Friday, 4 November 2011

Fight of the Living Dead: Slay Your Relationship Boogiemonsters


Thought this article might be interesting to you- Since Lee and I have consistently made use of the technique described in it we have literally hardly fought at all*. We call it our Double Tap method, like in ZombieLand, because it kills relationship zombies dead. That's four years with way better communication and significantly less Fights of the Living Dead- you know the ones, the kind that drag on and end in anger, tears, sulking and retribution- and just when you think its over, the same issue rises back up again, dancing all Thriller like through your heart and head.



You know the story. Its been a long week but its Friday now and you've got a pretty nice night planned- delicious meal, great bottle of red, new lingerie. You rush to the shops to get ingredients for dinner, and end up getting home a little late. The breakfast dishes are taking up the whole bench space, so you kind of shove them over to make room for dinner- its going to be delicious, even if it will be a little late!

Queue your partner. He's had a bad day at work, and just wants to come home to his wife and relax. He mentions something about the dirty dishes being in the way and surely they should be moved first? Suddenly you think that he thinks you're a shit house wife, this proves that you're never going to be good enough for him, your relationship is one constant battle. You respond in a (lets be honest here) slightly bitchy tone that 'it's his job too' and to 'stop picking on you', and suddenly he hears echos of his parents fighting and gets revved up for a big blue. Its on. You're crying, he has stalked off to the garage for a smoke- even though he supposedly quit (!). There will be no dinner tonight, the bottle of red and new lingerie are both forgotten, the breakfast dishes remain on the bench and soon ants, flies and roaches come to feast...

LOSS Vs REWARD

Can you imagine if at any point in the above tale, one of you just added up what was really important, took the words said at face value and surrendered to love? Imagine if he said 'that huge pile of dishes are kind of gross- they should be cleaned up before you start dinner prep' and instead of thinking he was attacking your ability to be a clean and civilised human being, you just realise that yeah, they should. You say "lets clean the kitchen up together and chat about our night- but open the red first :)'. The loss- of being right ("Its your responsibility too- I'm going to fight you on this") Vs the reward of a sensational night together, better communication, less baggage...

Or say you don't catch yourself in time to avoid unnecessary heartache. You tell him to clean it himself, and he gets furious. What if you just apologised and said "I'm sorry, that's not how I meant it, and that's not how I want our night to go. Lets share the clean up, get it done together in half the time, and celebrate our clean kitchen by making a new mess - its your favourite meal!!". He might not back down at first. He might kind of rant a bit, but if you just kept being open and inviting in forgiveness and happiness, your night might yet be salvaged! The loss of being right, working up a great funk, being a moody little bitch, sooking, self indulgence Vs the reward of a sensational night together, self respect and freedom from the baggage...

Maybe even, if he saw the dishes and just started putting them in the dishwasher as you cut up the veggies- but wait! Thats super advanced relationship zombie killing skillz...

It really takes lots of deliberate 'I'm going to explain what I meant now' and 'when you said that, I thought you meant this, and that made me feel like this, so I acted like that' which requires great trust and patience with each other, lots of taking turns at listening. I guess its also vital to speak together about how each of you understand the intent of the method, and how you will both employ this method. But once you open that space up, to explain and apologize and understand and forgive/forget/apologize it's like everything gets easier. Well, at least that's how it works for me and Lee. Took about a year of having to keep 'practicing' the above method before it really clicked, but for me it was worth the effort. So much so that now, we don't even think twice about surrendering when the losses are greater than the rewards. In other words, we always enjoy dinner, and wine and lingerie together nowadays, our zombie killing days are few and far between...

.


* when we have fought it's over deep seated old old zombie-ass issues, which we've worked out how to slay using the above method. It's amazing how much stuff from years ago (from your childhood, teenage tears, previous relationships etc) can continue to pop up- now we employ the above technique we relish double tapping the zombie beasts that have haunted our relationship for years. Those decaying old boogiemonsters stay dead too. POW!

The author and her husband at Zombiewalk 2007

Double Tapping out,
Sandi D

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