petite anglaise

July 2, 2008


Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:57 am

If there’s one thing I hate more than any other, it’s going to bed after a fight still seething with anger.

All those hateful, half-meant words are left hanging in the air, drawing an invisible barrier down the middle of the bed which neither of us will cross, mired as we are in stubborn self-righteousness. The unresolved tension in the room is palpable: I can feel it, smell it, taste it. I lie, every muscle locked, jaw clenched, breathing in, breathing out, knowing that sleep will elude me for hours, knowing that the next morning I’ll feel battered, bruised and melancholy. Sometimes I get up, creep into Tadpole’s room and lay beside her for a while, drawing a basic, animal comfort from her sleeping presence. Short of sitting on the toilet or standing in the kitchen there’s actually nowhere else to go. But any reprieve is only temporary: I’ll have to return to the living room-cum-bedroom sometime. I’ll have to return to our bed, stretch out beside him, my husband, wondering whether he’s seething too, or has fallen asleep, leaving me to seethe alone.

Getting married – lovely in countless ways – hasn’t miraculously transformed the dynamic of our relationship. We alternate periods of blissful happiness and intense physical complicity with short bursts of conflict, just like we always have. I know the latter are temporary. At best, he’ll come home from work and act as though nothing happened and I’ll follow suit, play acting woodenly at first, then slowly relaxing until the farce becomes reality. At worst we’ll have a post-mortem, during which the animosity may flare up again, briefly, before it’s laid to rest.

What worries me is that the underlying cause is never actually resolved. The triggers vary, but the subject at its core is constant, rearing its ugly head time and time again. In a nutshell, and without actually raking through our dirty laundry, it’s about where the right to individual freedom blurs into selfishness. Every fight gives us extra ammunition; the evidence for our respective cases stacks up. He treats me to a retrospective, pulling out every notable example from the past six months, demonstrating by A+B+C that I’m fundamentally flawed. My line of attack is different, but no less destructive: I project present behaviour into future situations, anticipating problems ahead.

When I’m calm, no longer seething, I can see his point of view. I’m not blind to my own flaws – a dash of possessiveness, a hint of insecurity, a sprinkling of irrationality, among others – and he’s not the first person to have pointed them out to me. I may be able to alter certain behavioural patterns, over time, and I can certainly admit that a particular thing I said, or a way in which I reacted was clumsy, aggressive, or just plain wrong. I can apologise for A or B or C.

But I can’t help thinking that as long as the core subject remains unresolved, the rest is just window dressing. And I fear this means that, nestling between the periods of blissful happiness and intense physical complicity, there may be many more nights of seething up ahead until we find a way to figure this out.


  1. Hmm, it sounds like he argues like a woman (that presenting of previous incidents, like evidence presented in court).
    Do you really think you disagree on the fundamentals ? You’ve agreed to be married, you’ve agreed on the parenting thing, the only other things are money and religion. While it would be lovely to share arguing styles, I don’t know any couples who do argue in the same way. I do know some who don’t argue and they freak me out. They never disagree, they never moan about each other… arguing is healthy, although you may want to consider making up before you go to bed.

    Comment by Ponytail — July 2, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  2. Why, of course you have flaws, he does, I do, we all do… But in my opinion, they shouldn’t represent the main topic in a relationship: after having fought for and about things for some time, the best idea would be to just laugh about each other. Because there is much more to a relationship than a sum of corresponding personality traits, disturbed by an abyss of flaws. There are no good reasons, really, not to take the personalities part lightly and go for the deeper levels…

    Comment by alcessa — July 2, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  3. I’m not sure if you were both living together before you moved in, but when I first moved in with my husband before we got married, we had a lot of fights. In retrospect it was just growing pains of learning to live together. And after a lot of intense fights we have learnt to speak to each other in a better fashion, most of the time anyway.

    And it’s also probably normal to be more defensive than usual after getting married, you’ve been living an independent life for quite a while as has he and after the wedding’s over and you realise that you’re now officially a couple it can feel a bit weird.

