Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Anatomy of an Argument during Deployment

This week I had my first argument with my boyfriend.

I have known him for just over a year; we actually met in person less than a year ago.

And we get along fabulously. We never fight. I often have little complaints that are typical for women, which can be filed in the “Nagging” folder, but otherwise, we never really fought.

And now he has been deployed for 9 weeks and we had our first fight.

And it was one of the most harrowing and unsatisfactory experiences of my life. Imagine you are really, really angry with someone. And imagine they are really, really angry with you. And imagine your only source of communication is emails and phoning.

And imagine that neither of us was able to check emails regularly and he always missed me when he tried to call.

And imagine you don’t want to hurt someone who is thousands of miles away, but you can’t just let things fester because “oh, well, he’s deployed.”

So it started like this: I emailed him about an incident. He got angry about this incident and sent me an email saying so. I got angry at him for being angry with me, when I felt it was insignificant compared to the big picture, and then I just kind of lost it and all my aggravations with this deployment came to the surface. He got angry that I felt it was insignificant. And that is the summarized version of our emails back and forth over the last 7 days.

So he calls me. And I am in the bath. My mom rushes in with the phone. It’s a bad connection, and I can’t hear him. He calls back again, and this time it is a better connection, and we start talking…knowing full well that we have 15 minutes to resolve our differences.

And now I can laugh about it, and say, if more couples only had a 15 minute phone call to resolve their issues, problems might be solved a lot quicker. He had about 2 minutes griping about me, I had a 2 minute rebuttal, and then we were both so scared about this getting blown out of proportion that we would start sentences with: “I really love you BUT…” as if we were both afraid the connection would disconnect and the only point we had gotten across was what a bitch I was, or what a jerk he was.

After both licking our wounds, we slid into the making-up period after about 8 minutes. And although we had made-up we both had to still blurt out and assert our respective anger, but by now we both had mutual assurance that we both did want to work this out.

And then it became a mutual love fest, where we said how great the other person was, and how much we both wanted this to work out. And at about the 13 minute mark, we were back to chit chatting about this and that, both glad that we had worked things out. And by the time I hung up, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about our relationship again.

But, hallelujah…that was an emotional work-out.

Really, sometimes I think how foolhardy and naïve I was about this deployment. This is nothing for the weak at heart. I keep on repeating the mantra that after a year we will be closer, because honestly, sometimes that is all that keeps me going.


Blogger erika said...

Matt and I had our first "deployment fight" like a week ago, and I was absolutely devastated and worried that he'd never call me ever again, but as it turns out, those fights really ARE the ones that are the easiest to resolve. You have the freedom of fuming without being in each other's presence, and then you realize you don't really want to be mad at each other 'cause you're so far away, and you're really the only support each other's got. I don't think we've ever solved a dispute so quickly.

Glad you guys worked everything out - especially since it was your first fight ever!! I get some sort of weird relief from knowing that Matt and I aren't the only ones who've gotten in fights during this deployment. LOL.

10:56 PM  
Blogger ac blue eagle said...

Deployment is tough!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

this situation sounds way too familiar...we are coming up on the last 2 months of deployment and for some reason, the feelings of disconnection are rising up again!! why?!?!? for the most part, we have been better than great dealing with all of this. does anyone else think that instant messaging can be the best but sometimes the worst thing? hopefully, the loneliness is being fueled by my recent layoff and having a fever! good luck to all out there with deployed significant others!!!

6:40 PM  

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