I'm around your side, shall I drop by for a cuppa?" I telephoned my friend in the suburbs?"
Please come soon Nisha!
-I need the company, some advise and the strongly caffeinated cuppa!" She replied. I found her bleary-eyed and disheveled though it was two in the afternoon. "Got to bed at four o' clock. We argued and argued "
She thought he'd been philandering with that b-----* at that dinner, and he'd been exasperated- placating, reasoning, and finally apologizing so they could ‘kiss and make up’.
They are a contemporary twosome in a live-in relationship. What I learnt was that this sleeping at three and four I the night was a regular feature of their time together. And arguing and fighting? It was not necessarily about perceived roving eyes alone! It could be some small thing that had not been to her expectations or something said that conveyed wrong intent or anything amiss in his demeanor that went contrary to her mood even. I gathered all this, half by her own admission and the rest by insights that didn't need an Hercule Poiret to decipher.
To me she seemed the offending party. She even half-admitted that once she got a bee in her bonnet she just had to get the issue thread-bare even if it took all night! He loved her tenacious persona! And invariably she had regretted her uncalled for insecurities, tiresome nit-pickings and the waste of entire nights in wearing out to-and-fros of a variety of accusations, fault-findings, and- generally going on and on till he bought peace and a semblance of comforting(?) togetherness. Even if he had to apologize for wrongs not done! She too paid the price with guilt and misgivings that he'd leave her and hate her and what-not!
“But then if you know this, why do you do such self-harming things? I can't seem to understand you?" I reasoned. She wept, "I can't seem to help myself, I think I've got this obsessive compulsive disorder! It certainly seems compulsive!"
I thought she seemed so normal. Maybe she was setting herself in a vicious cycle of guilt and ensuing insecurity and more a "controlling" need than a psychiatric thing. We talked. I asked her why she felt she had to be be "boss-lady" who had to be judgmental on a well-meaning partner. She seemed to see some point in the observation but came round the circle to "I just seem unable to help myself Nisha, I wish you could be around to tell me to quit , you know. I think if I had someone I believed in around, my sense would not go for a six! Even as I speak, I know what a good thing I've got and how tolerant and loving he is- I want him for keeps -I'm scared I'll drive him away! How long can he endure a harridan?" She hoped they were going to marry eventually.
“Listen” I said, “what's wrong in starting to make things right this minute on? As for needing someone you believe in around to knock some sense, you know what? You do have someone!"
"Who?" She asked
Nagging and haranguing is a negative communication pattern that actually becomes the cause of betrayal and infidelity where it does not exist. Women are more prone to it according to statistics and couples actually fall out of love only due to this one ‘pattern’ that a woman takes up mostly because she is conditioned to ‘run’ the home and feels responsible for addressing all issues concerning the partner and home.
On his part the partner can also do his bit but checking his lady, not allowing it to happen, putting his foot down, and if the request is reasonable then acquiesce before it becomes an issue. People respond better to conversation and communication than loud voices and shouting matches. An interesting trick is to write post-its and leave them at strategic places or then email.
At school they had taught us that we have a better self within who tells us ‘Don't cheat!’ When we're about to! Or when we want to go the wrong way!
“Just think what your better self would want you to do when you want to loose it or berate and lecture when you can actually be rational and communicative!-I'm certain it'll make you stop!” I said to my friend.
And indeed I do believe we have that better self than we allow ourselves to believe we do. Pinocchio had his nose to stop him lying!
I also offered- “either talk the matter with him or get a friend to discuss with both of you if necessary. It may give you such a constructive happy togetherness, after all valuable things need to be taken great care of.
Its not just school-kids who must train to listen to their better selves. We need it too.
In adult language it translates to our "impulse control mechanism"!
Nisha JamVwal is a Columnist, Designer, Art Curator, & Brand Consultant.