The fiance’ and I have a history of what I like to call “loud adult discussions.” I never exactly learned those valuable relationship skills- having calm, rational conversations about issues, planning to take action, and changing behavior in response. I blame it on growing up in the WASP-y est ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away household and a personal aversion to the slightest discomfort. I would rather say “nothing” a thousand times when asked what’s wrong than talk if given my druthers.
Unfortunately, the fiance’ expects me to be a grown up and actually, I dunno, ask for what I want and tell him when something he does bothers me. This strange request has given me no small amount of angst. I want to be one of those enlightened Oprah-fied women who speaks calmly and goes to therapy and relates to her man in language he can understand and “I feel” statements. But, what I really want to do when the going gets tough is hide and cry and be all stiff-upper-lip and martyred. As you can imagine, this makes me a delightful person to be in a relationship with.
I’m trying, though. Friday we sat down and I actually calmly said what was bothering me. And he listened. And after thinking quietly for a few moments, he said I was right. And apologized. And I felt like I had invented sliced bread. Because this grown up communication thing- it’s pretty great. And it saves me a lot in Kleenex and drama.
Besides, the grown up I live with really enjoys living with another grown up. Which means Saturday’s time on the couch was a whole different kind of grown up. Adulthood has its advantages.