Bag of Hammers

T and I have been talking.  Two weeks ago, I was working in Detroit but couldn’t concentrate.  Not sleeping at night.  Unfocused during the day.  One evening that week, I called T from the hotel and admitted that I need her.  We talked for 10 minutes.  The bottom line of that conversation was that I am willing to try and talk through our issues. That night I slept like a rock.  The next day and for the rest of the week, I was back on my game at work.  Inexplicably, I stumbled on the 5th element of our relationship:  Confidence.

Regardless of all rationalizations, I cannot explain this component.  She gives me confidence.  We have differences, and have punished each other in many passive aggressive ways.  However, she is the one person in the world to whom I do not have to explain things. I don’t understand why it is important, but somehow it is. This excludes of course all things about ourselves.  We both seem to have a blind spot on that topic.  With that epiphany on the table, we have embarked on a series of talks.

Rock bottom has one big advantage in relationship talks:  No fear.  Nothing to lose. Definite advantage. We have been working through tough discussions one at a time over the past two weeks: Intimacy, trust, money, attention, sex, etc.


We each carry a bag of fears into a relationship.  Everything that scares the shit out of us is in there.  Things that never see the light of day. Each of those fears has a matching hammer.  When someone invokes one of our fears, we reach for the hammer and smash them right in the face. It is our nature.

I’ve known this woman 20 years. Intimately.  Yet still I have my hammers.  She also has hers.


Finally, now that we have nothing to lose, we are trying to set the hammers aside. We have still had some very ugly moments, but have been able to come back to the table afterwards each time.  Something we have never been able to do before.  Previously, one of us would just quit fighting and go underground with the frustration.  Now, we work it through to the end. We have not solved everything. I am still not sure we can.  However, I am certain that this is a unique chance to work on this stuff.  Otherwise, I’ll just be swinging hammers at a new woman in a few years.

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