Mr. Brit and I rarely argue. And if we do, we tend to get over it pretty quickly. We are one of those couples that always ask themselves “Is this matter more important than the fact that we love each other?” and the matter usually isn’t. So there’s that willingness from both parts to clear the air sooner than later, make sure we both acknowledge and take into consideration the reason why we were arguing, so there won’t be a next time, and go back to cuddling in no time.
We are good at communicating with each other, and we try and be very honest with one other, even if it hurts a little — that’s why our arguments are usually very civilized, where one explains why he or she is in a mood, what caused it, how to deal with it, and the other one is usually very responsive.
That’s one way of looking at it.
The other way is that I plainly, utterly and quite ashamedly, can’t understand if or when Mr. Brit is mad. Or at least, I can’t assess the degree of madness.
In my previous relationships, it was always very clear to me if the other person was mad, because usually he’d be screaming and yelling, or having a “right from hell” red face and blood-injected eyes.
With Mr. Brit, this never happens.
He told me several times that I’m very wrong and that it just happens that he can’t get very angry and have a go at me. But I’m convinced that his English manners and politeness are what prevents Third World War from happening.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a shouter or one of those people that physically act out their rage — but being Southern European, getting a bit flustered and dramatic when in heated arguments is just part of who I am.
The problem is: the majority of the times I don’t even realize we are in a heated argument in the first place! Therefore my dramatic and theatrical response doesn’t get activated.
This is what usually happens when Mr. Brit gets “angry” (which by the way, never shows on his face.)
– He says: “Baby, that upsets me a bit.” which in his world means: “I’m mad as hell” but in my world it translates into: “I didn’t like that very much, sweetheart, but I love you so much.”
– I then think: “Oh. Umm. I’ve upset him. Let me explain why I did it.” which in his mind immediately activates a: “Wow, she is taking my madness remarkably well.” type of response.
– We then go into a full blown, almost philosophical discussion about the subject matter until the point in which he gets really mad (internally) and, while laughing, he says: “Honey, I’m about to leave the room as this is ridiculous.” This, which in British world means: “I’m so angry right now I can’t even look at you” gets registered in my mind as a: “You’re so funny, let’s cuddle.”
– I cuddle him. And I think he’s too polite to push me away, so he just resignedly cuddles me, hoping that the message has resonated, while I proudly think we are such a great couple and we can tackle any argument so well.
On the contrary, when I get mad for something I start out being very quiet. Instead of attacking me as other previous partners used to do, Mr. Brit politely asks what’s wrong. Once spelled out, he nods quietly, takes it into consideration, and usually acts on it by either very calmly explaining why he did it, or apologizing either by cuddling me, or with a more grandiose gesture like covering my entire apartment in sunflowers.
So, maybe we just work well together. Or maybe his British Anger Management system is actually helping build a solid and balanced relationship…but in the end, who cares about the reasons why!