When you are in a relationship, especially a long-term relationship, misunderstandings ca happen a lot. When both parties in the relationships come from families that do not communicate their feelings well, misunderstandings happen all the time.
I’ve been with my girlfriend, fiance actually, for almost 13 years now, we’ve lived together for 11 of those 13 years. I love her more than anything and because of that everything that happens between is more intense. Our happy times are euphoric, our sad times are devastating, and our anger is hot and impassioned.
We can move from one emotional state to another quickly and without warning. Often we find ourselves unsure of exactly we got wherever we are, especially when we fight. It’s never about something big or something easy to define. We never fight about money and jealously is a rare problem for us. Instead it seems to always be some small misunderstanding.
I think these fights can sometimes be be harder to resolve than the big ones. These fights are so often reoccurring and leave both parties feeling defensive, exhausted, and confused.
It always starts with something that has nothing to do with what the fight ends up being about. It starts because one of us is making us both late to an engagement, or maybe one of us had a bad day, or maybe both of us are stressed about work. Whatever it is it’s set of by the wrong words, a weird tone, a bad look, something that gives one of us a reason to start some shit and release the anger building in us.
We don’t do it on purpose and the thing we choose to make a big deal about is often nothing more than a misunderstanding. Nothing more than a negative perception of something the other person did or said. The other person tries to explain but it doesn’t go well. One gets too defensive, the other feels invalidated, which escalates things.
The argument twists and turns, eventually it becomes about how things are being said and not about what is being said. We move father and father away from the possibility of a resolution as the problem becomes fuzzier and fuzzier. We both say things the wrong way, we both yell and cuss. Next thing you know we can’t tell who is right or wrong or how to fix any of it.
All we know is the other hurt us and we are mad about it.
After some time to cool down we eventually get to a point where we can try again we do. We try to explain ourselves and our intentions and remind the other that this was all a misunderstanding. Sometimes it works right away, and sometimes we have to go through the cycle another time or two, but eventually we get there. We come to an understanding.
I wish I could say that it happens less and less over time but the truth is quite the opposite. More and more we misunderstand each other, more and more things are taken personally.
I really think it’s because we love each other so much. It’s because of that love that any negativity felt from the other one hurts more than from anyone else. We fight because we have to show the other how much a roll of the eyes, or a condescending tone, can cut us.
We also fight to defend our love for the other despite the eye roll and the tone. We want the other to know that while we might have gone about things the wrong way, we didn’t mean to cause such a big fuss and we cerrtainly didn’t mean to cause any harm.
We misunderstand each other all the time. Those misunderstandings lead to hurt feelings, which get expressed as anger, which is then misunderstood as an attack. But in the end, we love each other and we always work it out.
In response to July NaBloPoMo prompt: Tell us about a time when you were deeply misunderstood. How did you fix the situation?