The Back Burner Issue

One of the problems with dating someone who isn’t around all the time is that it makes it really difficult to fight.  At least for me.  I have an issue with fighting on the phone – I don’t think it should be done.  I think that if you’re going to fight, or have a serious discussion, or anything like that, then it needs to be done in person, face to face.  Maybe it’s because I’m not much of a phone person to begin with, but I think it has more to do with looking into each others eyes and making sure there is no miscommunication in the process.  No misunderstood/garbled words, you can see facial expressions, and it’s much easier to make up once the fight/discussion is over.  I like to think it’s harder to lie in person.  And, as my friend B says, you can hold hands during the fight, and it’s much harder to hate someone when you’re holding hands.

When you only see your significant other once a week, sometimes the issue builds inside of you.  You don’t know when you’ll be able to discuss it, and so it simmers, making you pretty much miserable.  I try really hard to put it on the back burner (to keep with the cooking metaphors), and, actually, a lot of times it works, and I’m okay.  But sometimes….Well, let’s just say that I’ve found there are several ways it can go:

  1. You hold onto it for so long that it blows up.
  2. You hold onto it long enough that when you’re able to discuss it, you no longer have the desire to, because it’s just not worth it anymore.
  3. It simmers on the back burner and you’re able to discuss it rationally once you’re together.
  4. You start to feel guilty because it seems like every time you see each other, you’re arguing, simply because that’s the only time you can do it.
  5. You feel stupid for being upset/angry in the first place.

I’m in stage 3 right now.  Hopefully I’ll stay there, and be able to discuss the issue I have in a rational manner.  And hopefully it’ll get resolved.  But I’m kind of afraid it’s going to end up a combination of 1 and 5.  Because the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s a stupid “high-school”-like issue.  But I think there’s an underlying issue.  I think the thing I’m ticked off about is stupid and high-school-ish, but the reason behind the issue is, actually, an issue.  A big one.  I need a reasonable explanation, and if I don’t get one, I’m going to be seriously ticked off.

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2 responses to “The Back Burner Issue

  1. i think that airing all your grievances is overrated. some people think that it’s more healthy to express your anger, etc when you feel it than to hold it in. I disagree. If I expressed my anger/annoyance every time it happened, I would fight a LOT more than I do. When I push items to the back burner, I find that most times I realize they aren’t that important and I don’t care that much. So, maybe not being able to fight in person is a blessing in disquise.

  2. delightfuleccentric

    Jen, you’re right. The fact that I’m forced to push things to the back burner means a lot of the things I’m upset about fizzle out. But there’s also a lot that still needs to be talked about – the bigger issues. In previous years and relationships, I’ve been very non-verbal about things I’m upset about (I know, you would never know it knowing me now!). I came to discover that wasn’t good for me, and that I needed to speak up more often. So I do. I do it in a very constructive manner (usually), but some things just need to be aired.