Thursday, January 06, 2011

Taisetsu Na Mono Protect My Balls

We never fight. I'm told that that's not normal and that when we do eventually have one, it'll be only fucking massive and our heads will explode and all the bile and venom we've been storing up will come spilling out and fuck up the carpets. But I don't think so.

When we went for pre-marriage counselling, we had to fill out His&Hers questionnaires about all sorts of squirmy personal things. Am I happy to initiate sex? "Yes!" I wrote on the form, with an exclamation mark for unnecessary emphasis. "Sure look at him! He's gorgeous!" I said when she repeated the question during the session. And I added two exclamation marks and squeezed his thigh affectionately, because he really is gorgeous. She repeated all of the questions during the session, by the way, it's not just that she didn't buy my answer on that one. It was a "here's what she said, now let's see what you said..." kinda deal, which is a great way to introduce some tension to a sunny Saturday morning. How do you feel about living with your parents, or having them come live with you? "Umm..." we said in unison. How may children would you like to have, if any? "2 or 3" we'd both written, and we confirmed it with smugly satisfied nods. Some of the questions were that easy. And then some weren't. Write about a time when you were hurt by your partner. How did you deal with it?

I was stumped. Andrew's never hurt me. Not on purpose, anyway. He didn't wash the dishes for a few days once even though it was his turn, so I ate cereal from a tupperware bowl instead of washing one as a kitchen-sink passive-aggressive dirty protest. He caught my hair once when he was pouncing onto the couch for a cuddle and I squealed "OW! MY HAIR!" and he said sorry and kissed it better. He...

Nah. I had nothing for her. Nothing of substance that would hold up to scrutiny in a counselling session, anyway. The same question was asked of him and I braced myself for his answer, remembering a hundred and one thoughtless moments of mine where I let him down and hurt him. But he hadn't been able to think of any to write down either.

I know. We're freaks. There are others like us, but they appear to be few and far between and mostly confined to my family. My sister-in-law confided in me once that she and my brother never fight either. They, like us, hadn't really thought about it all that much until they were prompted to by a pre-marriage course. The only incident they could recall was when one of them dropped a rasher and the other one made a smart remark. They both really really love their rashers. The only incident I could recall was when Andrew beeped at a caravan we were stuck behind for ages even though I'd said "don't beep at the caravan". The caravan pulled in, we passed, and I sulked tearfully all the way to Enniskillen. Mostly because I was hungry.

My friend Roo overheard the conversation between my sister-in-law and I and laughed at us for a full five minutes. He thought it was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard. Rashers! Caravans! "Youse are freaks" he said. He and his wife like a good scrap. She walked down the aisle to meet him at the altar to the theme from Last of the Mohicans. I haven't the same appetite for theatrics, though I admire it in them. Sometimes I get cross with Andrew, sure. For making a mess or sleeping in late or not making a dental appointment and then breaking a tooth and then threatening to gross me out by showing it to me. Sometimes he gets cross with me for stressing myself out or being too nice to people who aren't very nice to me or pretending that I know best about everything in the kitchen (and given that the kitchen accounts for 50% of our living space, I pretend that I know best about a lot of shit). But I just say it to him, or he says it to me, and that's alright. He still makes a mess and sleeps in late and has snaggleteeth and I'm still a bundle of anxiety and a bit of a doormat and a dickhead in the kitchen, but that's alright too. It's the little things that try us, said the man of the pygmy judge.


Catherine said...

A dickhead in the kitchen? I think not, lady.

Annie said...

Aw... that's nice.

But but but... pre-marriage counselling? Questionaire? Cheeky sods! Do you have to do this?

Karen said...

Same thing happened to us at the pre-marriage course. It was a Catholic course as we're having a church wedding so there was a LOT less about sex and a LOT more about arguments and confilct resolution and if you have a problem in your marriage later on, shure come on back to us here at Accord haven't we only fabalous counsellors.

BUT they did ask about arguments and we had to talk about an argument we had and figure out how we could have approached it differently. We sat there looking nervously at each other as ALL the other couples bent their heads together and started whispering furiously and writing long lists down and occassionally shouting things like 'You SEE? You ALWAYS say that'.

We genuinely had very little to talk about. Of course things about him annoy me and things about me annoy him. But wee things like not doing the dishes, or being too lazy to go for a walk (that's me by the way). But as for big huge rows, they honestly don't happen. We're together almost five years and apart from a snippy 'Do the dishes, I have PMT' from me every now and again, we've never raised our voices to one another. Nor have we ever had to 'make up' from a row, or even discuss a row. They don't happen.

I always thought we were weird, and also thought that one day it would all come out in a big mess and we'd divorce, bitterly. I feel better now that I know I'm not the only one!

@Annie - You only 'have' to do a pre-marriage course if you're having a church wedding, generally the Catholic church demands you do one. I'm not sure what the position of other religions is, though I'd imagine the Christian ones would require one too.

However you can choose to do a pre-marriage course if you're having a civil ceremony. With a civil ceremony it's totally up to you and not a requirement.

White Rabbit said...

Awww..this is lovely

I've never heard of pre-marriage sessions myself but I'd be horrified to discover Boyfriend's answers. We enjoy a good fight to get the tension out

Radge said...

Loved this one. My best mate has never fought with his wife either, and I hope the same goes for me with herself. Whoever says fighting is the sign of a healthy relationship is talking through their arse, I reckon.

Conan Drumm said...

Good for you and long may it last. For some folks conflict is communication, though I find it blocks it.

Rosie said...

i am when he's cooking, Catherine.

what Karen said, Annie. we were under no obligation to do it, but i'm glad we did.

i've heard some very funny stories about the Accord courses, Karen. my brother did one where the facilitators treated them to a nudge nudge wink wink conversation about the value of foreplay.

i thought i was in for a horrifying time too, Rabbit, but i was pleasantly surprised. chances are, if he says it to your face than you've no need to worry about what he might put down on paper.

still and all, Radge, if it came down to it i think i'd rather a bit of a fight than just to put up and shut up. i have to remind myself sometimes that if we do have a fight, it'll be okay, and not be afraid of it.

thanks, Conan.

Thursday said...

This is extremely reassuring particularly as I have just got engaged and, amongst other things I've thought of in the last few days, is the fact that we never argue or fall out and I wondered if there was something wrong. Most certainly he makes me tsk, tsk when he washes my cashmere at 40 degrees and I certainly tried his patience when he was forced to sleep on the sofa when I had too much port and apparently snored like a pig but even then, he was really gentlemanly about it.

Kitty Cat said...

Rashers and caravans! Brilliant. The Bear and I don't fight either. My first boyfriend and I used to fight all the time and it was horrible. It doesn't suit me at all, but seems to work for some people alright.

Rosie said...

congratulations, Thursday! i hope you'll both be very happy. it sounds like you've nothing to worry about.

yay, Kitty Cat! another one for the club. i'm starting to feel like less of a freak.

KFS said...

Ten years and not a fight yet.
Even when one of us gets all contankerous and fight-starty the other is so blindingly quick to back down that it becomes impossible to escalate.
I know couples that fight all the time, strikes me as nuts.

Rosie said...

same as, KFS, though to be fair to Andrew i'm the only fight-starty one. he usually just throws some food at me, backs into a corner and waits for me to calm down.