In addition to painting my toenails, reading a book, a magazine, and starting the first season of Downton Abbey, I spent a lot of time pouting this weekend. Pouting is always dumb, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being left out and pushed away by my boo. We discussed it at length as soon as we were able–as we do–and both agreed that most of the problem could have been avoided if we’d been better able to communicate, which is kind of weird for us because we’re both talkers. Pointing to communication as a problem is a relatively simple and obvious first step. Figuring out how to do something about it in order to change future outcomes seems far less obvious.
I’ve noticed that about once a week, Z likes to spend about 24 hours with one or some of his siblings. This seems strange to me. I’m much more about getting together for a few hours for lunch or drinks and then parting ways. They like to have, what seems to me like, these marathon get-togethers. Usually we navigate this territory pretty well. After I get my fill of socialization, I go home and have some much needed alone time. This weekend, the problem was all about having a tough conversation, followed by the marathon 24-hour hang out sesh, coupled with little discussion of who was going where, what they were doing, and when they would be back. So, somewhat irrationally, I felt pushed away and not included, despite the fact that I think I needed the alone time anyway. See, that’s where better, more careful communication could have solved the problem.
Still, I think it’s about something more than just a communication breakdown. I think that Z likes to get my goat by rebelling a little bit and being unpredictable. I like to punish him by pouting and being hurt (though my behavior is not necessarily a catalyst for his and vice versa). And these are the parts that aren’t very enlightened or conducive to our happiness. We don’t do it very often, but it would be nice if we could figure out what sets it off and why we feel the need to rinse and repeat the cycle every few months.