"keeping your relationship strong"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I came across someone's blog today and I was reminded of how much I used to blog about my feelings so much, so openly all the time that my whole blog had so much negativity (because happier posts are shorter and angry rants are a mile long) and it was pretty depressing to read. I deleted my old Xanga blog last year which had a load of teenage rants dating back from 2004-2007. I also did a quick "spring-cleaning" on old blog posts here that were pretty emotional and full of angst.

I came across one that I had missed out today.

I am shocked, to say the least, to finally realize just how much angst I had in me during that last relationship, without even realizing it. Here's what I wrote, (dated February 2010):

I’m bad for you. You hate me for what I do but you know you just can’t give me up. It’s not that easy, I’m a drug. What’s worse? I know I’m your Crystal Meth. I know exactly what I do to you and how you can’t let me go and… I love it. I love how I can make you do things you’d often think irrational. I love how you keep coming back for more.

So please keep me for all your rainy & sunny days. Don’t even think you’re better off without me. You know you wouldn’t be. You won’t know what to do, the world will be too sharp, too acute, too chronic. Without me, all your world’s problems will immediately condense into a blinding, searing, disorienting blur. I can see you know, just grabbing at air trying to get a grip on anything. It’s pathethic. Amusing.

Besides, why would you try to kick the addiction? You’re flying with me. Taken steps you never thought you could. You’ve taken off, you’ve landed. Crash-landed, sometimes but it all felt so damn good. Maybe it’s the rush you love and I’m just that little bit of concentrated nerve you shoot up right before. So maybe… I’m not that addictive, maybe you just found a new way to live with me in your blood.

Here’s the clincher. I’m leaving you. Right now, I know, the very thought of me sends you running, racing, for the edge of the cliff. Centre-stage, baby. All yours for the taking. I’m just waiting for the wreckball to ascend. Then they’ll come and force me, the Morphine, back into your veins to ease the pain. The dizzying effects will be total Ecstacy. Then you’ll come to the sad realisation that I really was the source of your power and that it was so easy for me to leave.

So beg me to stay.

I was in such a dark place, hating him and pushing him away and yet begging for him to make me stay. Treating the relationship like an addiction - spitting poison with every word, it really was very unhealthy of me.

I digress.

So anyways, three years later now, I am in a much happier and healthier relationship. I have a loving and supportive partner who is my sun, my equal and my everything.

The thing is, happy couples too experience their own down times. Ever been in a situation where everything is just going fine and it suddenly just turns sour? Let's say you have a nice, lazy Sunday out at brunch, just the two of you and then you head for a leisurely stroll in the mall. Somehow, somewhere something one of you did or said ticks the other off and a small argument ensues. Sometimes, a small argument turns into a bigger argument and you end up walking next to one another in angry silence, trying to ignore each other but still keeping a close radius (because you travelled in the same car). And most of the time, that tense silence follows you into the car and all the way home.

What began as a nice day was ruined with an "emotional fight". Doesn't it always happen that way?

However once we start talking candidly, or when someone decides that it's silly to keep silent for so long (usually him), things would get back on track and that tiny argument that was blown to massive proportions, forgotten. I'm not saying when these things happen, it's a bad sign. More so, I treat it as a learning experience for both of us; that we learn more about each other and understand how to handle these situations better in future. It's never pleasant to have an emotional fight. Everyone knows that fights are UNAVOIDABLE in a relationship, so maybe it's best to learn how to deal with these situations before these tiny "bombs" ruin a perfectly good relationship.

Making observations between my last relationship and my current one, here's what I had learnt and would try my best to apply, in order to keep my current relationship a lasting one - forever, if possible.  :)

Yep, it's possible to have a cat fight with your partner.


One of you will turn into the Baby. You will be irrational, emotional and defensive and will say whatever you must to fight for the sake of you being right. In your mind, YOU are right! The other will be the Calmer, trying their best to soothe you. When the Baby is done with expressing everything he/she has to say, they will then turn into the Clam, and stop talking altogether. In which case the Calmer will switch roles and become the Baby.

"We cannot control the wind, 
but we can control the sail."


Couples can't avoid conflicts forever, because even though "our hearts beat as one", we literally are still TWO different and separate people with our own opinions. However, many don't realize that the problem doesn't lie in the 'different opinions' or disagreements. It lies in the way how we handle the problem.

For example, if you have a difference of opinion with your best friend, would you start getting all emotional and turning into a Baby and make a big fuss out of it? No. So why do we resort to doing that with our partners?

It's because we let our egos get in the way. When we do that, our mind is clouded form any straight thinking and we want to be in the 'right'. We also spend so much time with them, that we sometimes take their feelings for granted and assume that everything we feel is mutual, forgetting that they have their own feelings too. We are in that emotional state of wanting attention & acknowledgment from our partners, to be reminded of why we matter to them.

So in a way, it's very much like my emotional statement in that 2010 post: I want him to feel like he can't live without me, that I am his drug, his everything and that I MATTER.

Of course that was a little more extreme, but this is basically what we feel like when we get into that emotional Baby state. It's just a matter of how we snap ourselves out of it.


Recognize the Baby - you need to know when you're getting into that state and you need to change your train of thought so that your emotions do not escalate. Do this by focusing on all the things that he had done right, that made you happy. If your partner is the Baby, it's very important to remain calm.

Calm the Baby - when someone is in that state, they're irrational and unreasonable, like a little kid crying for attention. So beforehand, discuss with your partner what they would prefer you to do when they're in that state. For example, whenever I get into that state, I would like my partner to hold me to his chest and kiss my forehead silently until I am okay enough to speak. That way, you can both have a calm and mature conversation to solve the matter on hand before it escalates with your emotions.

Express your emotions - don't express them in a negative way. Instead of using sharp tones with your partner like "Why didn't you call?" try instead to inject how you honestly feel "When I didn't hear from you, it made me feel like I'm not important." Don't be afraid of sounding too "emotionally weak" (especially guys) because there is no such thing.


Cut the drama, your world isn't over just because he/she did one bad thing. Whenever I get angry with my partner, I stop myself and think about all the good things he had done for me in the past, and that maybe just this time I could spare him some of my wrath and just talk about the issue at hand. Talk about it to ensure that the issue/situation does not repeat itself again. Even if it does, stay calm and remind your partner gently. Keep your cool and you keep your love going strong.


What about the times when you're not fighting? How do you keep the love going? My simplest answer would be GRATITUDE. It's something I practice daily. Whenever I feel moody, I focus on the blessings in life that I have - my family, my job, my car, etc. And also that man in my life whom I argue with occasionally but can't live without.

Think of the people who had lost their life partners and had to go on with life without them. Be grateful that you have a happy, healthy and loving person by your side.

p/s: Just had to say that this being the 10th month together with my partner, things have never been better. Sure, you say, it's only the 10th month. I'll just be one of the many people who will tell you he is THE ONE, and one of the few who would actually prove you right, in time. :)

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All images and text here are the intellectual property of Michelle Lim, owner of the blog site www.coquettishmish.com, and related third-party ownerships. Any use, reproduction or re-quoting of the materials here can only be done with expressed permission from the blog owner, and should be duly credited where necessary.