3/01/2008

Drama, bloody drama

I feel like I shouldn't even put this in words here, but I suppose I can take it down at some stage if I feel I've said too much.

Do any of you ever wonder if you've made the right decision in choosing to be with your spouse or partner? Admittedly, it is largely post-fight that this thought pops into my head, but that has to do with the fact that so many of our arguments centre around, or are exacerbated by The Dude's inflexibility, stubbornness, and my fear of his anger.

When referring to his anger, I don't mean that he lashes out and abuses me in any way. He is very short-tempered and is inclined to get upset very quickly, and stay that way for an age. I find that in our relationship I tiptoe around certain issues such as money and family, so as not to upset him. I don't know why I do this, aside from the desire for an easy life. I'm not a feeble woman who yearns to please her man at all times, but it is so draining to deal with the repercussions of a fight. I have so little energy to do much beyond what is expected of me day to day, I can't be asked to assuage the rage of the hypersensitive and melodramatic amongst us.

The Dude is very financially responsible. He monitors our bank accounts with eagle-eyed awareness, and makes most of the money-related decisions. This happens for two reasons: he's left-brained, type A, and deals with numbers for a living, and I am very right-brained, type B, and allergic to anything resembling a digit. We are comfortable, both of us are on good salaries, and for the most part we agree on how we like to spend our money.

I feel as if I need to run most money-spending plans by him. I think this is because of his tendency to fly off the handle too easily, hence I avoid anything which may lead to that happening. He seems to think I do this because I know he has a better idea of bank balances than I do. This has been discussed ad nauseum, but we forever remain deadlocked. He thinks it's odd that I go through such efforts to keep him from getting upset, as he apparently views himself as some sort of laid-back, wherever-the-wind-may-take-me kind of guy, which is beyond hilarious to me. I am defeated by his intractibility, a barrier to ever admitting that he may be wrong. Please spare me any trite, "Well, that's men for you!" comments. I feel so beyond that right now.

In happy times, we joke about his short fuse and my tiptoe-ing. When it's exhibited, I wonder how I will endure this for a lifetime. Presumably money is always going to be the tender which makes the world go round, and my Mom, the other direct path to marital disagreements, will hopefully be with us for awhile, so I have a long time in which I will have to feel the way I do now. I do wonder sometimes how wise it was to marry someone so completely opposite to myself. My stomach hurts writing that, and the stark reality of that statement is something I don't like to dwell on.

Sorry to resort to the melodrama that occasionally plagues this blog. I can't get in the car and just drive for a couple of hours like I used to, so I'm afraid you are my replacement. My apologies.

14 comments:

Kristi said...

I think it's completely normal to question the choice of a partner post-fight. If it's any help, I married someone in many ways the complete opposite of myself too (he's laid-back, patient, and a people-pleaser. I am decidedly not). And we have many, many fights over his passivity and doormat tendencies.

But, I fear the couple that doesn't fight at all. It's those relationships that are probably the most screwed up, if you ask me.

Becky said...

The Daver and I are not complete opposites, but I sometimes (usually post fight, like you) tend to wonder if I've made the right choice in partner. I think it just happens like that (I mean, unlike family, you DO get to choose your spouse).

No one gets along all the time, and I think we all have issues that we tiptoe around in order to maintain the peace.

I'm not an advice giver by any stretch of the imagination, but I can assure you that I have been where you are (this week, even), and in some way, I understand.

Marriage sucks sometimes.

May said...

I don't think it's possible to share your life with someone and not clash from time to time. In my opinion, the good marriages are the ones where you accept that the things that irritate you about your partner are part of their character and that you can't blame them for them for the rest of your lives. (I'm still working on finding that acceptance, but I try!)

Rachel said...

This was a good post to write, if for no other reason than it's good to hear "you are totally normal about this."

You obviously married the guy for a reason (maybe even two reasons), and that was enough to make it seem worth the other wacky bits that come along. Then you chose to procreate with this man, and you, unlike most, had to endure all kinds of agony to produce your rad little baby. That requires a certain amount of dedication to each other that I'm sure a lot of couples don't have.

So perhaps when the Dude is back to his less-angry self, you and he could sit down and hash it out a bit. It seems that he's aware that he goes off half-cocked from time to time, so perhaps he would be open to at least talking about it and maybe you could come up with a communication style that will help you both out.

