Move In Together, Fight-Free

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Move In Together, Fight-Free
Moving in together is tough. The author explores her urge to nag.

Periodically, it would hit me: Oh my God, I'm nagging. I'm not even married yet and I'm already a wife.

So then I'd force myself to be nonchalant about it for a while, and try to ignore the anxiety I'd feel whenever I'd look at the boxes, focusing instead on the things Jonathan was doing right as we patched our home lives together. But the anxiety was still there, brewing and stewing and gathering a wicked head of steam, and every so often, Old Furious would blow.

"If these aren't out of here by the time the girls come over for brunch next month, I am personally going to drag them down to the East River and throw them in!"

So now I was nagging and threatening.

Still, the boxes were unmoved.

And whether I was fighting with Jonathan about them, or some other matter, I began to experience something I've come to call "emotional compounding." (If I've stolen some psychologist's copyrighted phrase, sorry—unintentional.) I'd be upset about something and so I'd pick a fight (or would it pick me?), and then I'd get smacked with a wave of negative emotions about the fact that we were fighting. I usually don't shirk fights—I can see the value in fighting with people I love. If you don't fight from time to time, you probably don't care. (Or you're a doormat.) But these fights with Jonathan were (and, sometimes, still are) different. They made me scared: Oh no, there's something wrong with us. This never happened before, so why is it happening now, when we're supposed to be so happy about taking this big step together? Or frustrated: If we can't handle these little things now, when our lives are relatively uncomplicated, how will we ever handle them? Or sad: I guess this means that the "honeymoon" phase of our relationship is over. Mostly, I'd get angry at myself for letting the fight erupt in the first place: You're ruining what's supposed to be one of the most precious times of your life.

Many times I felt all those things at once.

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