Last week Rob and I sat down and watched an episode of Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. This is TV that requires no real brain effort, it has soft furnishings and his fabulous sense of humour which shines through. You might remember him from a previous TV show called Flipping Out or something similar where he flipped real estate in the US (buys, does up, sells all in quick succession) but this new show is much better for him…he is quite hilarious. Anywho, each week he visits a family/couple situation that are struggling with some aspect of their home – hoarding stuff, one persons style only, living in an inherited house etc – and in comes Jeff to fix up the interiors as well as a little personal therapy as well. This episode featured a couple that HATED EACH OTHER. They were married, and yet after a few years of one person not having their needs met, and the other feeling like they were being treated like a child THEY HATED EACH OTHER. You could see the seething anger bubbling up from the wife with every conversation that they had. You could see the husband going out of his way to NOT do what she wanted because she was treating him like an idiot, so I suppose he figured he would act like one. It was a great insight to married relationships. They fixed those cushions, and while things seemed to be on the mend by the end of the reno, I suspect that no amount of soft furnishings will be able to fix the issues that this couple had.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with an older and wiser friend of mine who left her husband a number of years ago. She told me how her husband and her started to have ANOTHER fight, who knows what it was over, but she recalls saying to him that they had indeed RUN OUT of things to fight about, and that they were starting to go back to the beginning of the argument merry-go-round and she was DONE. She wanted off. So she did. She hopped off. Arguments are bad enough the first time round, no point doing it again now is there? Loved that.
I’ve been in relationships in the past where needs are not met and not discussed. You know how when you keep things bottled inside over and over again until one day they breath or cough and you completely lose your shit because OHMYGODHOWCOULDYOUDOTHAT?! You are just so angry, about so much. And it’s not fair on the other person – the not talking about stuff – how on earth would they know that the way they unpacked the dishwasher 4 years ago wasn’t right?
Rob and I are not really fighters. I am getting so much better as I get older to talk about stuff. I think it means I am growing up, or maturing or something. Huh. We fight about shit that doesn’t matter: a knife with vegemite still spread on it left paused on the kitchen sink rather than in the dishwasher. Usually everything is based around my unrealistic and completely unfounded expectations not being met, about him not opening up to me about something, him revving the girls up completely and then walking out leaving me to deal with hyped up feralness, all things that mean nothing, count for nothing in the long run. We’re lucky.
I’m going to try to be better partner, because I pick fights about shit that doesn’t matter. And I really like my husband. I do.
What’s the number one thing that you and your partner argue about?
Are you angry with the way your partner is breathing right now?