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ReallyBigIssue® subtext:

I handled certain aspects of our relationship badly. The biggest one is how I communicated when I was unhappy, or when there was a conflict, or just in general.

This bugs the shit out of me. I thought we communicated well. What we actually did was we *talked* well.

Core problem for me is that I did not have a handle on how I was feeling, or what I was thinking. When something bugged me, I didn't necessarily recognize it. Or if I did, I didn't deal with it.

If I consider the possibility that I may be in another relationship, that is still an issue. I don't want it to be an issue. So I need to learn how to handle recognizing my feelings in whatever context they come, and being able to express those feelings and communicate them to my partner in a whole and healthy way.

That goes for positive feelings as well as negative ones.

Problem is that any relationship takes (at least) two people. And the dynamics of that relationship are going to be different with two different people, and will also change even with those two people.

I don't feel capable of doing that. I don't feel that I have enough of a handle on my own feelings and thoughts to effectively be able to communicate. I don't feel that I have the capability to handle conflict well enough yet to be a good partner in a relationship.

So until I get a better handle on that, I am out of relationships.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)
I don't think that handling your feelings has to be done either all at once, or before beginning a relationship.

When Gunthar and I started seeing each other, I was pretty well a mess. A lot of times, I would bury my feelings until they came out unappropriately in other situations. I recognized that, and did some work on it (as in, when I started yelling about something that didn't merit that kind of anger, I started looking for the real reason I was angry.)

I think that feelings have to be handled when they come up. The only time you can really focus on how you feel about something is when a situation comes up that involves it.

Give yourself a break.

You and Barb didn't talk about how you felt with each other. You recognize that that is not the sign of a healthy relationship. The fact that you realize, now, that in a healthy relationship you need to speak up when something bugs you is a good sign about your future relationships.

Something I learned from my own current - and pretty healthy - relationship: when you care about someone, you want to know when something is bugging your partner, so you can work together to fix it. The relationship, and the maintenance of it, is that important to both of you.
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:56 pm (UTC)
See, we did talk. We talked a lot. We prided ourselves on how much we talked.

We failed to communicate.

Part of that is my fault. And I really have to be able to carry my part of the load in order to be an effective partner.
Nov. 10th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
What do you define as your load to carry, then? Instant and comprehensive understanding of your emotions, their causes and patterns is a lot to tackle at once.

I only know as much about my patterns because I think about it. A lot. For a good number of years. But I don't think I'm perfect in my understanding of myself.

Again, striving for better, not perfect, is best.
Nov. 10th, 2004 04:39 pm (UTC)
I didn't communicate my needs/wants/desires/troubled by's very well, if at all. I tended to hide when things got uncomfortable.

I also didn't let her know that I appreciated her good things enough.

It doesn't have to be full-on understanding. But I need to get better at being open and getting the shit out, and handling confrontation and the uncomfortable stuff.
Nov. 10th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not interested in blah-blah fucking Relationship talks. I choose partners who don't make me talk when I don't feel like it, and who can be pretty taciturn themselves.

Fuck endless "sharing." It's boring and stupid. I just want to have someone to hang out with, to watch TV with, to get drunk with, and to fuck. Why are we supposed to continually PROCESS about that???

Nov. 10th, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
Sure. But you are pretty nontraditional. :)

I'm still trying to figure all of this shit out. And I'm old enough that I should have had it down a long time ago.

I like hanging out, watching TV, getting drunk, and fucking, but I can do that with friends. Well, all except the fucking, unless I have really *cool* friends.

I just keep thinking there most be something more that makes for someone to be in a relationship with than that. I don't know what it is, and that bugs me.

And don't say "love", unless you can tell me exactly why it's different.
Nov. 10th, 2004 01:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I love my friends fiercely, and I feel the same way about them that I do about an ideal Relationship: I would rather die than betray them, and I plan on growing old with them.

When I'm in a Relationship, versus a friendship, the main thing that changes is that we have a romantic aspect to our dealings that I don't tend to have with my friends. I love romance...and I love being romantic.

But, one thing that is maybe different or strange about me or whatever, is that even if a Relationship ends up not working out for me, I tend to keep the people close to me as friends. I guess it's because I care about them so deeply...even if we're not cut out to be partners forever and ever, they're still important to me and I still love them. The love doesn't just go away...so I count among my close, close friends, a few people who used to be my romantic partners. I feel really lucky to have such good people in my life.

But, I've never enhanced or saved a relationship by blathering on about it...have you?

Nov. 10th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
My ex-husband is the only ex I've not been able to retain as a friend... likely due to the fact that he's not a very good person to his friends.

I've had relationships improved by talking about them. But the talks are more along the lines of, "Hey, when you do this, I feel that. Why do you do this?" They respond with either, "Lemme think about that and get back to you," or "Yeah, it's because of this other thing."

I've never saved a doomed (DOOMED!) relationship by talking about it. I've understood why it failed better, but I've not been able to turn the tide.

My question to the Marmot, however, is: Why is being out of the relationship loop for awhile necessarily undesireable, if the ultimate result is more fulfilling relationships? Are bad relationships better than no relationships at all?
Nov. 10th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I think being alone, sometimes for long years, is preferable to being in the kind of relationship where you're continually PROCESSING.

But maybe that's just me. :)

Nov. 10th, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC)
No-- I'm okay being oot of the relationship loop. I think it's necessary for me, at least for a while.

And no, bad relationships are definitely NOT preferable.

OTOH, I want to be social. I like my friends. I want to spend more time with them.
Nov. 10th, 2004 04:34 pm (UTC)
Enhanced, maybe. Saved, no.
Nov. 10th, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm the other end. I'm an overcommunicator. And blunt. For some reason I keep ending up with guys that never talk. They bottle everything up as if somehow if they put it deep enough. At this point the bridge has been nuked from orbit, all you can do is recognize it. Heck a person more suited to you would know when to shut up and listen to what you're not saying. Tug gently maybe. You seem like the type that if you had the invitation would open up, but need that reassurance. You recognize it. Maybe you can learn to ask for the invitation.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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