Tuesday, February 26, 2008

not always rosy

One of the things I've thought a lot about while writing this blog is the potential feeling of imbalance that might come from writing all these wonderful things about my relationship and my awesome, blossoming sex-life. I've been conscious that a time would come when I would need to provide some balance, so I decided to sit back and wait for things to take an inevitable turn for the pooper, and here we are.

Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems like most people put up a big, happy face when talking about their relationship and you never really see the yucky stuff that's underneath. Like it's taboo to admit that you're having problems or arguing or whatever. I read blogs by people with girlfriends and I rarely read stories about fights or issues or dramas. I believe sharing is good almost all the time, and that goes double for sharing about relationships. We could ALL do better in our relationships, and knowing what other people are doing can be really helpful.

Anyway, all this is a big lead up to telling you that me and Mera had a rough weekend. I'll spare you all the details, but the bottom line is that we've hit that point when the honeymoon is over and we have to get back to living our actual lives. When we first got together (three short months ago) we were both blown away by our super-intense connection. There were all these crazy synchronicities and similarities and we had so much chemistry: it was like we were each designed specifically for the other. Unreal.

That means we ended up spending as much time together as we possibly could. It meant that we sacrificed sleep to stay up talking and fucking almost every night of the week. It meant we sacrificed laundry and housekeeping and personal space and yoga and meditation and schoolwork and writing and hanging out with other friends. All we wanted to do was hang out with each other. And that's normal in the beginning of relationships. That's just what you do sometimes.

But it seems pretty obvious that a scenerio like that can't last. At some point you have to crawl out of your hole and start paying attention to the rest of the world. Mera's in grad school and her studies are suffering. And I'm suffering because I need a lot of alone time to maintain my mental health, and my alone time was one of the first things to go when Mera and I got together.

Now we're struggling with the reality that we have to shift some priorities and possibly do something really counterintuitive: scale back a little. It's painful. We both have lots of baggage from childhood that colors the way we see things. Sometimes when we talk, it's like we're standing in a fun house and all the images come back to us distorted. She hears things I don't believe I said and vice versa.

It helps to realize we're having communication difficulties. At least we can name it and know how it impacts us. But it's still a tricky place to be and we're both struggling with the next steps. Right now we're both taking the rest of the day to assimilate the last few conversations we've had. We'll see where we're at tonight. A few couple's sessions with a counselor will also help. And also remembering to be kind and take care of the whole process. Problems come up. That's ok. Problems are not the end of the world or the relationship, but it's no use ignoring them or pretending to the world like everything's rosy. The rest of the world has problems too and if you pretend you don't, you just confuse people.

So what's that got to do with sex? Well, if you're having problems, you might not be having sex. I know I'm not. Another day, in the not too distant future, I'll write another post in the when-things-aren't-hunky-dory vein all about good and bad ways to communicate with a lover about sex. For now, I'll leave you with this very simple poll about sex affected by conflict.

9 comments:

koen said...

You are so absolutely right. I'm sitting here wondering why I've never written about any problems in my relationship with Agent. We've been together for almost 7 years - I'm sure we've fought at least once!

It's always been really hard for me to reach that point in the relationship when things change. I love the intensity so much but I also need space to feel grounded and all that. I try to remind myself that the focus is not shifting as much as it's just zooming out a little. Most of us have a number of priorities, and we can't really have a happy relationship unless we balance ourselves out between all our requirements for personal health and well-being.

Good luck with the transition. Here's to much great sex in the future, with or without conflict, for all of us!

Grumpy Granny said...

