How to Declutter Your Relationships

flame throwerA good sign of when a relationship needs a good decluttering is when there is a huge communication breakdown. Are you reduced to sending an e-mail to someone who is physically sitting in the next room? If the answer is, yes, then there is definitely a problem. Yesterday while in the depths of anguish and “what the hell happened to us, and why are we fighting” I e-mailed Hubman an article called “Cold shoulder, silent treatment do more harm than good.” Bazzinga! Take that, I may suck at communication at times but I can search better than you can.

We tend to have these showdowns at the Not So OK corral when fighting. It ends up being a game of who can suffer through the isolation the longest. I always end up thinking things like ‘Bubba, I am the master of handling lots of pain for extended periods of time. Forget getting shot at, try giving birth, Rambo!’ But does not help either of us individually or our relationship.

I assume he read the e-mail because he appeared at my office door with a death grip on his coffee cup, eyes wide and asked “So do you wanna talk, or what?” Not exactly a graceful entrance, but I have to give him extra points for his excellent dismount from the high horse upon which I remained firmly seated. At least he took action. I was still pouting away in my office wondering if it was possible to drive to Mongolia and if so, how long it would take.

We started with the basics, “you interrupt me all the time!” He was mad at me for getting mad in public. (this blog) Actually I was flattered for a moment. You mean that my blog is important enough to be considered ‘in public.’ Cool! Er uh, I mean… I’m really sorry, my intention was not to paint you as the bad guy so much as I was trying to make a point about interrupting people sucks on multiple levels.” But  I could see and understand his point of view and knew that I hurt him.  I countered with “well my blog is mainly about marriage, if marriages were perfect, there would be nothing to write about.” Furthermore, I’m not good at suffering in silence. As a matter of fact I think I’m the noisiest sufferer I know. When I had my son I didn’t emit a few dignified groans while a nurse dabbed at my forehead with a cool cloth. Oh hell no, I screamed bloody murder.

So, just for the record I want everyone to know that I do love the Hubman with all my heart and soul. He is my best friend, companion, and cohort in mischief. When we are not getting, along it’s a horrible alone type of feeling that is difficult to describe. What do you do when you need to cry on your best friend’s shoulder, but your best friend is in the other room temporarily hating you?

Maybe I need a contingency plan. I need a bevy of best-ish friends. Best implies better than all other options. But I need someone to go to for help and tea and sympathy when my best friend option is not available.

Anyway, we talked a lot yesterday. I think my tongue has blisters on it.  Or that may just be that I drank my coffee too hot this morning. We talking about doing things together, traveling together, setting aside time each day to talk. I aired my grievance that so far, he has refused to go with me to a town near here and eat the world’s largest donut together.

We squabbled about the cat and then the cat litter box and took it all the way back to the beginning. Since I didn’t want a damned cat in the first place, why was it MY job to clean the litter box. That box is the very reason I didn’t want a cat in the first place. Been there, done that, scooped enough poop to last a life time.

Then we moved on to “chores,” I don’t do many. There really isn’t much to do in this department because we have a housekeeper, but there is still plenty to scuffle about. He asked why I never do the grocery shopping. My response was “there are many mornings I’ve woken early and decided to do the shopping but…I can’t …read…your writing.” It’s tiny and illegible. I even tried one time to decipher it with a lighted magnifying glass, but that didn’t work either.

Wandering around trying to match up missing items in our larder to this list doesn’t help. This whole list thing is hard for me to begin with because I never really used lists for the grocery store before taking up residence with Hubman. For me, “we need to go shopping!” = we’re out of food. For Hubman, “we need to go shopping!” = uh oh, we down to our last 50 gallons of milk. For the first 50 years of my life grocery, shopping was reserved for when there was something that I wanted to eat bad enough that it was worth going to the store for. Otherwise it could wait. I can subsist on cheese, crackers and the occasional apple for long periods of time. There are no growing children in this house to nourish so what’s with all this rush?

So we ended up airing quite a few grievances yesterday and made a decision to make more time for each other. I’m hoping we made some progress. Ain’t love grand?

6 responses

  1. At least you care enough about each other to keep trying!

  2. I’m glad to see you’re talking again. It’s a start. That’s what it takes. The communication lines have to be open. The problem with my second ex-husband and me was that he refused to communicate–at all. I remember going through an exercise at my therapist’s office with him. It was quite simple, really. I made a statement about what I needed from him and he was to repeat it verbatim back to me. He could not do it. He had to put a spin on it. No matter how many times the therapist told him just to repeat what I had said, he could not or would not do it. There was no listening, no real communication. So he stopped listening and stopped talking and lived in his own world until he got tired of me. That was no way to live. Your way is much better. You have your best friend who doesn’t always agree with you, but at least you talk. And you love each other. That’s what counts.

    1. Wow, he sounds like one messed up individual. Glad you got out of that.

      1. Me, too. Although I didn’t think so at the time. I now realize his throwing me out was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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