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.