I can’t think of too many things that frustrate me more than poor communication. I don’t think it mattered to me as much when I was younger and in my first marriage. I was much more of a “fuck it” type person, even more so than I am now. No communication? No problem!
I used to be content with just leaving it be, letting it rest until things died down, but somehow now, I can’t let it rest. If I don’t get some type of resolution, I feel turmoil inside of me. I get so frustrated that sometimes I even cry (and I hate crying).
The problem is, I’m in a relationship with someone who likes to dodge conflict at all costs. He thinks that problem + discussion = argument, while I see it as problem + discussion = solution.
He tends to misinterpret and often twists my words until even I don’t recognize this person he’s talking about.
Contrary to his belief, I don’t enjoy arguments. I don’t like to waste time being angry and/or yelling and screaming. The irony is, though, that I end up doing it anyway when I’m left with the silent treatment and having to just “deal” until he decides to come around which could last anywhere from an hour to twenty-four. It’s very childish behavior and sometimes I treat it that way. Pediatricians tell you in the beginning to just ignore the bad behaviors and when the child notices you not responding to it, it will stop.
And of course, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
I complain about our poor communication constantly. He promises to do better… constantly.
But, nothing ever changes.
Yesterday I said, throughout a series of angry tweets, that I’d get a story out of a recent situation which involved our mis/non-communication. I wish I didn’t have to resolve real life conflict in my fiction world, but it’s been my savior over the years. And when/if those stories get published and he opens the book and reads them, recognizes something and looks at me and smiles that sideways smile, I just give him that look that says, “You left me no choice.”
Take my story, Trimming, that was recently accepted for publication. It’s about a woman who was left to mow her own yard because her lover up and got mad about something and refused to do it. Lo and behold, the neighborhood landscaper comes around and offers to do it for her and yada, yada and you get where I’m going with this…
Now, I’m in no way trying to warn him that if he doesn’t get his act together someone else would gladly fill his shoes… I just like to explore option in my stories, take my situation and ask the question – what if??? I did the same in the story, Reasoning, which made it into Best Bondage Erotica 2012, and also Strings, which was published in Alison Tyler’s A is for Amour. The latter was based on another relationship though… another story for another time.
I mean, I’m a much more patient person now, thanks to raising two children who can be quite difficult little people due to their circumstances. So, I ignore some behaviors, others I work out in other ways, if not between the two of us, than at least, for me. But, I know it won’t always be this easy. Problems won’t always dissolve with a few keystrokes, and what then?
It’s what I try to get him to see, that problems left unsolved could manifest in so many ways… like:
A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
We needs resolution… see?