I Love You So Much That...I Hate You?

Why do people in relationships argue so much? Maybe, when you care about someone, you want to prove yourself to them.

(Image credit: http://carbolicsmokeblog.blogspot.com/2008/02/one-of-these-days-is-now.html)

"Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know it's serious.

There were times I could have murdered her.

But you know, I'd hate anything to happen to her.

No I don't want to see her.

Do you really think she'll pull through?"

- The Smiths

Why do people in relationships argue so much? Maybe, when you care about someone, you want to prove yourself to them. Or, arguing and annoying one another may simply be childhood flirtation on a grander scale. Remember when you were little, annoying the opposite gender was a form of flirting?

The Smiths' "Girlfriend In A Coma" puts it in a nutshell: when you love someone, they can really get to you. My friend Vanessa put it another way in a recent email to me:

I've hated every guy I've ever loved.

The ones I didn't love, I never cared enough to hate."

I've seen the fine line between love/hate/happiness/annoyance in many situations:

My Mom Thinks My Dad Is Ruining The World

My mom blames my dad for everything that is wrong in their house, and then extends it to everything that is wrong in the world.

Me: "Who jammed this dish in the wrong section of the dishwasher?"

Mom: "Your father."

Me: "Why was it 150 degrees in this house last night?"

Mom: "Your father."

Me: "Why were you guys late picking me up from the train station?"

Mom: "Your father."

Me: "Why is it raining today?"

Mom: "Your father."

Me: "Why is there a hole in the ozone layer?"

Mom: "Your father."

Now, it's nice that my mom thinks my dad has control over the world, but "your father" has become her standard reason for any strife in her world and the world beyond.

My Brother In Law Is Hiding From My Sister

I called my brother in law recently and it sounded like he was at a NASCAR event. He explained that he was doing yard work with power tools. I asked him if he really had much yard work to do and he said no, but:

"I'm out here with my power tools and a beer because, if I go inside, your sister will be ordering me around."

I admired my brother in law's ability to camoflage his hiding as actual work, and his ability to sneak a beer along with it. However, beer and power tools are not a particularly good mixture.

My Aunt Loves To Be Mad At My Uncle, And My Uncle Loves To Make My Aunt Mad

My aunt told me one time she had a blueberry muffin in the refrigerator and she specifically told my uncle not to eat it. The next morning she woke up looking for her muffin and of course he had eaten it. She got right on the phone and called him at work.

Meanwhile, my uncle was assembling with co-workers on a conference call. But, a call from his wife took precident. He conferenced her in, thinking she had a mundane question that his co-workers were permitted to hear. Before he could speak, my aunt said:

"You ate my blueberry muffin, you son-of-a-bitch."

The story always ends there when I hear it, so I'm not sure how my uncle wriggled out of that one in front of his co-workers. But, considering the gleam in my aunt's eye when she tells us the story, there's a good chance she enjoyed calling my uncle and yelling at him more than

she would have enjoyed that blueberry muffin anyway...and I know he enjoyed making her mad, and the blueberry muffin he stole.

People Think My Friend And I Are Dating Because We Argue

My friend Margaret and I enjoy arguing and we are constantly trying to prove each other wrong. When people hear us bantering, they say:

"I can't tell if you two are dating, or if you hate one another. You fight like a married couple"

The fine line between dating and hating is scary. Every married couple I know argues- from little discussions to intense heated arguments. The two of you are in a bubble together, and I guess someone's got to be correct in each conflict. Who that "correct" person is, is up for debate of course.

What is your take on this fine line between dating and hating? For those of you who are married, or in very serious relationships, do you have a lot of arguments, and venting in your relationship? Why do couples argue so much?

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