Here's how it goes.
HE goes out every few weeks with the guys, has some beers, comes home a little drunk. SHE doesn't care, puts the kids to bed, or pampers herself, talks on the phone. . .whatever. She has her space.
SHE goes out once a month (at best) with her girlfriends, gets drunk. At home, HE'S doing the same kinds of things, putting the kids to bed, puttering, what-ev, but is obsessing about her, and the fact that she's OUT withOUT him.
He knows she's not screwing around. He knows she's not going to cheat. He knows she's crazy about him. But he's freaked.
What's that about and what does that make him?
SHE says to him, It makes you a freak, man! Quit your worrying. You're not my mother.
HE says to her, Your mother doesn't look like you. You're so hot. You're gorgeous. Those guys are all hitting on you. Two of them gave you business cards! What's that? They want you to call them. And you flirt back, you take the cards! (He's seen her, he's been at the same table, they do it in his face).
BACK UP, RIGHT? If you've been reading my other blog T. D.'s Annecdotes, Rants and Occasional Lectures then you know I think that intimacy is key, and if conflict is going to be constructive, it takes patience, time, and work.
But when people get emotional they find it hard not to interact in ways that might shame them later on.
So she says, You're a freak! Translation: You're over-reacting.
He says, No. I'm not over-reacting. You're rape bait. Look at how you dress!
She says, You're a perv if you think that way. No one thinks that way. You have a sick mind.
Again they're back in conflict mode. Not very intimate, right?
So how DO you get out of a loop like that where you're fighting and nobody's wrong and everybody's right. Agree to disagree? For starters. But taking the time to argue well is where it's at. I'll write much more on that another day.
Copyright TherapyDoc, 2006