Where Do Arguments Come From?

Dialogue by Kit No Comments »

My Dear Kat,

This morning we spoke of people who act like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  We have both had partners like this.  One moment, everything is fine, then POW!  Something sets them off, and someone unrecognized appears: maybe hysterical, maybe furious, maybe withdrawn.

There are several ways we react to this.  One is to defend against the attack, to fight back, to deny the accusations.  A second is to feel guilty, to feel the attack is justified in some way.  Maybe I should have called her back?  Maybe I shouldn’t have said that?  It’s easy to react this way because sometimes we do screw up, and in such cases, this is the only way out.  A third way is to try and fix it, to do whatever it takes, because she is your partner and she is in pain, and because you want normal service to resume as soon as possible.

It was with A., a very volatile partner, that I first noticed the rock.  When she got angry, I wouldn’t let my self get dragged in.  I would not let myself be affected by it.  Oh, there were times it went on so long that I reacted in anger at the whole mess, but in general, I could just let it wash over me, could wait it out.

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I write about all this because we don’t do it.  Ever.  In its place is a constancy, one that we both remarked on after getting to know each other.  I love the consistency.  Of course there is variability: sometimes you are tired or ill or quiet, but I never feel that you have changed in how you see me.  This knowledge is so very peaceful and calming.  Thank you.


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