As promised yetserday, I am writing today's blog post about why I am thankful that Eric and I had our first real, full-fledged argument. Might sound strange to you. But I mean it. I'm so glad we had our first argument because now I know we can argue and make it out in one piece. Maybe even better than when we started.
Some of you may be thinking that an argument really isn't that big of a deal. Couples have them. No two people can agree about everything, after all. And I know that's true. But, the problem is, I come from a different relationship background than most. My previous relationship was riddled with disagreements, arguments and actual fights. And when I say they weren't pretty, that's being kind. In fact, they were downright ugly. Read into that whatever you'd like to. You'd probably be correct...
Comparing the relationship I have now with the one I used to be in is like comparing apples to, well, cow dung. But, it can't be helped. It's my only real frame of reference for the way I interact with another person in a relationship. Truth be told, I have felt, for a long time, like a dismal failure at relationships. Even a year ago, when my previous relationship had been over for a couple years and I'd had time to reflect, get my bearings back and stand on my own two feet again, I still felt like a failure at being with someone. Even when I knew everything that had gone wrong had not been entirely my fault, that there were factors simply beyond my control, I still couldn't quite convince myself that I would ever be any good as a girlfriend. I figured I would spend my life pretty much alone and I even convinced myself that I was good with that.
And that is the real shame. I had written myself off as a lost cause. And, in turn, had pretty much closed myself off, too. And then I met Eric. We had our first date on September 9th last year. And within the past year, I've realized something I have never known until now: I can be good with someone. I can be good for someone. I cannot express to you how very refreshing it is to know this after a 10 year relationship that seemed to prove exactly the opposite. It's exhilarating!
Eric and I have spent nearly an entire year together. We laugh with one another. We joke with and tease each other. We basically just get along famously. :) It's been great. But, also, a little strange. Because up until a few days ago, we really have never argued. For someone like me, who had been used to daily arguments or, at the very least, walking on eggshells to try to avoid them, going nearly a year without an argument felt odd. It felt wrong somehow. Now, how messed up is that? :)
But, as I said in yesterday's post, we finally had a tiff (aka: a lover's quarrel). It was horrible while it lasted. Hurt feelings and terse words. And, of course, there were the necessary capitals and exclamation points required for yelling via text! lol. But, the funny thing is, it never got worse than that. There was one point in my texting frenzy that I made a typo, omitted a word, and accidentally called Eric an idiot. In reality though, I had meant to say I was not an idiot. It got lost somewhere in the translation. Kind of like when you start talking so fast you mess up your words. My fingers got behind my brain a little! Lol. But, other than this one little oopsy, we didn't call each other names. No one got called crazy, bi-polar or schizophrenic either (much to my relief) and neither of us harbored any hard feelings after the fight. We took some time, cooled off, and things went back to normal.
And there you have it. Did you catch that word? I just hit the nail on the head... normal. It was a normal argument. A real-live, I have a bone to pick with you kind of quarrel. The kind where you vent, let it all out, and find out you love each other just as much when you're done as when you started. The kind that doesn't crush you into feeling like you're nothing because it turned so ugly and wasted every ounce of energy within you. The normal kind, where you don't end up having to leave in the middle of the night because you just can't take anymore. A regular, old, run-of-the-mill argument. Not exactly what I'm used to, that's for sure.
I must admit, I was apprehensive about talking to Eric after our cooling off period. I wasn't sure whether or not he would be angry with me. Would he secretly think I had been a complete moron or a complete and total witch (with a capital B. lol)? Would he hold this against me for the next few days? Would he stew on things and bring it up later? Somehow find a passive-agressive way to dole out punishment for me saying things that he didn't want to hear? Again, this is my frame of reference talking. These are the things I had grown accustomed to before. All of this stuff was normal to me just a few years back. Old ghosts sometimes like to come back and haunt you at times like this, when you're feeling insecure...
But, guess what? I talked to him. We both apologized. We started joking again and we said I love you. And that was it. We were done. He hasn't once made me feel bad about it. I haven't had to live with any repercussions. I argued with him because my feelings got hurt. And we're still okay. More than okay, because I feel like we've just cleared a hurdle. Or, maybe better put, like I've just cleared one. Perhaps I've never felt more normal in my life!
So this, my friends, is the moral of my story: I'm grateful we argued on Monday because I've never felt so relieved. Relieved to know we don't have to see eye to eye all the time. We don't have to agree on everything. And we're both wonderfully, normally human. We make mistakes, overlook things, aren't always perfectly in tune with each other's feelings, wants or needs. We may even argue about these things. But it won't be the end of the world. It won't be like it was before. An argument won't break us into tiny little pieces because I'm not broken anymore and because we have a strong foundation to begin with. I've learned I am capable of the real deal: a relationship that is completely normal. Slightly imperfect, beautiful and wonderfully amazing at the same time.