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revelation in a flat minor

Why does it seem that the common reaction to any relationship problem is to view it as threatening the very existence of the relationship? Why does it seem so hard to just say "ok, we've got a problem - let's figure out a solution" instead of "we've got a problem - maybe we should break up"?

I know this has been an issue in several of my relationships, and I see it everywhere in popular culture (movies, tv, books, etc.). It seems to link in with confrontation avoidance - like it's easier to just break up than to actually deal with the problem, let alone have any confidence that you will actually deal with it successfully.

Does this ring a bell with anyone else or is it just me?

Addendum: this should not be construed as analysis, criticism, or judgement of anyone's particular relationship situation, past or present.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2002 06:04 am (UTC)
As one who has, at times, made confrontation avoidance the single guiding principle of his life, I'd have to say that this sounds very familiar, yes. I broke several early relationships with exactly that as a reason: "we've got a problem - maybe we should break up"
Nov. 12th, 2002 07:25 am (UTC)
hmm. *thinks over reasons that her relationships have ended*

1st boyfriend: he broke up with me because he was gay and realized the playing-straight thing wasn't working
2nd boyfriend: I broke up with him because I realized our personalities just didn't mesh and I wasn't enjoying myself
3rd boyfriend: after 3.5 years together I wanted to try being poly and he didn't. we angsted about it and tried to come up with a solution for something like 8 months and finally broke up
4th boyfriend: It was supposedly just a physical thing but it kinda ended up more than that but then the physical part of it stopped working for me. This was also kindof a rebound relationship for me. I told him I wanted to stop sleeping with him and he got really upset.
5th boyfriend: he decided we were incompatible personalitywise in ways I still don't understand. apparrently my failure to understand is an indication of the incompatibility. but we got back together with a wholly less-serious type of relationship and that worked well for a while until my brain started to break because I couldn't really tell what we were and if what he thought we were had any relation to what I thought we were and so I ended it for my sanity
6th boyfriend: we mutually decided that long-distance just didn't work for us and neither one of us had any plans to move any time soon. We're still kinda sorta casually seeing each other but neither one of us has nearly enough time for it to be serious.

Um, no, don't think that all applies to me :)
Nov. 12th, 2002 09:19 am (UTC)
Actually, the assumption behind the words sounds familiar, anthough the actions themselves do not. There have been times when I have felt that the relationship I was in had a problem, and wanted to fix it, but when I just got mad and wanted comfort the reaction to that was anger at me for seeming like I was willing to throw the relationship away over something small, when the thought hadn't even crossed my mind.

So, um, if that made any sense...
Nov. 12th, 2002 11:26 am (UTC)
It's definitely not just you.

I'm sure I have something constructive to add rattling around somewhere in my brain, but I just can't find it right now ^_^
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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Heather Keith Freeman
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