Last night, we had our first real argument. Well.. OK, we came as close as we ever have come to an “argument” as some people know them. And I know I’m in an adult relationship because today, in the hours after this confrontation I don’t feel angry or mad or sore with Boyfriend. I feel closer to him. I know that’s weird. Let me back up a bit.
I am a very clean and (mostly) efficient person. If I cook dinner, I expect dinner to get cleaned up. I don’t care if I help, or if I do it. I don’t care what meal it is. I just don’t like a messy kitchen, as I am the one that usually does the cooking. I don’t like dishes and cups left out and clothes on the floor and several pairs of shoes by the door to trip over when I take the dog out. I can’t live in that condition for 1 main reason: it makes everything harder. It adds an extra step to everything I do. I don’t often have company so in the rare event I do, I don’t mind tidying up. BUT I do mind going to make dinner and having to wash the dishes from someone else’s breakfast before I can cook US dinner. Or going to take the dog out, but first picking up the shoes I’ve tripped over. Or setting the table but first picking up the glass that has been there for 3 days with fingerprints on it and just a sip of water left inside.
That was essentially, what our argument was about. I was raised to be a fixer. My whole life people have come up short of expectation and many times the thing they’ve fallen short on has fallen into my lap for completion. Now, at almost 28 years old I have made it an almost “autopilot” feature to just come behind those I interact with and tie loose ends without being asked, because.. why wait for the inevitable? Last night I walked in to a yarn ball of loose ends! Dinner wasn’t started, it was all the wrong stuff, to even start with. I had specified the correct dinner in text earlier in the afternoon. It had been overlooked. I had to plan dinner while I was at work, also something I didn’t want to have to think about. And the glass was still on the flippin dinner table… but who’s aggravated about a glass??
At that point I did what any sane, level-headed woman would do… I started getting the correct ingredients ready and prepped and complaining about it the whole time, being a little more loud than I needed to be when closing cabinets. And mid prep I told him that he was cooking, I was prepping because I just didn’t want to cook tonight. Then I isolated myself in the bedroom after a shower until dinner. He came to me before I had a chance to come out and like a mature couple we talked it out. We didn’t yell, scream or blame each other for silly things. I realized I’m blaming up for something I’ve been programmed to do by the incapable people in my life. That’s not fair.
Through adult relationships we see our strengths, fears and weaknesses. I see that I don’t always need to be a fixer to everyone in my life but that doesn’t always mean I will be able to deprogram that from my behavior. As we were discussing my boiling point and why he was upset about it all he met me half way, which has never happened in my previous (obviously unhealthy) relationships. He understood why it upsets me to always have to take an extra step. And he “will try to be better” about all the little things. And today, sitting here thinking about everything I have going on at work, at home, in the coming weekends, I couldn’t feel closer to him. Sometimes it takes a little turbulence to find some smooth sailing. And all the time, God gives you the people you need in your life.