THE CHALLENGE OF TOO MUCH TIME TOGETHER
Of course I love my husband! Everyday I’m grateful that we found one another. I realize how much we mean to one another, and I certainly realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have found him. However…there are days I really, and I mean really, can’t stand the thought of one more minute together!
Why? you ask. How is that two such significant emotions can coexist in that sincere, complex and often times confusing heart of mine? Well, hard to say really. Although, it may have something to do with the mere fact that he’s asked me for the twentieth time where are his favorite shoes? Or, the maybe it’s because I told him the last thing I had a taste for was Chinese, and sure enough, the delivery guy from Mi Long Delights just rang our door bell. It could be a lot of things, the truth is that it’s really hard to pin down the exact moment in time when you realize that if you continue sharing the same airspace, someone is going to pull the ejection seat and it’s simply not going to end well.
What to do? Confess that his mere presence is on your nerves, share specifics as to why each and every gesture feels likes nails on a chalkboard? It’s a tough one to be sure. Telling the man you love and adore that he is completely on your nerves is no easy task. Even if he is super understanding and patient, in which case you will surely hurt his feelings. Of course the opposite personality trait can be an option, where your interpretation of his actions or words are completely unfounded and you’re being either nit-picky, critical or worse yet, just plain cruel. Either way, everyone's a loser in this contest.
If you smile your way through it, most likely he’s going to pick-up on the fact that something is not quite right. If you address it directly, you may be completely off-base and just an asshole because he hasn’t really done anything out of the ordinary and certainly wasn’t trying to get on your nerves.
Alas, the problem must be solved. Talking about it could bring about a more serious and challenging problem, especially if there was no ill-will behind his actions or words. The silent treatment will most certainly send up the flag of “nobody’s got time for that”. A questioning raise of the eyebrow, pursed lips, or sharp tone of response won’t get you the results you’re hoped to achieve.
Well, since we know It’s going to happen on both sides of the relationship equation, it may be best to have a conversation before it happens about how to handle matters when you're sick of each other. Inevitability, can be a beautiful thing. The problem becomes addressing the inevitable in the middle of heightened emotions and sensitivity, never, ever, a good idea. However, talking about it when the love is flowing, he can do no wrong, and listening seems to come as naturally as that next glass of chardonnay, well…that’s a different story. Timing is everything when it comes to addressing the challenges and typical pitfalls in every relationship. In the end, it’s all about limiting the escalation that always seems to occur when you least expect it. How did something so small, (like grabbing the TV remote in the middle of favorite telenovela) turn into world war three?
Many couples who have been together for years and years seem to naturally navigate these challenges through trial and error and finally finding a way to exit the situation gracefully and return when the issue seems to have disappeared like socks in the dryer. For newer couples however, this may pose a larger and more looming challenge. What happens when a minor issue turns into a major issue? How do you handle communicating to your loved one that all you need is a little time apart, when he doesn’t see a problem in the first place? First of all, and most importantly, it’s nice to know that most relationships have dealt with very similar issues for as long as couples have been around.
Find a time, a happy time and sit down and openly, kindly and gently bring up the topic. Talk through how these situations will undoubtedly occur, and finally and most importantly, listen. Listen to what he has to say. Listen to how he thinks he would like to handle it, and most importantly, make sure he knows he’s being heard. After all, most of us just want to be heard, especially by the one we love the most. Maybe between the two of you, you will find a signal, a clue or simply the right words to let the other one know you need some space. It’s different for all of us, and many times the amount of time and space we needs is too personal to dictate for the other person, so be generous to their needs and remember that even though we have all been there, we don’t necessarily need to stay there for long.
Best part of getting sick of each other, is finding your way back to each other!