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Relationships People who need people; or, why can't we all just get along?

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Old 08-19-2005, 03:17 PM   #1
SouthOfNoNorth
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Fighting?

o.k. i've been a lurker way too long, i've been getting a lot out of reading everyone's posts for quite some time now without giving anything back. so here it goes:

i'm sure i'll be opening a can of worms here, and i haven't been visiting the boards long enough to know everyone's relationship history, but i'll just ask.

how often do you and your significant other fight? how bad is it when you do fight? yelling and screaming, temper tantrums, breaking things, storming out? ever get physical (not necessarily beating each other)?

my girlfriend and i have been in a relationship for 5 years now. it started when we were pretty young (she was 20 and i was 23), so there has been a lot of personality growth/change during the course of our relationship. there was, of course, that first year of "bliss" that everyone experiences when you enter into a new relationship. after that, i'd say we have intermittent periods of bliss punctuated by periods of fighting, sometimes bad. she has a temper/trust problem and i have a host of issues of my own, sometimes these fights have gotten bad - never beating on each other, mind you, this isn't an afterschool special (although we have both "grabbed" one another) - but we have both ruined pieces of our/each others property, said terrible things we both did and didn't mean, considered leaving one another. basically the whole gamut, within "reason".

the last episode of this has been recent. she's been going through a bout of serious depression and i sometimes handle it well and am supportive and sometimes am not. depression sometimes leads itself to certain deep selfish tendencies, and it's hard to deal with this sometimes. even causes you to become very selfish yourself. so, of course, this has led to some serious fights as of late.

we've "improved" our fighting over the years, managed to set some guidelines (which don't always work) and learn the art of making up and whatnot. i guess my ultimate question is, is this kind of behaviour normal for a long term relationship? this is by far the longest that i've had. is it something that all/most couples go through, or maybe a sign that two people who love and care for each other an extreme amount but aren't compatible happen to be in a relationship?

i have friends who are couples and they seem to range from both extremes, from something similar to us to the annoyingly "perfect" ones. on the whole i see fights, but i'm not sure if they get as bad as ours do sometimes, although i'm sure it's something people don't want to talk about. what say you cellar dwellars? how fiery do your relationships get?
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:31 PM   #2
Trilby
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I wish, really wish, I could help you here, but I am a relationship failure. I've tried several and apparently, I am hell to live/be with. They contain me here in this "house" and provide me with "food" and they ask me to not bother them anymore. Any advice I could offer would be tainted, heavily, with failure. But, I do feel your pain. Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:35 PM   #3
Queen of the Ryche
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my ex used to throw things, punch holes in walls, storm out of the house, slam doors, yell, etc.
in my current relationship none of these things happen. we do disagree every now and then, but we talk about it, figure it out, apologize, and move on, all within minutes.
amazing how much easier and more enjoyable this method is.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:36 PM   #4
glatt
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I can't tell you what normal is, but I can tell you that in my relationship with my wife, we don't fight. Sometimes we have areas where we don't agree on something, but there is a feeling at all times that we are a team, and the area of disagreement is something to be worked through. We talk it over and usually resolve it. Sometimes we don't resolve it, but that's very rare, and usually only with minor things that can be set aside and ignored. We have ideals that are very compatible, so it's pretty easy.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:20 PM   #5
Clodfobble
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We almost never fight over actual things or events. We get snippy with one another, just because one or the both of us is in a bad mood, but we're always apologizing within a few minutes.

When we do have a fight, there's a 98% chance it's about one of our parents, and the worst it gets is frustrated voices, never yelling or hitting things. But a lot of that may be because of my personality, I'm very non-confrontational and I just shut down when any real anger gets involved.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:26 AM   #6
Brett's Honey
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My ex and I fought like that a lot,usually when we were "partying" (fun party!). My now-husband and I do not fight, but we were 40+ when we got together 3 yrs ago. We agreed we'd had enough of that in our previous relationships. We disagree, voice our opinions, and move past it pretty quickly. If you're fighting as much or more than you're not, I'd say you may not be as happy in life as you should be.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:00 PM   #7
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Regardless of how good the make-up sex is, in the long run itís not worth the bullshit when you find your either at odds or walking on eggs wondering when the next round will start.
If youíre lonely, you can do something about it but when your in combat it involves two people to change the situation and one of them you donít control.
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:51 PM   #8
marichiko
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I was married for 20 years during the course of which my husband and I had our spats, but we never grabbed one another or destroyed stuff. We did have a few fights where we said mean things, and in the clear light of the next day realized that we had each had too much to drink, so we decided that was a warning sign that we were over-indulging. We cut back on the wine consumption which had the amazing effect of making our fights fewer and more civilized when we did have them.