    I’ve only been married for a few months so I’m not really the one to be giving advice, but if you just moved in together then you might find a lot of the issues are just that.

    As I’m sure a lot of people will say, going to bed angry is never a good idea, neither is just pretending nothing ever happened. But everyone’s different of course.

    Comment by letigre — July 2, 2008 @ 10:45 am

  4. My husband argues the same way. It drives me I-N-S-A-N-E. I eventually lost it with him one time telling him that he was no longer allowed to rehash the past as it had no bearing on the present argument. I just stopped arguing with him if he did it again. He soon got the message. His other annoying habit (whilst argueing) was taking everthing to the extreme. I.e. threatening divorce. Not because he really wanted to get divorced, but because he wanted to scare me into an apology, even if I still didin’t want to see his point of view. He knew that MY common sense would prevail, and it would force me to see the bigger picture and I’d apologise just to ‘avoid divorce’. Again, I really had to tell him that if he ever did that again, I would take him seriously and leave (with our son), and he would have to deal with the consequences. He doesn’t do that anymore either. Heh. Marriage, it’s like a pressure cooker. The bad stuff is worse, the good stuff, MUCH MUCH better. It’s finding the middle ground that’s the hard part eh?

    Comment by Ness — July 2, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  5. A wise friend of mine (married for some 25+ years) reckons that…

    grievances should not be stored up (like in a backpack) ready to come out each time a row happens.

    Hard though…

    Comment by Lindsey Violet — July 2, 2008 @ 11:03 am

  6. While your description of the aftermath of a row is excellent, I can’t help feeling that it’s a little unfair on your partner to air it in this way. It’s almost as if it were a kind of warning or a roundabout way of giving him a message, especially as you haven’t been this personal in your posts for a very long time.

    You sound very insecure, especially in the last paragraph. It’s probably too easy to say that you should stop overanalysing things, panicking about trouble that may lie ahead and predicting future strife, that there’s no point raking over the past or agonising about the future.

    Maybe you should take a short holiday together? Or try to reduce stress levels?

    Comment by happyforyou — July 2, 2008 @ 11:12 am

  7. Funny, when I read your today’s bit, I could have sworn that I could have heard these exact words coming from my own spouse’s mouth. She feels exactly the same, she just cannot sleep if we go to sleep after having an argument. I can. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that after a while, things seem so unimportant the next morning, it just seems easier (for me at least) to wait till the next morning, hoping it will have gone away. Or maybe it’s just cowardice, I don t know.
    But we’ve known each other for a long time and I know that if I do that, the fight will go up again the next day, just heftier as I will be to her eyes guilty of not having confronted the problem the day before. It’s just a question of knowing each other… and as you say sometimes it’s not bad to fight while remembering that anything you say while angry may be turned on back to you in an argument a few weeks or months from now.
    But even when you think you know your significant other’s fighting style, you may discover that you’ll never be able to know in advance exactly how he will react, you will always rediscover him and yourself while fighting. Because of that the only fighting rule which should always been abidden by from both sides is respect for the other, and respect is for example (for my part) not going to sleep without making up. Maybe it’s poor advice, it’s just my point of view, hope it will help.

    Comment by Mr Jo — July 2, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  8. When I got married, my father took me to one side and advised : “never let the sun go down on an argument”

    We didn’t. We had our blazing rows in the mornings and lasted seven years before divorce. :)

    Comment by Rachel Green — July 2, 2008 @ 11:24 am

  9. Sorry, how long have you been married?

    Poor sod.

    Comment by Dink — July 2, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  10. One of the great joys of a successful long-term relationship is the way that, over time, it can heal both partners of many of their flaws/hang-ups/issues/other bruised bits. But in order for that healing to take place, those bruised bits are inevitably going to be exposed, and rubbed against, sometimes quite harshly. Although there aren’t any shortcuts, I would counsel the following: empathy, humility, forgiveness, patience, and as much rational objectivity as you can bring to bear upon the situation. Going to bed on an unresolved row is one of the most unpleasant situations you can find yourself in, and you have my full sympathy. But in my experience, you won’t be rowing about the same old issues for ever. These things do resolve themselves over time. (The bad news is that sometimes, that can be a very long time indeed!)

