) how much longer he’d be… Cue misunderstanding, disgruntlement and general unpleasant vibes. As they say, hindsight’s a bitch.
My not speaking up had made him feel like I was upset with him. Because I was caught up in my own problems, I hadn’t really shown much concern for his broken ankle predicament. And even though I tried to pretend I wasn’t contemplating going out without him, I am a dreadful actress and he could see through that like a pane of glass. I felt bad. He felt bad. We all felt bad and then we talked about it. Through communication (yep, that old chestnut!), we were able to see each other’s side of the issue and things were resolved positively. We both went out although I went out first and he joined us later.
I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible at communicating, especially in a conflict. Even as Jared was talking to me, I felt myself wanting to clam up, to go on the defensive or just shut down. Thankfully, enough of me knew that was no kind of solution. In fact, it was the worst kind of solution. It’s a terrible feeling, having an argument and wondering if it will be the last and not in a good way. I can see how easy it would be to let pride and emotion get the better of you and forget what’s really important. Luckily, we handled that shit like adults. Yeah, maybe damaged and slightly fucked up adults… but come on, we got there in the end. Give us some credit, this shit is hard.
Image credit: Whisper