Hi everyone!! How’ve you been? Good? I hope good. Tell me good.
So, a lot of people have asked me to write something about relationships. Specifically, the ones where someone consents and allows you to penetrate a special orifice they have. You know, the ones where you get to take the skinboat to tuna town. I’m talking about “romantic” relationships that involve coitus here, people. I don’t think I can adequately summarize all you need to know about relationships in a couple of pages, but I’ll try my best to at least pollinate some seeds of wisdom into your brain crevices.
What does it take to get better at something in life? Answer; it takes practice. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing an instrument, or applying Juggalo clown make-up, relationships take practice. Relationships also require patience, tolerance, dedication, commitment, and compromise. People who tell you they never fight, or never disagree are either full of shit, cut-off from their feelings or have a one-dimensional relationship. The truth is, it’s normal to argue and have disagreements. Think about the people you love most in your life; your mom, dad, sister, brother, best friend, basement leprechaun who parties when no one is home etc. Don’t you sometimes disagree with these guys? Don’t they sometimes piss you off ? If you’re in touch with your emotions then the answer is yes. Yes, they can make you bonkers and that’s normal. Your partner falls into this category too because, ideally, you allow yourself to be close to him or her.
Relationships usually start off solid, but they can turn to mud-butt real fast. Common culprits include anger, anxiety and avoidance. In the last post I established that experiencing anger towards someone we love might be difficult because it confuses our psyches. We’ve been taught that you can’t feel both love and anger towards the same target, so when anger shows up on the scene we may (consciously or unconsciously) attempt to deny, suppress or avoid it. We also don’t like anxiety because it makes us feel uncomfortable so we seek relief. Relief often flaunts its hypnotic pasties in the form of avoidance. When we avoid something that makes us uncomfortable, we experience relief, but it’s a phony sense of comfort. It’s like sticking a tampon in the blowhole of a whale. It may work for a little, but that cotton grenade won’t cut it in the long run. The terrible thing about avoidance stems from the reinforcement it creates when we allow ourselves to feel relief. Our mind latches onto that phony relief because relief in any form feels damn good. Can you see how anger, anxiety and avoidance (when not dealt with appropriately) create a grody daisy chain of filth and problems?
To get out of this cesspool, what needs to happen is this. You have to do 2 huge things: 1. Gain comfort experiencing anger and anxiety and 2. Learn healthy ways to manage and express them within your relationship. Doing so allows you to minimize your use of avoidance. So, instead of saying, “You fucking psycho, why are you reacting this way?!” you can try, “Yowza, I can tell you are mad, and I don’t understand why, but if you calm down, I’d like us to figure it out together.” Or, if you know you are pissed and feel like you might say something really shitty because you can’t control your temper, go outside for a walk until you’re calm enough to engage in a civil conversation. Healthy also means instead of denying the fact that you’re concerned about your boyfriend drinking a 12-pack every night, you finally decide to broach the subject in order to initiate dialogue. If you can get over your own anxiety & discomfort you will find that discussing any topic is within your reach, and actually something you’re quite capable of.
A last example deals with avoidance, which, as it relates to couple’s, packs a meaner punch than Mike Tyson high on PCP. In my office, I all-too-often see people seeking relationship therapy after they’ve reached the point of no return: as in they’ve already boarded the suck-train to splitsville and one, or both, are convinced there’s no hope. How did they get here? Well guys, “We’re too different” or “We grew apart” didn’t happen over night. Reasons for it are multifaceted, but one thing is for certain; avoidance helped plunge the once happy couple into a stench bucket of misery. If you are committed to your partner and notice distance being created, do something about it: i.e. don’t let it happen. Talk to them. Open up. Identify what you notice happening between you two, why you don’t like it, what you would like to see happen, and how you envision getting there. Also… Be clear with how you feel! (!!!!!!!!) It’s a total cop-out to say, “Well I didn’t bring up that issue because I knew how he/she would react. They’d get pissed and we’d end up fighting.” Really?! All that does is perpetuate and reinforce a dysfunctional dynamic.
Avoidance begets more avoidance and builds until a storm of puke, guts & diarrhea splash all over you and your mate. If you’re not comfortable talking about something- anything, with your partner (what’s for dinner, what movie to go see, getting a dog, whether or not to have kids, moving to Russia to become bootblacks together etc.) then you need to work on that. You also need to dig deep into that gorgeous consciousness of yours and assess whether you avoid topics becauseyou don’t like the way someone else’s emotions make you feel. So, instead of saying nothing, try, “Babe, I have something important to talk to you about and I’m worried it might get you pissed because in the past it has. That’s not my intention & when you get super mad, it makes me frustrated because it’s hard to reason with you. You have a right to your anger, but can we talk about it without yelling or swearing?”
My point is this; ya can’t bottle up your feelings because, if you do, they will fester and build until they create distance between you & your bloke, or lady: and that ain’t no good. So, think about the way you express anger and anxiety and how you use avoidance. Are you an internalizer (like Chief Bromden) or an externalizer (Incredible Hulk style) when it comes to processing these feelings? What do you do when you feel them? How do you treat others? How would your mate finish this sentence; “When X gets mad, he or she __________.” Or, “When X gets anxious, he or she ________.” What would it take to help you better manage these feelings in order to improve the way you deal with anger and anxiety in the moment so you can minimize the amount of avoidance you use in your relationship? Ask yourself and keep on asking because if you can answer these questions you’re raising your self-awareness baby, and you’re also becoming more mindful. The other part of growth is behavioral and requires you to actually implement the changes you want to see into your life (we’ll save it for another post). But, at least you’re more aware and that means you’re ½ way home!
Lastly, I want to address breaking up. Sometimes you have to try really hard to get through rough spots in a relationship and if you can persevere, you’ll be stronger for it. But, if you simply can’t get over a core issue, betrayal or other point of contention, then when a break-up happens, it’s not a bad thing. I mean, if someone wants to break-up with you, you shouldn’t have to force them to want to stick around, right?! That’s no fun for either person. Think about having a Birthday party where you invite one person and that person doesn’t want to be there. If that party lasted for 5 years, would either of you enjoy it? After you experience a break-up, it might hurt for a while, but just remind yourself that it’s better to be alone than to settle for someone who doesn’t want, appreciate, cherish and love you. Relationships essentially come down to time. And when one person wants to bounce, they’re basically saying, ‘Yo, I spent some time with you, but now I don’t want to anymore. I want to take my time away from you and not share it with ya anymore.’ If this happens to you, don’t get too bummed. I mean, yes feel some bumminess so you can heal it and move on, but don’t get stuck and beg for someone to stay out of desperation. You shouldn’t have to pressure, coerce or guilt someone into wanting to be your partner. If the sucker, or chic wants to peace out, let ‘em scoot. There’s a lot of snatch in the sea. And, believe me, you can find another thunder-cock. It’s worth over girth any day people, and you don’t need no scrub.
Thanks for reading this. I hope you found some bits of enlightenment that make your brain waves twinkle and groove in new and healthy directions.