B and I had a long talk outside of the legal offices on base today. It’s funny, because we were there to find out about changing my name but anyone walking by our car would have thought things were going very wrong for us. They weren’t. We were just working our way through another difficult conversation about nothing.
Marriage seems to be filled with those. One wrong word in a sentence and the other person thinks you’re upset when you aren’t. Underlying issues cause everything to be read differently than it should. Then everyone feels like they’re walking on eggshells just waiting for everything to come crashing down. In the aftermath, you’re left clinging to the other person wondering what just happened. Luckily these fallouts often make us stronger as couples. As long as we keep communication open and keep striving to work out what caused the implosion to begin with.
I know what my underlying issues are. My changing birth control has wreaked havoc on my emotions. Add in stressors like bad weather and holiday travel, no heat in the apartment (yeah, that one was sooo fun…not), and receiving a Christmas package from B’s ex and it’s no wonder he’s walking on egg shells. Everything seems to be a case of two steps forward one step back for me recently. I feel like I make great strides on issues only to get knocked back by silly things.
I’m looking forward to everything evening out. Mostly the birth control. Dancing hormones suck any time of year, not delving into the issue of being newlywed in a foreign country. Or adding the stress of the holidays. And it’s getting there. I’m getting there. It may be slower than I would like, but I’m learning.
One thing I have learned is that I have two phrases that knock B back. They are: I’m fine and It doesn’t matter. I use both as defense mechanisms and I have to stop. Because then when I really am fine or it really doesn’t matter, he thinks it does and worries about what he did wrong. Which causes him to get quiet and me to fret and then we’re softly imploding.
I’m planning on asking him to call me on it when I use those words. I’m planning on not using them anymore. It’s funny-sad because I use them most often when I don’t want to hurt him only to end up hurting him anyway.
They never said this would be easy. But they also forgot to say how awesome it really is. The best part of my day is waking up in his arms and drifting off to sleep with him. Sure disagreeing isn’t fun, especially since we both tend to shut down, but, getting over it together is fun. Acknowledging that I was wrong is hard for me to do. I don’t like being wrong, but, seeing his face when he knows I’m going to work to make it better for us – that’s worth everything in the world to me.
Some things may move forward and back, forward and back, forward and back, but they’re worth fighting for the progress. Because even the setbacks forge us into a stronger unit. The fires of a smelting pit are hot and uncomfortable, but what comes out of it is stronger and more useful than it ever was before. B is the only person I’ve ever met who is worth walking through those fires. I don’t mind the burn. I don’t mind the pain. I don’t mind the tears. Because the man holding my hand is worth all of it and so much more.