January 24, 2012 | 1:13 am
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
So for all you loyal readers who read my woeful post on Friday night, I feel I owe you a follow-up to what was really the first noteworthy hiccup in my relationship. It wasn’t really a fight, in that we weren’t arguing about something. But we both had done things to hurt one another and of course, sometimes that’s worse.
Saturday morning I woke up early and went to yoga after reading a comment from a guy who said if he was my boyfriend, he’d kill himself. When I got back home, my boyfriend alive and well, called and asked to get lunch. He came over and patiently waited while I finished getting ready. He asked to talk first and I sat on the couch next to him, waiting to find out his thoughts.
He explained in a few short sentences what he thought the problem was. He was clear, concise, and right. Apparently, I’m dating an adult. I felt terrible. He reminded me of something I had said (twice) and when he said it out loud, I was revolted by my own abhorrent language. I sounded like a self-righteous bitch and I had hurt someone I loved. I had essentially threatened to break-up with him if he didn’t do something I wanted. Even if you have a point, if you don’t communicate fairly, you can quickly become the wrongdoer yourself and in this case, I was more the bad guy than he was.
He was being so mature, I was mainly embarrassed at my own behavior at this point. I had something I wanted to say, but I felt tears advancing every time I tried to say it. He said we should get something to eat and I was hoping that the change of location would allow me to compose myself.
After we ordered, I forced myself to speak. I made it through two points with a dry face, but by the third, streams of mascara had formed telltale lines down my cheek. Only a few people noticed, but it was enough to make me give up talking till we got home. I finally got everything I wanted to say out. We both agreed to work on our recently uncovered tools for inflicting hurt on the other, and though he didn’t use the words, he seemed to forgive me.
We spent the rest of the day doing nothing together. We lay next to each other and talked and made each other laugh till our sides hurt and built a fort and spoke with accents and listened to NPR’s election coverage. I told him if he did ever kill himself now, I would blame myself. We saw friends later that night and again on Sunday and things felt surprisingly normal and good.
It seems we’ve made it through the darkness. I hope we’ve emerged stronger. A friend of mine said that going through something like this is really good for us because if we make it out alright, we can be confident that when confronting life’s inevitable bumps, we know we can handle it.
Sunday night, he called and just before hanging up he said I had a good weekend. We had had the most painful conversation of our relationship so far a day earlier, but since then we had also had a surprising amount of fun. I told him I did too. And so for now, we march on…
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