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Last night the GF and I had our first real tiff. Don't want to call it an argument, because I don't think it reached near that level. Basically had to do with her wanting to come over for dinner. We weren't originally planning to see each other. I wanted to go on a ride, but decided to cancel that so that I could get to the store, and get the kitchen and grill ready. She said she'd be there by 6:30.

At 6:20, she called to say that she'd just gotten to the park and was going to go for a run. I (thought I) was annoyed that she waited until the last minute to tell me she was running late. I didn't AO, or chastise. I did groan that I wished that she'd called a little sooner. She seemed to be perplexed that it bothered me. I (again, -thought I-) was bothered by the inconvenience and the delay.

In reality, I was bothered that I chose to cancel my own plans to accommodate what she wanted. I took some time to analyze my frustration and realized this. Then I understood that -I- made the choice. She didn't twist my arm or hold a gun to my face. I could have easily said, "No, cooking doesn't work for me. I am going for my ride. If you want to bring something over, great." Instead, I collapsed my own boundary and then felt irrational resentment and felt petulant. "I gave up what I wanted to do to make you dinner, and you're still going on your run, blah, blah, blah..." I realized all of this as I was on my way to pick up Thai food for us.

I felt pretty good about that part. It was the first time I was really tested to check my own intent, and own my own expectations. I was able to identify it, analyze it, and get through it without any AOs, or DJs, or LBs toward her.

Anyway, she got to my house and she was upset. Not with me. She understands that she isn't good about keeping time and is chronically late. It's even an issue with her friends. I know this. I accept this. She apologized and felt bad. She doesn't like to make mistakes and felt like she'd really blown it with me. She was even choking up. I also suspect that she was feeling some resentment at me for feeling bad, if that makes sense.

So we talked for a while. I told her that most of my anger was really at me. About how I almost put my frustration on her and my near-miss toward feeling taken for granted. I think we got through it. We ate, watched TV, I rubbed her feet, we smooched, etc... She went home at a decent time because she had to be up early for an hour long drive down to Galveston. She had driven back and forth to College Station earlier that day also for an important meeting. I think her stress and tiredness contributed to her being a little more emotional than usual. That's what she said at least.

So this morning I sent her a "Good Morning" text. We do this every day. By noon, I hadn't heard back. So I'm thinking, "Okay, she was probably just in that meeting. But... She usually breaks for lunch, bathroom, whatever, by now...".

Then by 1pm, I sent her another asking if she was still in Galv, and if she'd gotten my earlier text. Still nothing...

Uh, oh... I got this old feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something I used to get back when I was single the first time and dating. The sense that something -changed-. No matter how well things are going during the good times, that first disagreement can be a milestone. If you can get through it okay, great! If not, it can mean the end of the R. I was wondering if I was going to get the old, somber sounding, "We need to talk..." call or email later.

Soon after though, I got a reply text. She just got my earlier ones and she was having a whirlwind day and she'd call me later. She ended it with an affectionate farewell. So everything is fine after all. She really was just busy.

I told her a while back that my D left me with a little scar tissue. She gave me a funny look and said, "You know I'm not her, right?" By "her" she meant my XW. I told the GF that it was a good thing. It serves as a reminder to -me- not to go back to my old ways. It keeps me mindful of my own behaviors. From getting too complacent and taking her for granted.

Anyway, it was just an interesting experience. Being tested in the R, taking the moment to understand my reaction, choosing not to react in a negative way, and then dealing with the insecure fallout the next day from a coincidental event that could have really reaggravated yesterday's events...

I'm proud of myself. This stuff really does work. \:\)

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He11 yeah it does!

I'm a few months into a realtionship and things are tough right now (she's a senior in nursing school and raising a full time daughter)I've had some hauntings of bullchit past recently. I've recognized them for what they are and delt with them soooooo much better than I would have in the past. This place has made all the difference in the world.


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I think it's important for us all to remember how important conflict (and how it is handled) is in a relationship. I am divorced now largely because I married my ex when we were still in the infatuation stage.


Glad you worked it out. As you know, there will be many more.

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I detect the fostering of emotional maturity in Dr. Seabird and am proud of his analysis and reactions.


Me: 48 XW: 44 DD: 15
Lived Together: 7 Married: 18 Total: 25 years
W announced divorce 11-3-2006, I moved out 11-7-2006, served papers 11-8-2006. Divorce final 12-19-2006. Life gets better every day.
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Sounds very mature of you Seabird, I agree \:\) . Just be sure you are totally honest with yourself and are not covering up an issue by putting it all on yourself. i.e. make sure you truly are not (and will not be) bothered by Jill's.. how should I call it.. flakiness? Some people always go with the flow and change plans like they were going out of style. My ex was like that, and it drove me (the planner) crazy. I know that I could not again be with someone who constantly changed or altered plans. Doesn't make those people wrong, just incompatible with me. So just make sure that you are not ignoring that aspect of things \:\)

AGG


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Seabird Offline OP
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Thanks all.