    Comment by mike — July 2, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  11. I feel for you, petite. It’s not easy knowing what to do post-arguments. My husband and I used to have some really spectacular yelling matches, screaming at each other, even throwing stuff around the house sometimes. I always thought it was his fault but, looking back, we were both equally to blame.

    What stopped that vicious circle was me. I had to calm down, and in a big way. I simply stopped shouting when I was upset about something, and really made a big effort to think about what I was actually upset about… nine times out of ten, it wasn’t the reason I’d first thought.

    When he got angry, I made sure I didn’t react. It’s actually the same technique I use with my kids, now I think about it: ignore bad behaviour where possible and where it’s not, try to explain the problem in a reasonable way. Easier said than done, I know. Sometimes it also means asking myself how important it really is to be right (and recognised as such) every time?

    Sorry if that sounded a bit preachy, I didn’t mean to. Don’t forget the good times.

    Take care

    Comment by suziboo — July 2, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  12. I read this recently in the novel “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” (Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini) by Giorgio Bassani:

    “Love was for people who’d made up their minds to dominate, turn and turn about: a cruel ferocious game, much crueller and more ferocious than tennis, played with no holds barred, where goodness of heart and honesty of purpose just never came into it, to alleviate things”

    Comment by Jim — July 2, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  13. well if you expected this before you got married, then it is fine no?

    Comment by lilolo — July 2, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  14. Fingers crossed for you two. Chocolate solves everything you know. And wine.

    Comment by Jonathan — July 2, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  15. Hang in there Petite. The first year of marriage for me was a rollercoaster where boundaries were tested and countless nights of sleeping in spare room with puffy eyes endured.

    For us it was a learning process despite having been together for 9 years previously. Not all issues have ever been resolved and probably never will but we’re a bit kinder and less hard on each other than we were.

    Just my experience but hope it helps – and if nothing else a wee kiss in the night helped….

    Comment by Julia — July 2, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  16. I don’t comment often, petite, nor do I often give unsolicited advice. However, I read shades of my first year of marriage in your words.

    Apologize first. Say that you’re sorry and mean it. Trust him. Trust yourself. Be open and honest, hold back no bitterness and nurse no grudges.

    It sounds so simple, but it is unbelievably hard. My husband taught me these things. We’ve been married eleven years. We’ll be married until one of us dies.

    Make him your best friend. It works so well.

    Comment by kaycie — July 2, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  17. I think most couples argue about the same thing over and over again. As much as people love each other and want to be together, often differences of opinion remain that are hard to reconcile. Trying to resolve things before going to bed helps though, even if it’s late and you’d rather not be talking to each other right at that point.

    The main thing though is whether you love each other enough to work it out together. If you do, then then it will work out, even if it takes time, a lot of talking and some compromises.

    Comment by Marjolein — July 2, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  18. This too shall pass…

    The husband assimilation program not going too well then? ;-)

    I take my hat off to ‘the husband’ (nee boy), he is obviously standing up for himself against your womanly demands. But you should both stop being mardy arses’ and be grown up and deal with the root causes of your disagreements, else over time, the roots will rot, and so will anything else that was built upon them.

    And remember, peace interspersed by war does not make for a happy existence. Find the third way, compromise!

    Comment by Steve... — July 2, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  19. There is that old line from “Love Story” – “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Bull! Love means having to say you’re sorry over and over again.

    They say that there is a right way and a wrong way to that couples can argue. At least that what the marriage counselors say. The problem is that when we let our emotions take center stage, they tend to block out all the nicely planned approach to arguing that we were going to take.

    “Marriage is an ordeal.” – Joseph Campbell

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — July 2, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  20. If my understanding is correct you two have been living together for some time so you would know if this is something that occurred before the wedding or if it just started. My own experience is that things left unresolved just fester become like a wound that heals on the outside but inside is still infected. Eventually the wound has to be lanced to let the infection out and let it heal from the inside out. You have not been together long enough for that wound to be very deep so lance it now get the “stuff” out and heal from inside out. Counseling is not a bad word.

