Couples who don’t argue? Whatever. I view them in the same way that I view the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot–that is, with disbelieving fascination. I’ll believe it when I see some crisp photographic evidence.
I’ve read a lot of incisive articles in Cosmo about relationships. And they all tend to focus on the communication styles of the spouses. Once angered, I am like a spewing volcano and there’s no point in trying to deal with me until all the lava has flown into the cooling ocean, which may take minutes but usually takes a few hours, depending. I read something in GQ last month about an angry wife being like a bear. When Tom is upset, he needs to resolve things as soon as humanly possible, often with suffocating hugs. But even a baby knows you should never try to hug an angry bear. If we’re arguing late enough in the day, I’m probably still mad by bedtime. In my experience, going to bed angry can result in some truly deep and restorative slumber.
If holding a grudge was an Olympic sport, I would be its Mark Spitz. I would win the gold in all of the events in two consecutive Olympics, and they’d have a photo of me on the Wheaties box with my six medals splayed just so on my torso. And any time you talked about anyone else’s skills at holding a grudge, you’d have to end your conversation by saying, “yeah she’s good, but she’s no Yoona Park.” I am still holding minor grudges from events that happened a decade ago. Tom described my hands as “pudgy” in approximately 2001 and I still haven’t recovered. He, on the other hand, can’t remember what we argued about last week. Which may be why we keep having some arguments over and over again. I made this point to him once and he seemed receptive, until he promptly forgot about the discussion 17 minutes later, in order to make space in his brain for the latest episode of the Bachelorette.
I’m entering the point in my life where friends are separating or divorcing. And selfishly, going through that with others makes you want to examine your own relationship for the fissures, and to fill them in before the cracks become unbridgeable canyons. I am unabashedly nuts about Tom and not ashamed to say so here. So I am resolved. The next time Tom wakes the beast, the beast will take the hug like a champ, and be grateful that her husband made the effort.