I'm trying to let her "own" her part. She acknowledged that her lateness and last minute changing of plans is an issue. I was careful not to minimize that and say anything like, "Ah, it's okay." I repeated, "Yes, I really would appreciate a more prompt heads-up next time."

I'm seeking a middle ground between my desire to maintain a schedule (something that I was conditioned into during my M), and her desire to be more go-with-the-flow.

I don't mind the plan changing and lateness. But I do like to be kept in the loop.

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 Quote:
AGG: Just be sure you are totally honest with yourself and are not covering up an issue by putting it all on yourself.


I agree. I have always been one to "accommodate". Accommodating led to tolerance that eventually backfired into resentment.

Try not to accommodate bad behavior. Your time and lifestyle is just as valuable as hers. If she does not live by the clock, fine, but that habit should not spill over into inconsideration of others.

You've identified a love buster. It sounds to me like you are dealing with the effect (your emotional reaction) but not the cause (her lack of consideration).

Her going for a run when she had a date with you in 10 minutes was completely inconsiderate and self centered.


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 Originally Posted By: ba109
Her going for a run when she had a date with you in 10 minutes was completely inconsiderate and self centered.


That's a good way of summarizing it, and that is what I was trying to convey by saying not to blame it all on your reaction, SB - her actions left a lot to be desried, IMO, and you would have been perfectly justifiable to be upset or even angry. So make sure you don't pass it off as a "SB issue"...

AGG


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Okay, I hear you guys and thanks. It's nice to know that sometimes anger and resentment is understandable and even justified. I have been wary of this as a potential LB for a while. I will be more careful. She set the schedule for that night. I made it a point to be there. If she had shown up at my house or if she was on her way there and I'd have called her to tell her that I was running an hour late, I wonder what her reaction would have been.

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Man, this must be the week for the past affecting the present or for feelings from the past coming up in the present. BF and I had our first "disagreement" this week because I was letting my experience with WXH's affair color my perspective of a situation with BF. I can SO relate. I can also relate to the not texting/calling in response to a text/call afterward. I texted him later that night to tell him something and he ignored it.

Basis Jill was had been in College Station and also went to Galveston, I can now tell we are in the same city and, most likely, training for the same charity ride!!! I would LOVE to meet you and Jill! I live NW near Willowbrook, but work Downtown. BF lives in League City but works in Pearland. Did you know Melodylane and Dancing Machine (formerly known as Charlotte) also live in this neck of the woods??

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SB-
from what I see, it seems that this may be the end of the "honeymoon phase".
For two reasons, the first being that she WAS inconsiderate in running that late when you had plans, and the second being that she did not text you back. If you both have been texting that everyday, she would not have been too busy to do it. IMHO. I, being the QUEEN of texting, know how EASY it is to send a text... even discreetly. She was mad that YOU got mad.

Kind of a little flag to watch out for...not necessarily a RED flag, but something to keep an eye on.

Just a female perspective, and how I may have reacted if I were her...

MO

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I knew they were from around here since Ike hit and we had a couple of threads going on it. Jill lives in the Heights and works downtown. I live in the Meyerland area and work in the Energy Corridor. I used to work downtown before we got bought out. I would looooooove to get back inside the Loop for work. Driving out west everyday is the pits.

You're an engineer at RDC? What kind.

And yes, we should definitely try to meet up at one of the rides. I'll be joining in the first one next weekend.

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Mo - I hear you and I think what you say makes sense. It's hard to look at the situation from the perspective that she could behave that way. I want to think the best of her, and that sort behavior isn't very reasonable.

I'm not going to bring it up again. The issue is "settled" for now, but should it happen again, (and I suspect it will) I think I'll be more aware of how to handle it.

FTR, I do think that she had some positive take-away from the experience. That she didn't just sweep it away underneath her mental rug. Tomorrow we have plans to attend a concert. I plan to break away from work early to go for a run. She mentioned that she might try and join me. Talking with her about it a few minutes ago, she asked me to call her as I'm leaving my office. She doubts that she'll be able to get away early enough. I told her regardless, I am still going to hit the trail at 4:30. She said adamantly, "Yes! Definitely go. Don't wait on me or change your schedule." I took that as a positive sign that she wants me to maintain my barriers.

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SB-
It suddenly hit me. You are D'd with 2 kids. She is NMNK. Do you think anything about what happened with the exw triggered her distance? I mean the reality of "WOW. He has kids that he takes care of, that can ruin our plans" ? I have encountered that with some men I have dated. They JUST DON'T GET IT. They don't get the whole responsibility that comes along with having kids.

