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stemnyjones's avatar

Is walking away from the situation then not bringing it back up again considered running away from your problems?

Asked by stemnyjones (3969points) May 22nd, 2010

Many times I’ve accused my lover of running away from problems, because of the way we handle arguments: When we are arguing, I strive to turn the argument away from being a blame game, instead turning it into an intelligent discussion so that we can solve the problem. She, on the other hand, doesn’t want anything to do with discussions, and instead leaves the house until she is cooled down. This would be fine with me if she came back ready to fix the issue, but instead she comes home as if everything has been resolved and gets mad if I try to talk to her about it. The annoyance of the issue still lingers with me, because it hasn’t been resolved, so it starts the pattern over again a few days later.

So, as I said, I’ve accused her of running away from her problems, and she’s actually acknowledged that she has a problem with that, and she has been doing it since she was a kid.

Today, though, after fighting with her on and off all day, we got into the whole blaming phase where I’m telling her off for leaving shit all over the place for me to clean and she’s telling me off because she “works all day” and is tired when she gets home, and when it got to the point where she told me to shut up about it and basically told me to go away, I took a shower and I left. I told her I was going look for our dog (who has been missing for a couple of hours), but after driving around the apartments for a little bit I abandoned the search and went to my mom’s house to take a breather outside by the pool and smoke a couple of cigarettes.

By the time I came home, I was over it. It was slightly different from the way my girlfriend does it, because I didn’t refuse to talk about the problem – but she didn’t try to talk about it. She said sorry, I said sorry, and there’s still shit all over the house and she still works all day and is tired when she gets home, but I just don’t even want to have the stress of talking about it anymore.

So, is walking away from an argument and never talking intelligently about the issue actually just running away from the problem, or is it sometimes just a necessary part of human nature to keep us from violence? Or am I thinking too deep into this, and it’s not really that big of an issue? What are some better ways to deal with arguments when it gets to the point of a childish blame game, but neither of us are ready to back down? And where the hell is my dog?

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7 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You’ve both asked and answered the question; and there‚Äôs still shit all over the house and she still works all day and is tired when she gets home.

Conflict resolution is a big issue in relationships of any kind. You may try talking with her before a hot problem arises. Maybe you could figure out how to work things out. What about a talking stick? That allows one person to try to listen and keep her mouth shut.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes. It’s passive agressive for saying, “since I’m not going to get my way or my point of view then I’m going to sweep this aside and go onto other things until you give in and compromise in order to break the silence by going along as if everything is fine… as long as you do it my way.”

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, what you describe is both of you trying to run away from your problems. It is good to discuss differences without the heat of argument. Maybe you could simply say “Can we talk?” and explain what you have told us.

Another idea is to both write down a list of suggestion on how to improve the relationship, and exchange lists.

stemnyjones's avatar

@gailcalled & @YARNLADY The problem is that we have to talk about things so much (because I have a young baby and she came into the relationship while I was pregnant and kind of knew what she was getting into, but in reality she is only 20 years old and was not mature enough to handle a newborn on a 24 hour basis, so she does a lot of things with the baby that seem innocent to her but are actually dangerous enough to worry me (like not putting sunscreen on her before a long day out in the sun, keeping the house freezing cold after she takes the baby out the bath and not dressing her right away, etc)… so basically, we talk about things so much that she automatically gets on the defensive when I say “Can we talk?” She’s admitted that the first thing that pops into her head when I want to talk about something is ‘what did I do wrong now?’, and it’s hard for me to figure out how to change that immediate reaction with her.

john65pennington's avatar

From a police officers point of view, most of the time, leaving the house and cooling off, is adviseable. generally, this separation period works for most couples. as you stated before, this may be a maturity problem for her. if you two are to survive together, both of you are going to have to have a meeting of the minds on the differences you both face, together. if she cannot face reality with you face to face, then you are going to have to approach the situation from a different direction. i suggest this to many couples that have really bad communication problems with each other. both sit down and write a complaint list about the other person. once both lists are completed, swap them and both go in different directions to read the list and think about how to handle each others complaints against each other. this really has worked in the past. instead of just verbal words, each has a written list of complaints that can be read over and over. this list will bring you two together and ready for an open discussion. you are correct, you cannot runaway from serious relationship problems, especially if you live together and want to stay together. good luck.

augustlan's avatar

It really depends on the issue you’re fighting about. Is it a deal breaker? A minor annoyance? Something that wouldn’t bother you if you hadn’t already been having a shitty day? If it’s not something you’re going to break up over, or isn’t routinely making you miserable, why fight about it? In those cases, walking away and cooling off isn’t running away from the issue, but defusing a stupid and unnecessary fight.

If it is a major issue, then you’re only delaying the inevitable. And it will only be messier when you finally get around to hashing it out.

The bottom line is, know the difference and choose your battles wisely.

stemnyjones's avatar

@john65pennington I really like your idea, but I know that she wouldn’t go for it. I mean, she might agree to do it, but then when she read my list of completely legitimate complaints her feelings would get hurt and she would use it against me forever.

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