    Being married is full of compromises, just make sure that each one is making their fair share. You also have to Learn how to fight clean and this is not easy. I’m really sorry to see this post from you so soon after the wedding you should still be (as Cole Porter would say) on a flight to the moon on gossamer wings. One last word do not “self destruct’ I was once married to a man who built things up just to destroy them. It was if he did not think that he deserved good things in life. What the heck by now you two are probably (hopefully) making passionate love and can’t remember what the fight was about.

    Comment by Jen — July 2, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  21. My first time commenting (I discovered your blog via your book, which I gobbled up in one day!) — here’s one thing I learned in my 10-year (so far) marriage — try holding hands when you have difficult things to discuss; makes out and out fighting hard to do.
    Your comments sounded pretty familiar, though, nonetheless, and a common struggle I find in my marriage. Try not to go bed mad!

    Comment by Patty — July 2, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  22. I agree with Steve@18 better to knock this on the head, as it’s still very early days in your relationship. You’ve not known each other for so long and have barely been married a month.

    Because as the month’s turn into years and the intense physical complicity will dwindle (it always dose) the blissful happiness may remain both don’t let the ‘seething’ take over. A relationship destroyer if there ever was one.

    So good luck.

    Comment by Pauline — July 2, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  23. petite – what an open, honest, and intimate post.
    I am by no means an expert – but I do think that two maxims are true throughout all relationships
    1. a lot of it is just getting to really know another person. with time and experiences together, it is just easier as you understand where opinions, beliefs come from.
    2. there is no room in love for pride. aplogize and work for a solution, compromise. you two, together, are bigger than this one issue.

    Comment by bijou — July 2, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  24. Hi Petite,
    I just finished reading your blog from start to finish over the past few weeks and here I go with my first comment! Strange it should be on this topic, as my (live-in) boyfriend and I also go through these phases where we hit a brick wall and it always leaves me feeling like the injured party. I’ve learnt to deal with it by deciding that no amount of sleepless nights, worry, or pacing up and down the apartment will make any difference to the problem itself. It just makes me even harder to live with – for him and for me! Trying to relax and accepting that these things are a perfectly normal part of being in a couple help me to put things in perspective and make it easier to work things out with a calm, rational mind once the ‘bad air’ has cleared. Just in case it helps….


    Comment by Emmina — July 2, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  25. This is a genuine question rather than a rhetorical one, i’m just curious to know what your interests/hobbies are besides yourself? I can’t imagine the bloke is going to stay around for long if you don’t find something else to talk about but you and him and the two of you together and something funny tadpole did the other day. Do you read? Like films? Collect butterflies? Know anything about politics? Play any sport or musical instruments? Have any passions besides planning for weddings and sexual innuendo? Sounds like your lack of hobbies and lack of conversation topics that don’t involve YOU are the root cause of your problems.

    Comment by James — July 2, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  26. You might be interested by a French book about the irritation in a couple entitled “Agacements, les petites guerres du couple” by Jean-Claude Kaufmann.

    I haven’t yet read the book but some articles or interviews on it raise some important points.
    Like the fact that the fight or the irritation return us back from the couple/the fusion with the beloved one to our own identity, our own specific values.

    Interview with the author :

    Comment by egogramme — July 2, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  27. It takes two to make an argument – I would suggest you both sit down and talk about why you argue during one of the ‘blissfully happy’ periods so that you (both) are not tempted to say things you might later regret. It will probably destroy the happy moment, but at least you’ll get something sorted out.

    Aside, I’m enjoying reading the various bits of advice and personal stories – there are a lot of wise people out there!