When G. and I got together, one of the things we talked about was fighting. We decided that we were just not going to do it. I know that sounds kind of "pie in the sky", but we had both reached points in our lives (45 and 48 when we met), where we realized that fighting just plain used up too much energy. We figured that energy could be much better channeled into actually COMMUNICATING. The fact that you realize both of your perceptions are colored by your pasts is a huge step. I truly believe that most of the time, most people do not really hear things that people say to them, they hear what they THINK was said. Try to put away some of the filtering devices and really HEAR each other. As far as the sex goes, yes, it's difficult to feel sexy when you are angry, sad, or otherwise disconnected from your partner. G and I don't fight, but I am having some "female" troubles with perimenopause, i.e. VERY heavy and long periods, and G has a "thing" about blood, it totally turns her OFF, due to some past issues, and so when I am having these long periods, I feel totally unsexy to her. Which means we go for long periods without sex. We have learned to keep the AFFECTION, though, with hugs, and touches, and little things throughout the day. I KNOW she loves me, sne KNOWS I love her, and that we are hot for each other. It just isn't on THAT level all the time. And, I too, need LOTS of alone time for mental health. It helps that we have a basement, where my office and meditation room is, so I can "get away" when I need to. I'm sure you and Mera will work things out. It's early days and you are still getting to know one another. A wise friend once gave me this mantra: "Await, Allow, Accept, Attend" I pass it to you!
Good luck,
GG

Tina-cious.com said...

Ahh fights -- hmmm HAVE I blogged about our fights?

I think I have... the problem with blogging about it is that for a long while after we got together I thought some people -- who will remain nameless -- may be happy to see that we don't ALWAYS get along.

So I didn't want to give them the satisfaction.

But people I see offline know about our fights. We don't have many but if you catch me in real time and it's fresh -- hell, I'll tell ya about it.

Though, I have to say, it took us about a year and a half to have our first fight.

3 months seems a little soon to me -- but what do I know. :P

I'm wishing you the best of luck sorting it out. :)

:::warm fuzzies our way::::

roro said...

I never blog about fighting with Katr. Because she would KILL me.

I used to worry every time we fought that it was ALL OVER; it totally helped to realize that, as you said, problems aren't the end of the world and working through them is just that - work. Sometimes work that can be done while naked. Sometimes not.

trinity2 said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one writing about this stuff.
My gf and I have recently had a hard time and we're relatively new as well. But, I think it's unrealistic to think that you will never have a disagreement or always be jumping each other's bones, too.
Good luck with everything - rock on!

Zoe said...

Not that we don't ever disagree, I'm sure at some point we must, but we rarely fight. We've probably really only had 2 major fights. Of course we are 15 years in, so our spats are usually stuff like "why can't you pick up your sock?" To which the reply is, "I wanted to see how long it would take before it really annoyed you."

heather said...

i have to admit, my first thought was, 'wow, they've been together a few months and already they're seeing a therapist'. which is awesome because like everyone is saying, including you, communication is the key element in most relationship problems. kudos for tackling this early on.

i have always been too private a person to share fights on my blog. like someone else here, for the most point m & i only have minor squabbles now, but a few years back, we had Big Fights because we almost broke up. i *did* blog about that, the initial blowups and fallout, but as we smoothed things over naturally i stopped feeling a need to share the intimate details, being the emotionally private person that i am. and yes, that was at least partially modeled to me in my youth.

anyway, i think it's great that you are willing to be that vulnerable and open. bring it on!

reasonably prudent poet said...

thanks for all the comments, i really enjoy reading them and it definitely fulfills my dream that the comments on this site will have as much quality content as the posts themselves.

"fighting" or any conflict is so different depending on the people involved. for me and mera, all our "fights" stem from misunderstandings, which in turn stem from the fact that we're both really sensitive, wounded, non-trusters. for me, it feels like a testament to the intensity of our connection that we have these issues rather than an omen that we're destined to fail as a couple. maybe that's just wishful thinking...? i doubt it.

and trinity, couples counseling at three months might sound radical, but keep in mind that we both work in mental health. seeking counseling is pretty second nature to both of us.

reasonably prudent poet said...

wait -- sorry -- it was heather, not trinity, who mentioned couples counseling. sorry for the incorrect attribution.