In a courtship, there comes a time when the "honeymoon" phase is over and you get to the nitty gritty part of the relationship; personally, I like the nitty gritty because it's a place you've established with your partner, gay or straight--ah hell, even a goat--that you feel comfortable in. It's waking up in the morning and no longer rushing out of bed before they wake up to put concealer on in order to hide the bags or the dark circles that have taken up residence above your cheeks and because your partner loves you for who you are, you're okay with it. But, there's also another side to that comfort zone, and it's called the mind twister.
Since the boyfriend and I are on financial budgets, and he's only one week/payment away from paying off his $3,000 credit card debt (I paid mine off last week) we're both keeping a tight eye of our finances like two Texas pedophile Catholic priests keeping an eye on the only blond and blue-eyed alter boy after communion. And well, last night, when going over our monthly expenses, things got a little nasty.
This morning on my way to get my Herbalife protein shake I called Cris, my bff of 26 years.
Nando: I'm so pissed at the BF right now, he was so evil to me last night.
Cris: What happened?
Nando: He asked why I was asking for $18 since the internet bill total was only $11.
Nando: Well, how dare he!
Cris: Ah, I see--you put his statement through your mind twister.
Nando: My what?
Cris: Your mind twister. It's a communication problem that stems from filtering your partner's/spouse's statements through your personal mind twister -- you know, twisting the things they say around in your mind until you come up with a meaning that's usually not what they meant but that's also drenched with insults.
Nando: You mean…
Cris: Yip, Example. My husband sees I have a new dress on and says, "Is that a new dress?" Since I've been using the mind twister for years, it only takes me a few seconds to filter it--so despite what he said, I hear, "Did you just spend more money?" or "Did you really need to buy another dress?" and the last one--which is always the best/worst "That must be a new dress because it doesn't make you look fat like all your other ones."
Nando: Wow, you're good!
Cris: Been married for five years, it takes practice.
Nando: So you think that's what I did?
Cris: Totally. Cause you and I both know he was only asking. I would have asked too. Why were you asking for $18 when it was only $11?
Nando: I didn't have the internet bill with me when I met with our finance guy so I estimated that the total bill was around $32. And when I don't know the exact bill amount, our finance guy rounds up, so he budgeted $18 each for the internet.
Cris: And what did you hear him say when he said, "Why is $11 and you're asking for $18?
Nando: Stop stealing my money you nasty fat Mexican whore.
Cris: Oh yeah, you're good! I didn't get to that level until 2 years of marriage.
Nando: So now what?
Cris: You have to realize that he was only questioning the amounts. Wouldn't you? He's finally being responsible with his money, something that you've helped him discover--that's where he was coming from. We use the mind twister because of the baggage we're still carrying, you know that, but it's up to you to intercept the mind twister and not take it personally. Anyone who's met your BF knows he'd never say a thing like that.
Nando: Well, why do you still use it?
Cris: I need the leverage. I've had 2 kids that have ruined my body and he still has a 6-pack.
Could Cris be right? Do we all have a mind twister we filter our partner's or spous’s words through? Is that just part of human nature or is it something that we can let go, like a small purple balloon being released into the sky? I can't help but wonder, "In a time when good relationships are as hard to tame as windy tornadoes; are we doomed into a cycle of filtering statements because of bad baggage, or are mind twisters something we can eventually untangle?"