    Comment by Karen — July 2, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  28. One of the hardest things for me in my marriage was taking the concept of putting the other person first at all times into our fights. After a year and a half, I have made a lot of progress. If he is trying to start a fight, I reign in my initial response (WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?!) and try to figure out if there is a legitimate beef that he has needing my apology, if his view is just wrong or if he’s just being pissy. In the case of #1 and #3, I back off. In the case of #2, I do my damnedest to convince him why he’s wrong without yelling. The result is less than 3 shouting matches in a year and a half. It’s really a challenge, but when it comes down to it, neither of us want to fight because it draws out the ugly side. I’m also aware of how easy my husband’s feelings get hurt and do all I can to avoid that. There’s a big difference between arguing for your beliefs and fighting to hurt someone.

    Lots of luck, but you MUST discuss the underlying problem. Tell him to suck it up and act like an adult–same goes for you. I say that with all respect-fighting brings out the dinosaur brain like nothing else.

    Comment by Leslie — July 2, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  29. Contrary to popular belief, I’m a big believer in going to bed mad. Things never seem as intense in the morning light. I think it’s a big mistake to continue on when you are tired and frustrated. Better to drop it and fall asleep seething, than say something harsh and cruel in the interest of trying to hash it out…

    Comment by Don Mills Diva — July 2, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

  30. I’ve been married 6 years and after a blissful period without arguments, it started to get more difficult. I find that when we can find the courage to apologize for what we might have said that was out of line, or when we can show the other that we respect them, it’s easier to end an argument and to explain your point of view, and understand the other a bit better.
    Good luck, and treasure the good moments, they’ll help you with the tough ones !

    Comment by Delphine — July 2, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

  31. Coddswallop! i’m going off the drink if that’s what it takes.

    Comment by Trevor — July 2, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  32. Glad to see more optimistic wording at the end this time around.

    Sometimes the pace of life is so fast that the little things are not dealt with when they should be and they build up gradually into something more. Although the depth of a relationship is not directly related to the length of time people are together, the fact is that you’ve known each other for just over a year, according to the blog. You need to make sure to dedicate time to being together and not fall into a rut of seeing each other for a short time at the end of the day, when you’re both tired, as tempers may be frayed and you may be more prone to arguments.

    As someone else said in another comment, it would be a good idea, when you’re both calm and unruffled, to come to an agreement on what is and what isn’t allowed in an argument. For example, citing previous arguments or speculating on what might happen in the future.

    Most people probably fall into the same patterns and resort to the same strategies every time they fight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be changed to less destructive patterns.

    You’ve said before that you wait a few days between actual experiences and posting about them, so I hope you’re in a happier place by now.

    Comment by happyforyou — July 2, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  33. you’ll be sorry when I’m gone and you’ll be left with a litany of plaudits from a litany of halfwits.

    Comment by Trevor — July 2, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  34. Personal freedom vs. selfishness is a difficult topic that needs to be worked out elaborately in every relationship, nowadays… But solutions are certainly not impossible to reach, if you like the other person. I’d go for general generosity and pragmatism, but would expect some basic forms of dedication (I’d hate for my husband to spread gossip about me, criticise me behind my back or do things/have plans I know nothing about or leave me alone if I am sick, but I never complain if he watches other women, doesn’t tell me all the details and isn’t there for my every beck and call. We even manage slightly different life philosophies and general ways). Many people know instinctively when they are needed and many become much more generous with their presence in our lives, if not pushed too hard…

    Comment by alcessa — July 2, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  35. It’s reassuring to know that other people argue like that. What can I say? First, never say “You always..” or “You never..” and try to kiss each other goodnight, even if you’ve just had a blazing row.
    It should pass……

    Comment by Moses — July 2, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  36. Petite, what a great and honest post. This is what keeps me reading your blog.

    I can definitely related to a bit of what you said… my ex-boyfriend and I always alternated between periods of bliss and total drama. It seemed that the incredible passion that we had, while good for some things, could easily turn around and be negative.

    I hope you will ignore some of the negative comments made earlier by some others. For them to say some of those things without knowing you, your husband, or the situation at all is just ridiculous. I wonder how they would hold up if their issues/relationships were held up to the light? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?

