Yesterday, D got upset with me. Two things usually set him off: when my “tone” is aggressive, despite me having good intentions (eg. When he went out during the tail end of the hurricane to pick up fallen branches, but the wind was still blowing pretty strongly. My response: “What are you doing??!?! Get in the house!!!” His response: “DOn’t yell at me!”); and when I accuse him of some character defecit (eg. When I say things like, “you’re not understanding me,” or “You probably should have seen that one coming,” or “It seems like you might not be very in touch with your emotions…”)
Granted, no one wants to be yelled at, nor told that they’re doing something wrong. But sometimes, he’s a litte too senstive. Hell, he’s dating an Italian woman. I thought my “tone” was colorful 😉
Anyway, so last night, he was very upset because his group of core friends from high school (think “Bill Chill“; if you’re younger think “Old School“) attempted to plan a turning 40 party for one of their other friends, and kinda included D, but kinda didn’t. The upsetting part is that D is turning 40 too, a day after this other friend. For starters, that wasn’t acknowledged in any of the correspondence. Then, when they decided on a time when they could all get together, they ended up changing it, later, to a time when D couldn’t go. Needless to say, he felt hugely snubbed. And so I comforted him as best I could. “Those guys are self-centered assholes, and they’ll never change…” I said. “Yeah!” He agreed. “How dare they leave you out when you’re just as much a part of that group as anybody,” I said. “Yeah!” He agreed. And then, “But darling, you shouldn’t have any expectations of them because they do this all the time!” With that, he snapped at me too. Suddenly it was, “You’re not helping any. “In fact, you’re making things worse.”
“How so?” I asked. “It’s the truth. Those guys can’t be trusted and you should know that by now.”
“I don’t need to be told, ‘You should know better’ when that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a little upset right now and have a right to be upset.”
“Sure! You have a right to be upset. I’m not trying to take that away from you. But doesn’t it help to be reminded that this is nothing personal? That you’re in control of having expectations of these idiots or having none, based on knowing their history?” I mean let’s be realistic, here. They do this all the time.
“No, it doesn’t. Because while I have no expectations of most of them, I do have slightly higher expecations of some of them.”
The conversation basically went on like that, but I ended up feeling pissed off myself that as soon as I state a fairly obvious truth, D gets angry with me.
D and I don’t bicker. And we don’t get into many arguments. But it’s these moments when I feel he doesn’t quite understand my intention. And that bothers me. I never mean to hurt. I never want to tell him that he’s wrong, no good or bad at something, and so when he thinks that’s what I am doing, I feel hugely misunderstood. On top of that when he calls me out on it, it makes me feel attacked.
I mean, is it so wrong to want to draw attention to someone’s own part in their upset? Is it so wrong to want to help them place some of the blame on themselves? Heck, this is what recovery is all about, isn’t it? Removing blame from the PoA and placing it squarely on our own shoulders. And yet, I am beginning to realize that not everyone in the world is in “recovery mode” and not everyone wants to accept blame for something they clearly believe they didn’t create or do. Events are done unto people. Period. And there is no personal responsibility for it. And if there is, it doesn’t always need to be mentioned. Is this right? I guess it is. On a scale of human behavior where one end it total insanity and the other is complete self-awareness and good health, I consider D to be pretty close to the emotionally and mentally healthy guy. A real marker of “normal” if ever there were such a thing. And yet, at times like these, I kinda think he’s being a big baby.
I wanted to post this for its inconsequentialness. This is what healthy relationships are all about. A healthy balance between two totally different, unique individuals and their personal idiosyncrasies. The “Im right”; “No, I’m right” moments we cannot avoid simply because no two people think alike. So, I’d take this any day as opposed to the extreme imbalance, drama and love-sick insanity and confusion of my past!
But I’m still right, right? 😉
8 thoughts on “He’s right, she’s wrong (or is that vice versa?)”
Of course you are!
Ha! You rock, Lola…
This post reminds me of a chapter by Susan jeffers in ‘Opening our Hearts to Men’. The concept of it was ‘always right but never happy’.I read it before I went into recovery for LA so that was putting the cart before the horse. Now I look back at that book I read so many years ago when struggling with LA and understand that I could never have been happy whether right or wrong. I seem to rememer that one of the ways to address such an issue as you had with D, is to either let him escape into his cave to console himself (men are from mars, women are from venus stragegy) or simply to say when faced with a ‘right ot wrong’ issue, ‘would you like a cup of coffee darling?’…..(susan jeffers stragedy). I think either way sounds good, but could a feisty woman like me ever get to that point? Maybe not. LA recovered, co-dep aware and recovered, Im wondering how much of our true selves cannot be educated out. Just a thought. x
Hmm…a feisty girl like you will definitely have problems co-existing with another “I’m always right” feisty partner. And I think you’re right. We cannot change who we are inherently. To a point. But we can figure out new strategies to get a long better with people and I guess mine would be date people who are more tolerant of your feistiness and tend to let you be right. We are different with different people. Look around you and see who in your circle you are most calm with, who you bicker less with. That is the personality you most likely need close to you.
Dear Lovely, as always, I look forward to your insightful reply. I cant imagine finding anyone normal never mind anyone who would let me be right….Tall Order!…But I do ‘get’ what you mean. However, After only 6 weeks on your lovely web site, I have learnt that I can go back to University to take on a 2nd Post Graduate course WITHOUT the painful existence of LA in my life.I can get back into studying (Philosophy/Law) WITHOUT the worry of which asshole is going to interupt my studies with his avoidance, lack of care etc and me ending up running after the asshole to figure out whats wrong with ME. Thanks to you and your beautiful gift of sharing all of this, I now know how to avoid the avoidant, I even know how to avoid avoiding myself. You are heaven sent to all of us and I look forward in earnest to my ‘new life’ whether I meet someone or I dont. The fact is…..at last…..I met ME!…and ye know what….Im ok….x
WOW, riotgirl. You just totally blew me away. Congrats on all this great progress! Keep it up, girl. YOU are your best investment.
you are right!