As for the feeling of having to run money-related decisions past him, I totally relate. As a SAHM, I don't pull down any salary, so any money I spend on myself comes with a big side dish of guilt. The guilt is purely in my own head, since I have been reassured time and again that it's "ours" but you know....... sigh.

Relationships obviously are worth all this angst, but it sucks while it's going on.

electriclady said...

Simply: YES.

And let's not forget how having a baby not only increases the frequency of such doubts/fights (stress and sleep deprivation, anyone?) but makes them so much more fraught. As in, not only do you look at your spouse and think, "God, how did I end up with HIM?" but "Now we have a BAYBEE together, I am tied to him for LIFE! I can NEVER GET AWAY!"

As I was saying to a friend the other day (and she wholeheartedly agreed), "It's the hatred of your partner that's the really special part of having a baby." And you're never allowed to admit it, that's the worst thing of all.

sparklykatt said...

Yeah, I've had those thoughts myself. Actually, have had them more since getting pregnant and having the baby. It sucks.

Meg said...

I love what Electriclady said.

Pru - if it's any consolation, it's relieving me to read your post, becaue it shows I am normal. Post-fight, I am virtually ready to go to an estate agent to rent a flat. I'm surprised I never actually did it.

I think all (most???) couples have recurring issues of one kind or another. We all have individual baggage after all.

Thalia said...

Oh yes, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. It's one of those dirty little secrets. So sorry to hear things are stressful. When things are easier, you will remember why you love him.

Sassy said...

Your very brave to blog about this. I do ask the question as well. So far he's lucky that I love him as much as I hate him. When that gets out of balance is when I'll worry.

At the same time we have friends who never fight. They both want a divorce and resent each other but won't talk about it because they don't want to argue. Now that's fucked up.

Caro said...

Completely normal to question your decisions post fight. You know,I remember some major fights between my parents when I was a kid. But they have been happily married for 40 years, fighting is totally normal in my opinion.

Anita said...

I echo everyone's comments about this being normal. Sgt is a pretty laid back fellow where as I tend to take on the whole world. It's lead to some pretty good fights that left me wondering why I married him.

Our opposite personalities help some days. In the end I know he's the one best suited for me.

Vacant Uterus said...

Oh sweetie, you are totally normal. I have known Sarge since the age of six and most days I adore the man. But there are days when I wonder if we are well-matched and if we have it in us to go the distance. There are some things we are just SO DIFFERENT about. I wonder if I'd have been happier if I'd said no and waited for some other guy; someone who maybe cares a little more about his appearance and likes to do manly things around the house like, say, lawn maintenance and building repair. I know in the end, there's no one better suited for me. Sarge is the right choice. But I still wonder some days, what if...

None of that may help you. I just don't want you to think that you are alone.

Portlairge said...

Hi Pru:
Just diving in with another aspect.I've had 2 glasses of wine so this is making perfect sense in my head right now. I don't want to offend. This is not a criticism of cultures, rather a general observation. As an Irish woman married to an English man who has lived in America for 16 years, I notice that Americans are much more straightforward about how they are feeling. They can have a discussion about those feelings and in general there are no hard feelings- they move on (I'm talking generally here people)Irish and English people in my opinion are not as well able to deal with criticism- I don't know what it is- I am that way myself and living here has taught me to take it and move on (somewhat- B might not agree :-) ) My Dad flies off the handle (in a non threatening way-much like you described the Dude's reaction)really easily and in retrospect I think it's because he can't process the emotion so he hides behind the anger because in general it makes him not have to deal with that emotion or that issue- do you know what I mean??? or should I just stick to one glass of wine in future?? Anyway suffice to say that in our house- I'm more like the Dude and B is more like you. I'm sure he wants to leave on a daily basis but thankfully he hasn't yet.I don't know what you can do to change it- especially as you joke about it in non angry moments- so he is aware but maybe he doesn't understand. Gawd- I better shut up.

Anonymous said...

totally normal. May I make a suggestion? In my world, I'm the type A and dh is the one allergic to digits. I try to be sure that he has $$ to spend that I do not question or have any control over. Maybe you can agree on an amount that is totally yours that your budget/spouse agrees with?
and yes, it is much much worse w/ a new baby.
nycreb