I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

I've been with my Hub for years now, been married to him for just over a whole year, and only yesterday did I really figure out that we do, actually, fight. We just do it strangely. We get all the grumpiness and the pissiness and the anger, but we're both avoiding an out-and-out fight so it's a passive-aggressive anti-battle, both of us furious and stewing in our own juices. Then eventually we decide that we're done fighting, we kiss and make up, and then discuss the actual issue at hand. It's like we separate out the discussion from the fight, which I suppose is good in a weird way, but the actual fights make for a crappy day.

By those standards, we had a pretty good brawl yesterday. My Hub was tired; he hadn't gotten much sleep due to some insomnia, and work hadn't helped cheer him up at all, as work is a pain in the ass. When he's tired and grumpy, he becomes terribly indecisive when it comes to food, and often takes refuge in some form of carb + cheese + tomato sauce combination after spending a few hours trying to talk himself into something else.

Now, there are some excellent things that would work for that, which also meet the "no poultry, no red meat" standards of Vegetarianism For Beginners. Pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable-topped pizza; all things which we have had in the past and enjoyed. Instead, he got mired in the fact that some of his options had been cut off, and he got cranky. Then he got pissed off.

It took me a while to remember my therapist's advice that when my Hub gets cranky, I don't have to panic over fixing him, so for a while I was kind of panicky. Then I got mad. We had a very grumpy ride home, long periods of sullen silence punctuated by a brief session of snapping at each other. Just lovely.

Eventually we realized that we were fighting, not just grumpy, and we got over ourselves and calmed down. It took a few hours, but it did eventually happen. Strangely, I felt a lot better about things once I realized that it was a fight; it put the evening into a context that I could understand, instead of trying to fit it into the "making each other sad" context I'd had it in originally. I think it's because when he's sad, I feel a responsibility to cheer him up, but if we're fighting, feeling a responsibility to cheer him up only makes me more pissed off because it goes against my own interests in the situation. Realizing that we were fighting took away that perceived responsibility, and relieved a lot of the tumult in my head.

I'm making a mental note about this for next time. Honestly, if we'd just taken the gloves off and gone at it, without stewing about trying to take care of each other while we were fighting, the fight would have been a lot fucking shorter.

Anyway, the point being that he was throwing a fit about me going vegetarian, even though a) I told him that what I said originally still holds, and that if he wants to have meat a few times a week, that's fine, and b) he refuses to "screw things up for [me]" by cooking meat. He doesn't know what to cook for me, which is fucked up, because there are hundreds of things that we've eaten over the past few years that don't involve poultry or red meat. Not to mention that we have a great deal of fish in the freezer. He was feeling lost in the woods and very put-upon.

I, on the other hand, reacted to this badly because the last time I tried something new he completely froze in place and waved his hands helplessly and said he was too scared to feed me and get it wrong, and nothing I could say that time could convince him otherwise, and the stress of having to do all the cooking for months on end really wore me down. There is no way in hell that's happening this time, because I feel like I'm bending over backwards to help him out and make the transition slow and easy, and even though I don't like fish very much I will eat the damn stuff just so he has a go-to protein that he already knows. (Er, I may still be a bit cranky about that.)

So. Fighting happened. We still haven't got it all sorted out yet, and there are probably more fights in the future, but we'll get it figured out in the end.

In other news, my Hub did the second session of C25K this morning. He was, as he'd warned me on Tuesday, grumpy about getting out of bed, and grumpy pretty much until he hit the shower after he exercised, and then he was fine, and thanked me for my help, and admitted that he did, in fact, feel more awake and invigorated after exercise than he usually does in the mornings. (He was originally more of a morning person than I was, until I started exercising, and then the tables turned. I suspect that this was a combination of losing the last vestiges of my teen years and sort of re-setting my inner clock.) He's been fairly chipper ever since.

He reports that the second session of C25K is "slightly less painful than last time", and is preparing himself to do his own motivating on Saturday, when I will be unavailable for motivating him out of bed. I designed him a longer-term C25K program, but he found the first week's part to be insultingly easy compared to what he was already doing, so he ignored it and kept doing the set program.

(If anyone wants my version of the C25K, I will gladly send it to you in a happy little Excel sheet. Just send me an e-mail at iamthatgirlnow@gmail.com. It's about 32 weeks long and very gradual, meant for folks who might find the 9-week version intimidating, and includes a what-to-do-at-what-time breakdown for those with treadmills, a count of the total minutes walked and total minutes jogged per session, and the percentage of minutes jogged to total workout time-- not counting warm-up and cool-down, of course. I set it up so that you get one more minute of jogging every week.)

So, we're having a bit of a rough time of it. We'll figure it out in time, but in the meanwhile we keep hitting potholes in the road. Ah, well.

3 Comments:

  • I can totally relate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 AM  

  • I thought of you last night as I was making calzones. I used my whole wheat pizza crust and filled them with a variation of the spinach and artichoke dip-casserole that you described in an earlier post. Folded them into neat little pockets, brushed them with an egg wash to make them brown up nice and crispy, and voila! They were so fabulous that my husband even snagged one to bring to work for lunch today. I shredded up some grilled chicken and incorporated that into the filling for protein, but I thought of you because it occurred to me that there's no reason why you couldn't do that with tofu or lump crabmeat.

    BTW, I'm coming up on three years married to the calzone-snagger, and he's constantly reminding me that we're always going to fight. It's most important that we do a good job of fighting. Sounds like you two have that pretty well in hand.

    By Anonymous erin, at 12:17 PM  

  • CALZONES! Oh, Erin, you're a lifesaver. I have a batch of that in the refrigerator right now, and have been kind of at a loss about what to do with it. I think I'll whip up a batch of pizza dough tonight and see if I can put this sucker together. Thank you!

    By Blogger Meg, at 12:22 PM  

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