Sunday, 18 January 2009

Saturday night is all right (for fighting)

Sorry about yesterday's hiatus. The CFO and I were fighting. Now he has the plague and is too weak to fight. Sorry? Schaden-what? No, not me. I'm too busy biting my tongue to stop myself saying "All THREE of us were like you feel now! NOW DO YOU SEE WHY THE HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A HURRICANE IN A LEPER COLONY??? AND WHY I WAS NOT RECEPTIVE TO YOUR SEXUAL OVERTURES IN THE MIDDLE OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT???"

It's a strange thing, fighting, when you've been together as long as we have. The choreography feels so well worn, we need the same kind of notation they use in newspaper reports of chess matches. I almost feel we could just exchange a written game plan before a fight gets underway to save time.

CFO: silent disapproval

E: inflammatory statements

CFO: self-righteous accusations

E: burning sarcasm

CFO: pomposity

E: Sulk

CFO: Sulk


CFO: neutral overture

E: neutral response

Fight over. Draw.

(actually, and with dismal inevitability, this sounds more like a Pokémon combat than a chess match)

However formulaic it is, most times it feels like the end of the world while it's happening; like we we were never meant to be together at all and like we can never make each other happy. We're a holiday romance that's fifteen years past its sell-by date. We don't agree on ANYTHING - music, discipline, education, money, relationships, how to cross the road, how to make scrambled eggs, where to live. Even how to argue. Neither of us is prepared to compromise. We're both bloody minded and determined. It's a fucking disaster.

Yes, by the same token, as soon as we start fighting, however good the reasons, however strongly I feel I'm in the right, I just want it to be over. I don't really care anymore what it's about. I want to be able to sit on the sofa with him and watch crap tv and snark about French journalism and share chocolate orange sticks. That's a good sign, right?

Back later. The children are being painful. I have just promised Lashes that if I haven't stopped typing by the end of Bottletop Bill, he can kill me. It seems fair.


Juci said...

You sound just like us. I guess this is what marriage (or a similar sort of lifestyle) is. It doesn't make the fighting any nicer or less pointless though. But on the whole, so far, I find it more agréable than not.

justme said...

Fighting makes me feel horrible no matter how much I am in the right, and like you I always just want it to be over. I particularly hate that gap where you have both said angry things and not yet got to the stage where you can talk again.
I have just now made neutral overtures to the Boy with whom I fell out on friday night. Even though I KNOW I have right on my side, I just hate that feeling that we are 'not speaking'. (Tho if I had any sense I would just kick him for good.....)

Pochyemu said...

That's exactly it! I wrote a whole longwinded post about it and you just summarized the whole fighting thing succinctly.

What's the point of fighting anyway?? This is what I've been trying to figure out.

Cassandra said...

You have just got my life in a nutshell. GENIUS. Mr Red and I don't agree on anything at all EITHER. And we've been together forever. God, it really is like looking in a mirror. One of those horror show circus mirrors, I spose, but yes, a mirror.

Potty Mummy said...

Husband and I don't fight that much, mainly because i can't be bothered to disagree with him. When I do, though - lots of sulks, shutting of doors forcefully and biting remarks. But you're right - after all this time, I really can't see the point. I mean the outcome is always the same; he thinks he's won, I actually have.

Anonymous said...

We did the formulaic fighting too - except we stopped whenever one of the kids came within earshot and behaved normally until they had gone. Also only he sulked. For up to two days. I blow up and then it is all over so I just did patronising comments while he sulked. Then we both apologised afterwards. Fortunately it only happened about twice a year. Now I actually miss it.

My wv is tiffe - is someone reading these comments as we type them?

Kate said...

That is pretty similar to our fighting game plan. Though ours has more of me attacking attacking attacking (because I'm always right, dammit) and the Frog stomping off to hide in the bathroom for a half hour. And then night comes or something and nothing is ever really resolved... not so satisfying. You must be a terror to fight with being a lawyer and all.

Parisgirl said...

Yes, that sounds familiar. Do you break into some fine Anglo-Saxon swearing too? I find English swear words come out much easier and sound much more venomous than French gros mots.


I read something once (probably written by "they", as in "they say that..."), about how the thing that defined the success of a relationship wasn't so much what you had in common and whether you agreed on stuff, but whether you had the same energy levels and whether you found the same stuff funny.

We don't fight because he (relatively silent French-Canadian research scientist; like English man in that cannot talk about 'feelings') and I (English, work in advertising, say what I think a lot) would have to put so much effort into it that we'd both fall on the floor exhausted, and we're both too lazy to bother. (Also, our entire relationship is based on the simple fact that we don't find each other irritating, so we don't find much to argue about anyway.)

lisahgolden said...

Such a perfect description of how fights erupt, explode and end. I used to avoid fights by conceding immediately and then carrying on just as I would secretly and seething. So very toxic. Now we're learning how to really fight and it's all so very civilized and guided like our therapist tells us to do. It's so ridiculous that instead of falling on the floor exhausted, we end up laughing because it's so new agey and goofy.

We have our best heated conversations over the phone with one rule - we can't hang up on each other.

Grit said...

our fights are excellent. i go screamingshitbonkers and dig ignores it all. he actually continues working while i am setting about the furniture with a flame thrower. i think this is very good. being totally ignored has a sort of calming effect on me.

Waffle said...

Juci - I suppose. It's still shit though.

Justme - I hope the Boy is nice to you and the fighting doesn't last. Yuk.

Pochyemu - I don't know what the point is. I wish I was better at it.

Red Rum - I am, indeed, your distorted, twisted reflection. Take heart!

PM - We should just exchange flashcards. It would be less exhausting.

CA - 'tiffe' indeed. I can see the CFO's eyes narrowing to nothing as he wipes the kettle down fastidiously and I know we are in for a couple of hours of misery. Pff.

Kate - no. I am quite rubbish. He is horribly persistent due to a career in negotiating like a terrier.

PG - very rarely. I told him to fuck off yesterday, but since he never swears at me, it just makes me feel worse.

Monkey - I can't decide if this makes us more or less doomed. Blah. I love it when you comment though.

Lisa - oh yes! the phone fights! We did this a lot when we lived in different countries and had no money. Hours of silent angst while we were both thinking HOW MUCH IS THIS COSTING????

Grit - I love the idea of you and your flame thrower. I need lessons.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

I am the same. Every fight I wonder why we are together when we quite clearly hate each other. When we are not fighting I wonder how I'd ever live my life without him. It's that fine line between love and hate isn't it?

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