After I got divorced I dated a few years and then became involved with the man I now fondly refer to as the "ax murderer." The fights I had with him more closely resembled the ones you describe. Not to say that I am accusing either you or your SO of being psychopaths, but your fighting style seems a bit extreme. You might benefit from some kind of joint counseling if she's willing to go with you.

Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:50 PM   #9
Bullitt
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I just get cheated on.. for oh the past 5 g/f's. Not much to fight about with that in my world (zero tolerance).
Women should try many things, my patience is not one of them.
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Old 08-21-2005, 01:22 AM   #10
Elspode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marichiko
After I got divorced I dated a few years and then became involved with the man I now fondly refer to as the "ax murderer." The fights I had with him more closely resembled the ones you describe.
Not to pry overly, but whatever happened to the classical guitar player beau/friend? You haven't mentioned him for awhile, now. Tell me to stuff it if I'm being indelicate.

Quote:
You might benefit from some kind of joint counseling if she's willing to go with you.
I can state that counseling was of benefit to my wife and I, but of greater benefit was the elimination of drinking heavily. We still fight, but they end quicker, and less hideously damaging things get said.
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Old 08-21-2005, 02:51 AM   #11
limey
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My partner and I used to fight like that. Depression is an unwelcome third party in a relationship, and it is very hard to be the understanding one when you SO says appalling things because of the depression: it is so easy to make hasty, dumb retorts which you will regret (as your SO will regret the things they said) later. BTDTGTTS.
We have also "refined" our fighting style and no longer grab each other (a rare occurrence in the first place), or break things. We still sometimes say hurtful things, but fights in general are much more infrequent than they used to be.
Is your GF getting treatment for the depression?
Have you read up on living with a depressed person?
Both of these things have helped us.
We haven't tried the joint counselling route because things are much more comfortable now, but we would certainly take that option if things worsened again.
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Old 08-21-2005, 04:27 AM   #12
bluecuracao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of the Ryche
my ex used to throw things, punch holes in walls, storm out of the house, slam doors, yell, etc.
in my current relationship none of these things happen. we do disagree every now and then, but we talk about it, figure it out, apologize, and move on, all within minutes.
amazing how much easier and more enjoyable this method is.
Yeah, I've been through the first kind of thing a couple of times; it's scary and stupid. There's also been the passive aggressive thing with a couple of others, no police involved that way, but still gawd awful.

Communications IS key, as is RESPECT. You can't just go off and say anything you like when you fight, especially something you will regret. It is selfish, and you can't take it back. It so awesome to be able to talk, figure out what went awry, understand each other, and remember why you love each other. My fiance & I had both ran the gamut of freaky to boring relationships before we met. Now, every day, I become more amazed at how caring, creative, intelligent and sexy my man is.
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Old 08-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #13
marichiko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
Not to pry overly, but whatever happened to the classical guitar player beau/friend? You haven't mentioned him for awhile, now. Tell me to stuff it if I'm being indelicate.
Oh my, Patrick. Such a long story. The classical guitar player and the ax murderer are one and the same. Psychopaths are SO much fun! He had this great front that he puts out - gifted musician, father former professor of poli-sci at the USAFA then head of the Colorado Council for the Arts; mother on a first name basis with all the greats of the ballet world, old family money, and then the most amazingly horrible flip flop where he turned into a thief who took a huge chunk of my SSDI, was mysteriously involved in his brother's murder/suicide thing, has a record as a sex offender, and connections with the drug world.

The entire thing is so unbelievable that I am still walking around in a state of shock. I have to keep going back to read all the documents I've recieved on him from various authorities to make myself believe it.

I waited 5 months before I started reporting him to the various agencies involved. I just couldn't take it in, couldn't accept it. It has thrown me more than just about anything I have encountered in my life thus far.

I guess that's why they call 'em psychopaths. I wouldn't wish an encounter with one on my worst enemy.
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Old 08-21-2005, 02:36 PM   #14
wolf
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I think "sociopath" might be more accurate.
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Old 08-21-2005, 04:11 PM   #15
marichiko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
I think "sociopath" might be more accurate.
a rose by any other name...
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