And, FTR, I think that you SHOULD take the kids while your exw is recuperating from surgery. I sense that you were annoyed that YOUR plans were going to change,and THAT is what upset you. And that may have upset your GF, which led to her kind of blowing YOU off.

This is something that you need to think about. Is she going to be Ok with your kids being "in the way" once in a while? Do you include your kids with her at all at this point?

Just curious. But I would wager that she is kind of freaked out by the whole "kid" package. Regardless of what she may say.

Just a thought.

Do you think that she is feeling smothered at all? Please, PLEASE, don't get into the "well, I am going to do this and this because YOU did this and this game". Just because she seemed adamant about you running without her, does not mean that she is being cool with you. IN FACT, I would say that it is her way of loosening boundaries. Ex. " I had no problem with you doing that, so YOU should have no problem with ME doing that!" Ex. "I do not want to change MY plans to accommodate YOU so you should not accommodate ME".

What I am saying is this: This is the TIME, the TIME to do the right things, to set the example for what you want your future R to be like, where the habits that are formed form. Do you want it to be games, or PA tendencies? I think that in the future you should say,"I wish that you could run with me" (or whatever) so that she will not be able to say that you were ok with things before. How long have you been dating?


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Different time frame Mo. The two events don't overlap. The issue I addressed in this thread happened on Tuesday. The issue with the XW happened today, and I haven't even shared the details of it with the GF. Matter of fact, I don't share most of the crap that I deal with the XW on with the GF. Not that I'm trying to hide it. It's just that the GF doesn't want to be a sounding board for every gripe and complaint that I have over the XW. She asks questions when she's curious.

I introduced her to the kids back last June. She's gone out of her way to be involved in my life with them. She brings things over to the house for them from time to time and assures me repeatedly that she's not intimidated by the idea of my kids. She also tells me that a large part of her comfort with them is how I went about bringing them together. I didn't introduce them too soon. I haven't leaned on her for support. I made it clear that I'm not looking for a mom for them.

My having kids haven't affected her plans at all yet. She has several friends on this ride as well. She will go train with them when I am not available.

EDIT to add: You might have missed my update on the other thread. I will be taking the kids for their mom's post-op period over Spring Break. She has agreed to watching them the two mornings I requested. The issue is settled as far as I'm concerned. I have no regrets for taking the stand that I did.

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 Originally Posted By: Sadmo

Do you think that she is feeling smothered at all? Please, PLEASE, don't get into the "well, I am going to do this and this because YOU did this and this game". Just because she seemed adamant about you running without her, does not mean that she is being cool with you. IN FACT, I would say that it is her way of loosening boundaries. Ex. " I had no problem with you doing that, so YOU should have no problem with ME doing that!" Ex. "I do not want to change MY plans to accommodate YOU so you should not accommodate ME".

What I am saying is this: This is the TIME, the TIME to do the right things, to set the example for what you want your future R to be like, where the habits that are formed form. Do you want it to be games, or PA tendencies? I think that in the future you should say,"I wish that you could run with me" (or whatever) so that she will not be able to say that you were ok with things before. How long have you been dating?



I think this is an over-reaction Mo. We've been dating for about a year now. Your theory doesn't make sense to me because she acknowledged her mistake in not calling me, and she promised not to do it again. She stated that she needs to learn to realize that a change in plans for her, affects me. Those were her words.

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 Originally Posted By: Seabird

I think this is an over-reaction


lot a that going around

What's in the air this week?

I'd blame W, but he's no longer president
I'd blame global warming, but the planet's been cooling the last few years

I GOT IT!
It was the bad officiating at the Super Bowl!


Last edited by BetrayedCajun; 02/06/09 10:53 AM.

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SB-
Sorry, I did not mean to offend, I was thinking that she might have known about the incident with XW.... Then my mind got to running!

Overreaction? Maybe

I hope that you are doing well. I was not meaning to be so... dramatic, just was offering an opinion.

How are things now?

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No worries Mo - I wasn't offended. Picture me with my hands up, and a smile going, "Whoa!" when I read your post. ;\)

I appreciate your perspective. Sometimes I suspect that in a way, we've all been conditioned into such a deep degree of toxicity in relationship dynamics, that it's easy to foresee the car going over the cliff every time there's and issue. It's good to be aware of the cliff though, in any case.

Truth is, this isn't the last spat we're going to have. I only hope and pray that we maintain the ability to talk through things and work to understand our own part before pointing the finger at each other.

To answer your last question, things are going really well. We're looking at rings and talking to jewelers. We're now one year into our relationship and we've decided to move ahead for sure. She has an architecture convention at the end of April in San Francisco. I'm thinking of asking her to take a bike ride through Golden Gate Park and over the bridge, and then proposing at the top over the bay. \:\)

That is, if she actually lets me wait that long to propose. :P

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Wow! That sounds so romantic! I am happy for you!

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