I’m For Intolerance! No – Wait. Against. Yes, Against.


This post will not fall under the general hilarity that is my regular musing wit.

I am in a funk tonight. I had an exhausting (but good) day at work. Something incredibly shitty happened at the end that sent me off into a rage. As someone that has avoided his feelings most of his life I do not yet handle extremes well. Things like anger and sadness and fear hit me very hard. In the past I never learned how to sit or tolerate them. I learned that the best thing to do was to run from them.

Well, I’m four years into therapy and various support groups and I’m getting better at handling discomfort. I am clear that the solution for me when the tough feelings come up is to stay with them and tolerate until they pass. I can’t tell you how strange it is to get angry and then allow myself to stay angry. Or when I get sad the hardest part is not for me to run to the internet and get attention on Twitter or Facebook or the blog. Anything except staying with the sadness. Way too hard.

As I came home from work today feeling awful I needed to let it out. When I called my girlfriend she started talking about her day. Because I wanted to play the victim instead of telling her what I needed, I waited for her to ask me how I was feeling. Every second she talked about her crappy day I became more upset at her “selfishness.” At the ten minute mark I was ready to explode.

Instead of  tolerating a little discomfort of listening to her drone on about her tough day, I made the whole thing about me. She was purposely and  selfishly  not asking me about me. I started with a big announcement that I had been dissatisfied at the quality of our phone conversations for a while now.. Since she lives in another state phone calls are mostly what we have. I don’t mind a little, “Here’s what I did today at work,” back and forth, but I need some deeper stuff, too. Going vulnerable and intimate is how I connect and find passion with my partner. We just haven’t been doing that lately.

I am not adept at conveying what I need without making the other person feel like dirt. This is feedback I’ve received from every major relationship partner. It ends up becoming a huge fight – she feels beaten up, I feel unheard. We’re both defending and attacking.

If I can just learn to tolerate discomfort a little more, much of this will subside. The dickhead who was disrespectful at work does not have to ruin my night, and the girlfriend who wants to share her day does not have to send me into a rage.

I judge myself as such a failure for not being able to effectively learn how to cope with my feelings. The judgement isn’t helping, but it comes anyway.

Tomorrow is a new day, and while I sleep I hope some of the feelings process so I can reconnect with Jessica and learn that everything will be okay if I can just tolerate.


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Comments 16

    1. gina valley  Thanks, Gina! The best news of feelings is that, if I engage them, they process and pass. The good ones do too, however. It’s all cyclical and part of the totality of experience. It all rotates. 🙂

  1. At least you realize you are doing it. Most people don’t. Communication is 00 percent of relationship problems. My hubs and I have been watching these relationship video’s and they are ridiculously accurate on how men and women communicate and why the issues are there. I think they are good for any relationships not just marriage or dating. can   like I can find out what they are called and let you know. I think they would be great for you. Even my husband loved them, they make you think.

  2. Agreed, recognizing it is a very good thing. It allows you at least the chance of working through or beyond those feelings of intolerance. I’d share my own struggles with the same sort of thing, but this is about you and I don’t want to try and steal any of the limelight and risk sending you off on another raging tirade 😀 You’re welcome.

    1. bluenotebacker  Ha – yes. Don’t ever do anything to take the spotlight off of me. Because then I would be alone in the world. This is the message I tell myself. It’s true, right?

  3. Just remember that nobody is perfect and everyone in this world handles things differently.   It doesn’t make you weaker or stronger, just different.   At least you recognize any wrong doing that you may have done and want to communicate with your girlfriend to fix things.   Communication is the key, along with understanding.   I was just learning recently about the difference between listening and hearing.   Sounds like you were listening to her because your focus was on doing your own talking, so you weren’t hearing her either.    
    It also sounds like you have inadvertently possibly made yourself a doormat?   Meaning, you are afraid to speak up sometimes when you want to be heard?   That’s the feeling I get anyway.   But don’t ever be a door mat.   If you wanted to tell her something about your day, then just squeeze those words into the conversation instead of stuffing in your frustration that you feel like you’re not being heard.    
    I’ve done a lot of therapy myself over the years, as a child, a teen and an adult – yes a lot lol.   And that’s off and on, not my whole life.   But anyhow, I had 2 therapists as an adult.   One that offered me comfort, a hug every now and then, she’d shock me and use an obscenity (so not her) and words of comfort.    
    The other one told me when I was being a martyr.   Pissed me off, but then I went home and realized I was being one.   I was putting myself in the situation that made me a martyr.   I was creating my own misery with someone.   I don’t know you, just randomly popped into twitter but really wanted to chime in my two cents because I like to help people.   I hope things get better for ya.

    1. faithlovehope44  Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I’m definitely not a doormat. In fact, I’m probably more aggressive than I should be and can come off as controlling and angry. I do play a bit of a victim in that I filter another person’s unhappiness as “D.J. must have been bad.” These are wounds from my childhood that I’m working on.

  4. Paria, new follower here and thanks by the way for the follow on Twitter.  I am really sorry for the way your day ended.  I have to say that admitting it is truly half the battle.  That said I do hope tomorrow is better and that you can work things out with Jessica if that is what you want.

    1. JanineHuldie  We’re working on it. Thanks for being a new reader! I do appreciate it. Now you’re NEVER ALLOWED TO MISS A  DAY OF MY WRITING. It’s the rule. Sorry!

  5. Thanks! Some days I can and others.. anyway those video’s are called Laugh your way to a better marriage. There are bits and pieces of them on Youtube. The guy is amazing and it doesn’t matter if you are married or not. The interpersonal information is great. My husband and I both learned a ton and I’m going to have my kids watch them.

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