Hallelujiah! We talked about money without a fight!

Yesterday marked one of the first times that I have freaked out (internally) about our finances, and then waited until I was calmed down to actually sit down and discuss everything with N rationally and calmly.

It was hard. Intensely, ridiculously difficult. Normally, when I get all worked up over something, my immediate response is to react. If I’m upset or worried or angry or sad it all comes out in a big torrent of crazy. Unfortunately, I don’t just let loose with the torrent and then feel better. Instead, I get swept up in my own flood of negativity and get angrier and angrier, and it takes a long time to talk me down off the ledge – if I absolutely must mix metaphors (and I must).

Yesterday, I tried something a tiny bit different. I started getting worked up around 2pm, I guess. Instead of sending N an, “ARGH WE HAVE TO TALK”-style email, I forbade myself from emailing him anything of consequence, as we’d already decided we were going to go over financial stuff when we got home.

Then I spent a few more hours getting worked up over everything and getting all bent out of shape and upset. Our drive home was pretty quiet, because I knew if I said anything, it wouldn’t be nice, and I wanted to avoid that at all costs. For a change, I recognized that I needed to calm down before I talked about anything. I took some deep breaths, I made the effort to appreciate and laugh at the jokes N made about stuff, I petted the doggies and had oh-so-much-fun bringing them to the vet’s for Maggie’s last immunization. (Actually, that was fun; Blunder gets so excited whenever we go anywhere that it’s hysterical.)

We came home, spent a little time relaxing and cuddling, and by the time we actually sat down to discuss stuff, I was actually calm. Not a forced, fake, brittle calm, either. Instead, I was truly calm, because I realized that no matter what, we’d make it through and be just fine, and things aren’t that bad. You know what this resulted in?

Instead of a big argument and me shouting and N getting frustrated…we found a solution that worked for both of us, and our budget, and went on with the rest of our evening quite happily.

I was kind of ecstatic, afterward. N was more relieved than ecstatic; I think in his mind it was about darn time I managed to act like a rational adult and not a panicky two-year old when the subject of money comes up. I have a lot of baggage when it comes to relationships and money, and I tend to get a little bit worked up. I’m working on it – last night was an awesome example of the fact that life is happier when you don’t panic.

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About Elizabeth

I'm a native New Englander, married to a native Southerner - culture shock, settling into married life, a new job, a new house, and adjusting to life 800 miles away from my family are the basics of my everyday life. I'm lucky enough to have my best friend as my husband, the funniest dog in existence, and enough room in our home to fit all of my books and zombie movies, without which I'd be lost.
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