I don’t remember my parents fighting. Ever. I know that they must have…. and I’m sure they hid it from us kids, because that’s what good parents did back in the day. Like anything else, they did what they thought was best. On one hand, it was a good thing. We knew that they loved one another. There was never any shade of doubt that they were going to be together forever.
But, the flip side of this is that my brothers and I never learned how to argue. Particularly me…. girls should be pleasing. That is what I remember about growing up.
I don’t really know how to argue. I get my feelings hurt… I get angry… I get scared… I eat every bit of my feelings… quite often, literally.
It bottles up inside of me until I can no longer hold it, and I either start behaving in a passive aggressive manner, or I make sarcastic comments that swipe at the other person. I bait them without really thinking about it.
It is only now in my forties, that I am really starting to get my arms around this… To begin to openly and honestly communicate my feelings, even when they aren’t so pretty. To trust ( or try to trust ) the other person to be strong enough to handle my truth… and to care for me enough to talk/work through it.
That is a scary thing.
One of my biggest regrets in my marriage, is that we didn’t really fight. The only major argument I can remember us having is the one which preceded our separation. I often wonder why that was. Did we lack passion ( did we not care enough to fight ? ) Did we not know how? Did we not even know the words– the last one is probably closest to the truth.
What I do know is the silence became deafening…overpowering…. and ultimately full of secrets and lies that we couldn’t recover from. Unspoken truths are lies of omission in a different shade. That shade is death.
I look back a lot, so that I can move forward in a healthy way. I look back so I can see how far I have come… and so that I can see the light in how much farther I want to go.
And one of the roadblocks for me to freedom… to the love and life of my dreams is my difficulty in communicating what I perceive to be negative thoughts and feelings. Ugly truths.
Lucky for me, I have friends who model this for me… and with me. Even luckier, I have a friend who is a therapist, and who calls me on my crap when I need it.
Oh, it’s no fun at that moment. Nobody likes hearing unpleasant things about themselves… but what I am learning is that it makes me grow, and teaches me to be a better person. I can only hope it makes me a better partner when the time comes.
What I want more than anything, is a partner who knows who I really am. The good and the bad…. and who loves me for all that I am, and despite all I am. Who makes me a better version of myself….
and who shares ALL of themselves with me.
I want a partner who has enough passion for me and our relationship to fight with me… for me.
I want real love. Forever kind of love. Not the fairy tale everything is perfect kind of love… the messy, hard, and real kind of forever love.
This is just one more step towards that love.