Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Spiraling Argument.

"Love really is all it's cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, worth being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more."

One thing I've always loved about my husband is the way he fights. In past relationships, I'd always feel like the relationship was on the verge of shattering every time we'd fight (I'm not codependent, shut up). Whenever we fight, even when it's nasty and he's being his petulant, whiny, addicty worst, I never doubt that he loves me or that we're not going to get through it. Our arguments can get really bad, but they always end well, and we always end up working through something important.

Our fights function in something like a spiral...we start out very far apart, and we circle and circle around each other...he yells and I cry and he cries and I yell...but eventually, we come closer and closer together until we merge.

We had a big one this weekend. I had been holding it in and holding it in and waiting and waiting to see if he'd ever get it together and get some bill money to me. The first week he was working, he gave me about half what we've agreed would be the amount he'd give me each week. The second week, he gave me the same amount, but the he had to borrow a bit of it back for methadone. This past week, he gave me even less.

Because he's working for family, his schedule is very flexible. We both agreed that this flexibility would be a good thing. He's been crazy for a long time and out of work for a long time, so having a chance to ease back into being a grown-up by working for family, having coffee in the morning and a great lunch with people who love him, and being able to get there late or leave early occasionally is a great gift. And it's become a gift that he's gotten really good at taking...

Every day last week, there was some reason why he wasn't able to work more than 2 or 3 hours. His mom stopped by and they talked for a long time at lunch. He sat in the morning with his cousin and talked about the weekend's game. He and his uncle had gone to the hardware store to buy supplies, and then they stopped for lunch, and time got away. He didn't feel well, so he could only stay for a few hours and then he got a ride home. Etc. Etc. Etc.

At the end of the week, he'd managed to pay for his methadone, throw a few bucks my way, and buy himself coffee every morning. He's feeling great about himself because he's doing so much better than he was two months ago, and he was pretty shocked when I let him know that the pink cloud that's puffing out his ears wasn't working on me. I'm still pissed, and this better isn't good enough.

He freaked out for a while, pouted in that special addicty baby-fied way, yelled that "NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH!" for me, cried about how I make him feel like an ass hole even though he's trying very hard to be a good husband for me, and I yelled, cried, and stomped around with him. I recognized that I was behaving like a crazy person when he retreated to the bedroom to pout and I was sobbing on the couch, and I called my sponsor to get some sense talked to me. She pointed out that it's a beautiful day. It was a beautiful day. I loaded up my doggy and we went for a very long walk. We talked to each other. I talked to myself and to whatever higher-power would listen. She sniffed the grass and peed a lot. I felt better. I got home, and he was better.

He'd thought about the things I'd said, and he acknowledged that I was right. He's not doing enough. He wants to do more. We found our centers, separately and together.


Wayward Son said...

This is such a nice thing to hear as it validates my belief that the depth of any relationship is directly correlated to it's ability to survive conflict. It is annoying that a relationship without conflict can only be a shallow one. But there you have it.

Of course all I could think about while reading this is that one day soon I would have a dog of my own to walk. Talk about shallow!


Chloe said...

Even though you feel he's not doing enough right now, from my experience..
When they are trying like crazy, or atleast trying, and you do see it & know sure to let him know how much of a change you see in him (even if you barely see anything!) You can create a different kind of upward spiral! We all know how the downward spiral works.
But on the upward spiral he's given a foundation of respect, confidence & motivation. I'm not saying to blow smoke up his ass, but just as easy as one bad thing can set off a whole string of bad things..good & positive things work the same way.
It really is baby steps.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

My husband and I were watching the Amazing Race and this couple that bitches at each other all the time had this really good leg where everything went their way -- and they said, "See, we are meant to be together; we can work well together if everything goes right."

And my husband and I laughed, because it's not surviving the good times that counts -- it's surviving the shitty times, and working through them alone and together -- just like you're doing.

Marriage Diva said...

You clarity and strength in this situations is really admirable. There are people who give up on marriages for some much less. It's great you can remember why you married him. I hope I would be able to be a centered as you if I was in that situation. Good luck and stay strong!