Marrying Vishnu was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot of decisions in my almost 30 years of life!

This is not to say that being married to the love of your life is easy. I’ve always said that marriage is hard work. However, if you’re with the right person (for you), it’s also a lot of fun. Hard fun…?

Over the past few months I’ve come to learn that the hard part has more to do with me than Vishnu. When it comes to disagreements and differences, it’s actually really easy to throw your emotions on someone else, react to their behavior, and so forth and so on, especially someone you see day in and day out. That doesn’t take much effort at all. What does take some work is pinpointing what is really upsetting you, not taking it out on your significant other in the process, and then calmly explaining why you were upset in the first place. All without repeating “it’s fine” over and over again.

By the way, this is something I’m still working on.

I realize this doesn’t make much sense, so allow me to clarify with an example

A few weeks ago, Vishnu and I went out to dinner after attending a funeral. I was really upset/sad and tired but tried to stay as upbeat as possible. Once we were seated at the restaurant, which appeared to be having a slow night, we ordered our drinks and then waited…and waited…and waited. With every passing minute, I grew more and more agitated, while Vishnu remained calm as a cucumber. After about 20 minutes of waiting for our drinks and for someone to come take our order, I looked at Vishnu and (very loudly and with some attitude) said, “Are you going to talk to them or should I?” He didn’t appreciate my tone, so he told me to calm down…two words that when said together make me want to be anything but calm.

After that it all went downhill. I stopped talking for the night, except for a few words here and there. Vishnu asked me what was wrong a few times but gave up when I said I was fine. We headed home, obviously upset, and went to bed without saying much to each other.

The next morning I woke up, rolled over to Vishnu’s side of the bed, and whispered, “I’m sorry.” We talked about why we were upset, and I explained that I was just sad about the funeral and took it all out on him (and that the “calm down” put me over the edge). He asked why I didn’t just say so when he asked what was wrong. I didn’t have an answer for him.

Admittedly, I’m not very good at processing my emotions, and sometimes it’s just easier to take it out on him than deal with whatever it is I’m feeling. While he understood what I was saying, he asked that I just be open when asked what’s wrong instead of saying things are fine when they are obviously not. Poor hubby…he said it makes him crazy when he knows I’m upset but doesn’t know exactly why. I felt really bad when he said that.

And so I resolved to change my “I’m fine” habit. So far so good. When I just told Vishnu this, he just looked at me and said, “It’s been a few weeks, babe.” Well, every little bit of progress counts in my book.

But seriously, it takes a bit of self-awareness and courage to be vulnerable and talk about your feelings. And no matter how you slice it, at the end of the day (or night in our case), it’s well worth it.

At the very least, learn from me and don’t say “I’m fine” when you’re really not. That alone will take your relationship to a whole new level.*

*This applies to any kind of relationship.

By Parita

24 thoughts on “Don’t Say “I’m Fine” When You’re Obviously Not”
  1. OMG PAR! This is the same thing I go through. I have an inner battle with myself over how to deal with and process my emotions. I always feel so badly for REB when I lash out at him for something supremely stupid and we go a day without talking, instead of just talking like adults and like a married couple should. I’m glad you and V got it sorted out, though. It’s always a work in process, but we’ll get there!
    Aparna B. recently posted…Obligatory Snow PostMy Profile

    1. Glad you could relate! I feel the same way in retrospect but have a hard time acting the way I should in the moment. And you’re right, it’s a process! Thank goodness we have patient husbands!

  2. Thank you so much for this post!! This really hit the nail on the head. I’m really trying to learn how to handle my emotions and not take things to heart!

  3. I love hearing more about your relationship with Vishnu! You guys seem so happy together, but it’s nice to know that you’re still human 😉 I’ve been guilty of the “I’m fine” response when I’m obviously NOT fine. I need to get better at sharing my feelings!

    1. Thank you, Liz!! We are very happy but sometimes those “not so great” moments sneak their way in. One of the best parts of being married is having someone by your side to help you find the happy path and vice versa!

  4. I am so guilty of this! Sometimes it just seems easier to me to say “I’m fine” or occasionally “I’m just tired” when really there’s more going on. I usually need some time to process whatever my emotions are but I’m getting better at vocalizing needing this time instead of either lashing out or sweeping things under the rug.
    Davida @The Healthy Maven recently posted…Bike Boredom Blaster WorkoutMy Profile

    1. Time is critical. My thing is I just go with the flow until I can’t take it anymore. I need to learn to say “time out” before it’s too late.

    1. You’re welcome, Harsha! I think the thing to realize is that this is normal, and I hate to say it but esp for women. Open communication makes a world of a difference. Men aren’t the mind readers we wish they were!

  5. This is great that you can acknowledge this and see ways to improve the communication front- I’m guilty of saying ‘I’m fine’ even though I’m clearly not, and it’s often not given a second thought. Whereas, with my sister for example, she will say ‘I’m fine’ but continue to be all snarky and moody until we get it out of her. It might come down to the ‘gender stereotypes’ or it might be because my sister is a moody *insert farm animal of choice* 95% of the time 😉

    1. I never thought of it that way. You are so right though. “I’m fine” is translated different depending on who says it (specifically men vs. women). I think (and this is a huge generalization) men have an easier time letting things go vs. women and because they snap back more quickly, “I’m fine” is taken for face value.

  6. I use to be the same way! It took a break up with my current boyfriend to get it through to me that I(/me and him) need to communicate. I’m slow with my emotions. Most the time I don’t know exactly why I’m upset or why something he said made me sad or mad. But he understands this now and so do I. So now when I say I’m fine, he asks “Still processing?” and I almost always reply, “Yeah, just give me some time.” It helps keep things calm between us, and helps for me not to take it out one him. I am guilty of still taking things out on him sometimes, but he is always quick now to tell me, “Hey, no need to take it out on me, I didn’t do anything.” We’ve finally, as a couple, because comfortable saying anything to each other, as long as we keep each others feelings involved. I believe it’s just a learning process for each other 🙂
    Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne recently posted…•Simple•My Profile

    1. I love that he asks “still processing?” I think we’re at that point now too where Vishnu knows when to prod and when to take a step back and give me some time. We should both be thankful for guys who know us so well. 🙂

  7. It was honestly a little hard for me to read this post. I felt like I was reliving my own less-than-stellar relationship moments! Processing emotions better and with more maturity is something that everyone could probably stand to work on. Judging from the comments alone, it appears the “I’m fine” routine is pretty common… I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who does this!

    1. It is really common – you’re not the only one! I think being aware of how you react in stressful situations is 50% of the solution. We’re halfway there! 🙂 But like I said above, it take time and a little bit of patience, both from yourself as well as your partner.

    1. I don’t always know why I’m upset either. Time is critical. And even when I do know, I need a few minutes to put my thoughts together.

  8. I definitely say this, even though I don’t mean it. But most of the time I find that it’s easier to say this than to open a can of worms…and then deal with the fall out. I guess it depends on the personality of the other person!
    Ameena recently posted…frozenMy Profile

    1. You’re absolutely right – it takes two to tango (as my mom likes to say). My problem is that my “I’m fines” aren’t convincing enough. Ha!

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