Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Big Trouble in Little Strumpetville

Look up gentle reader; just a little. You see there, under the header? Those tags?? Yep, my blog's functionality expands ever more. There's something other than this blog of blogness; there's some good advice.

I've never given good advice, oh my no. I've occasionally hit upon a nugget of gold whilst spewing my stream of... consciousness on this blog. But not more. Nevertheless, I appreciate good advice and – very rarely – sometimes even act on it. And recently I received some stonkingly marvellous advice indeed from my good friends 'A' and 'F'.

So cogent and well written is this advice that I decided, with permission, to reproduce it on this blog BUT in an unedited form, thus making it very long for a post. The solution, but of course, is to show it in a page attached to the blog rather than embed it in a post. Simples, no?

You might like gentle reader, to read the advice after this post and comment on how marvellous and sensible my friends are. The advice itself is from Friend 'A' and was followed up with some cogent and well thought out supporting arguments from 'F'. Both have impressed me and I once again am in their debt. To cut a long story short I took the advice and Fella and I rebalanced our relationship somewhat through a bit of proper discussion and partly through taking a step back and trying not to answer all of life's big questions in such a rush.

Re-reading the advice I am struck by how clever and cogent 'A' and 'F' are, and how shamed I am by my own ability to communicate. I decided to publish despite my suspicion that this saga portrays me (not necessarily wrongly) as a hot-headed angst machine... For now, suffice it to say, I consider myself very very lucky I am to have friends like these. I am sure you will agree.

So what happened? Ah, that is a rather complex and tawdry matter and I fear it says more about me reacting to silliness than silliness itself. Nevertheless, deep breath, every-detail etc... here goes.

I don't really want to have children; Fella does. This is something that has, in passing, been acknowledged as Most Important Thing To Pose A Risk To Our Relationship And That We Have Consciously Not Discussed.

Yes, Not Discussed... So one evening recently Fella became quite upset. And not knowing any obvious cause I pressed him on what was wrong. At first he was reticent to discuss it but eventually he told me it was because he had decided that he and I won't have children, even though it's something he really wants.

And how did I react? By losing my temper really quite badly, really. A huge row ensued, based on my view that a decision like that would be better informed by a discussion with me; and in general it is wrong to make decisions about the rest of my/our life without consulting me. Also, I was an in many ways still am very hurt that Fella would consider me such a monster I would expect him to give up his dreams to be with me. I really, still, feel... How Could He?

Naturally, the night before was followed the morning after by the silent treatment. He does go in for the Silent Treatment from time to time, when peeved… again, rather than talking through issues with me. I know very well I am a p*ss poor communicator, especially in relationships, but I think the silent treatment is very unfair. I just end up sick with worry that he's had an accident, or something. In fact, as I've told [Fella], the silent treatment is pretty much a deal breaker for me. It is a stratagem against which I have no defence and indeed I become quite self-destructive, in truth, once it is deployed, so effective is it a button-pusher.

So much do I hate the Silent Treatment that it genuinely led me to believe, given the low esteem in which I was apparently held by Fella, that I should email an ultimatum suggesting simply end things then and there.

My mind at least had presence enough to ask of 'A' and 'F' their advice/comments/thoughts on how silly I was being, and in particular, on a scale of one to 10, one being a monkey flinging poo and 10 being the freakish love-child of Ghandi and the Blarney Stone, where on the communication scale would an email like that fall.

The reply? Well, look up gentle reader; just a little. You see there, under the header...?


Nik_TheGreek said...

I totally agree with the advice given to you.
I was surprised to hear about the 'children' talk. Could it be an excuse to have a general talk on your future and goals in life? Could it be that he thinks that you don’t want the same things in the long term and maybe worried about it?

Paul Brownsey said...

One more point about 'the silent treatment'.

It's too easy to think that this is being *deliberately* inflicted, that the other thinks: "I'll go silent for a bit - that'll bring him to heel/punish him."

It may not be like that at all. It may be that the other is so wounded that he thinks that all he can do is to build a wall around himself and try to find some peace of mind inside that. The thought is not, "This'll bring him to heel," but, "I need to re-order my thoughts and feelings as though this source of hurt didn't exist." Usually, in time, a recollection of good things you have together will break through this...


Mike said...

Thanks Both; and to those who emailed me separately too. Certainly to talk about our future and goals is something we must do, thiugh events may have forced that onto the back-burner for a sgort while at least.

With specific reference to the silent treatment; you are right. Butr he's used it quite deliberately before so each time I do wonder if he's using it again. I must simply accept that he is not; but it ain't easy!

Antony said...

The children topic is an interesting one. Good because obviously he is thinking about you too having a future but bad because with something that life changing, he should have discussed with you. Remember theres always room for compromise.

Regarding the silent treatment. I hate it too. Boyfriend-W doesn't do it, but when he's pissed up hes just not as loving towards me as usual (e.g. he wont snog me, doesn't cuddle me in bed, etc.).


A xxx