Or more aptly titled, the joy of being single? Perhaps.
I understand in long term relationships - and maybe even in short-term relationships - a certain amount of bickering will occur. Certainly with the long-term ex, we bickered quite a bit, and it worried my ex considerably. In hindsight, perhaps she had a point. But at the time, we began to notice when we spent time around other couples that we weren't the only ones that bickered. That bickering was, perhaps, a price to pay for having someone by your side all the time. That and having someone at your side all the time was the price to pay!
I have recognized in the three years since we parted ways that I have developed certain sensitivities and over-sensitivities from that relationship. When I hear one partner belittling another, it sets the hair on my neck to high alert. When one is being disrespectful of another, I get anxious. I am very sensitive to the signs that while someone may love another, that love may still not be quite healthy. For either party.
Bickering is bound to happen when you take two (or more) independent people and spirits and try to make them into a single unit. This is true with romantic couples, and true in other social gatherings with a purpose. (Go to any board meeting of any local sports group, charity, parents group, etc, and there's bound to be some bickering in there).
I heard a bit of bickering this weekend - and I listened to the tone of voice. One party seemed prepared to bicker no matter what was said by the other party. And I have been in that position - there's one guy who I don't care what he says, it will annoy me, even if it is how nice I look today. But also the response of the other, or if there was poking or prompting of bickering. Who was escalating, and who was diffusing? If any. And over what were they bickering? Was it something that would actually save twenty minutes in traffic, or was it over something that didn't matter if either or both were right? Such as, "I like salt." "Well, I like pepper". (Bad example, but go with me here.. )
I found this weekend that I really didn't miss bickering. That I really don't like bickering. At one point, I was joking - but really quite serious - from the back seat of the car and told them that the kids don't like it when Mommy and Mommy fight. Even though they weren't "fighting", the tension with their bickering made me tense.
And it made me appreciate being single even more....
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