- Mrs. Cheese
- 11 years ago
- Wedding: May 2020 - Our home and the two acres it sits on
One week before our wedding, I called my mom at midnight to tell her that I didn’t think we’d be getting married. I’m telling you this because I know how you feel, and I know how this happens, and you’re not alone. I honestly thought we couldn’t recover from the lines we’d drawn in the sand, so to speak. He slept elsewhere, I cried to my mom and cuddled with the dogs, and I wasn’t sure what the next day would bring.
I don’t know if you read my posts, so I’ll just give you the quick version: we had a tough engagement. Very rocky. We’re both pretty independent and happy with the way we do things, and adjusting for someone else has been incredibly tough. We’re both stubborn, we both think we’re right, and we both feel everything very deeply and passionately.
I can’t even recall what that fight was about… which is strange, right? I do know that I screamed and pushed him when he stood in the doorway in what I thought was a menacing way. I also know that his tendency is to flee when we fight, and mine is to force us to stay engaged. When he leaves, I feel abandoned. When he’s forced to stay, he feels cornered. In fact, when I realized this, my world view changed. I did a series of posts on it that I can find if you’re interested.
When he leaves to get his head together and recover, I have to repeat to myself OUT LOUD: "He will be back. It’s okay. You’re not abandoned. He will be back. Life is in constant flux. It’ll get better." I give myself a timeline and that comforts me. "If in 24 hours you still feel this way, then deal with it." I also use self-imposed waiting periods when we’re talking about something that he feels strongly about. If he gets upset and retreats, I give myself three days before I can bring it up. Have you ever seen how dogs play fight? Well, how they fight fairly? Well-adjusted dogs will engage, and if things get a little bit too heated, they’ll pause and become perfectly still. Sometimes that’s enough and they’ll play again. If that’s not enough, they will often give each other actual physical distance for a b it, then they’ll try again. That’s what I try for when we have arguments.
I want to engrave my wedding ring with the word "BELIEVE" because it’s what I struggle to do when things get bad – believe they’ll ever get better.
Getting married hasn’t changed our relationship dynamic, but it has significantly lessened the pressure to change and plan an event and impress our families. It’s a constant learning situation, and one that we accept and work on every day. I don’t believe that this was a deal-breaker for us (obviously), but that’s because we both understood it and agreed that it was a heat-of-the-moment problem, not a commitment problem.
Mr. Bee gave you some great advice about how to deal with him, but mine is more about something I think I might see in your responses: try very very hard to use your head to remind your heart, when you start to feel abandoned, that it can get better.
Oh, and one more thing: the toughest thing is to not stand on principle, but also not feel like you’re giving in. So, when I want most to wrap my arms around myself and turn my head away, I don’t. That’s a physical response to stress, and I know that that protective instinct won’t get me anywhere. On the other hand, when my head tells me something like, "If you just agree this will go away," I know not to listen. Make sense?
Last thing: when he last threatened to move out, I moved his stuff out for him. This was all in the heat of the moment, and I was trying to prove a point to him. With a little bit of distance, I realized that I was overreacting, but then I didn’t know how to recover from it. I’m telling you that it’s possible for him to move his stuff out and yet not really want to move out.
Good luck. Keep me updated. Hugs.