    Comment by Susan — July 2, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

  37. Aw, been dying to read the next posts after marriage, sorry to hear all is not wine & roses. My boyfriend & I decided to live together days after we met. This meant I had to move across the country from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It also meant we had to wait a couple months first, which meant two months of nothing but phone calls and emails. We thought we had this perfect, idyllic relationship and it was a bit of a shock when I finally flew out here to LA and here I was living with someone I really only knew through emails. We had pretty intense fights at least a couple times a week and it freaked us out. I didn’t believe all that stuff about “growing pains,” but I’ve been here about 5 months now and it’s gotten soooo much better. We both have very strong personalities, so we still have the occasional tiff, but nothing like it used to be.

    What I love about him, though, is that he doesn’t act like a “man” after a fight. Everyone else that I’ve dated would just pass out and go to sleep while I paced around or laid in bed huffing and puffing and being upset. It would drive me MAD that they could just fall asleep like that. But my boyfriend now can’t sleep unless things are resolved. He’ll stay up tossing and turning with me until one of us finally speaks and then all is well.

    Comment by Isobel — July 2, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  38. I read something that may be of interest with regard to your challenges with “where the right to individual freedom blurs into selfishness.”

    It’s called “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mills (revolutionary for its time, but painfully dry philosophy book). In a nutshell, Mills believed the individual was entitled to every personal freedom so long as it did not cause harm to others.

    I thought that was fitting here, and might be worth keeping in the back of your mind when this issue comes up. Is your (or his) individual freedom hurting someone? Is the pain caused worth maintaining that freedom or can a compromise be made?

    Good luck to you both. It’s an important philosophical question that is not easy to come to consensus on.

    Comment by carolyn — July 2, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

  39. Hi Catherine, sorry to read this post. Did this not happen before you were married, if so how did you both deal with it…if not, it is best to find the cause before it happens again.

    What ever happened in the past should not be brought is whats going on now that is important.

    I really hope that you get it all sorted and out in the open :-)

    Comment by anne — July 2, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

  40. What I learned from 17 years of marriage:

    – Stick to today’s issue.
    – Not everything is worth arguing about.
    – Try to apologize first.

    David Sedaris writes a great description of the ‘farce becoming reality’ stage in his story “Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle ” in “When you are engulfed in flames”:

    “. . . For a while it feels goofy, but eventually the self-consciousness wears off and we ease into the roles of two decent people, trapped in a rather dull play. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

    “You can set the table if you want.”
    “All-righty then!”

    I don’t know how many times I’ve set the table in the middle of the afternoon, long before we sit down to eat. . .

    . . . Other people’s lives can be full of screaming and flying plates, but I prefer that my own remains as civil as possible, even if it means faking it every once in a while.”

    Comment by Peg — July 2, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

  41. >It’s about where the right to individual freedom blurs into selfishness<
    Petite, speaking as someone who stayed happily married for 30+ years, I think many marriages are about this problem for the first ten years or so. A partnership of two strong characters is bound to have a long adjustment phase. Don’t worry about it. Don’t feel it is a major flaw or crisis that has to be solved. It will probably be a power struggle to start with and it’s difficult for the Boy, I imagine, to cope with Petite’s success story.
    You have a great sense of humour and I assume that he does too – just use humour to back away from these quarrels. Don’t analyse them to death. Even when you are furious, be careful not to say the unforgivable. Main thing is, use tact and wit, rather than fighting a pitched battle every time – am sure you will win through in the end.
    You will both grow up (sorry if this sounds patronising) and think less about your inner selves and your relationship, and more about your child(ren) and the outside world.
    Yes, I did quarrel bitterly with dh in my twenties & early thirties, but we became the very closest couple in the end. With love, friendship, forebearance, humour and loyalty on both sides, you will too. (I do think it is important to be friends as well as lovers.) Hope this isn’t too pompous. One more thought, men take longer to grow up than women so make allowances for him.

    Comment by Susie Vereker — July 2, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

  42. I agree with letigre (@3). We had many fights; some of it learning how to give in, but some of it learning how to set boundries and remember that we are _not_ one person in two bodies, we are a partnership.
    After the first three years, it stopped being personal.

    It’s been 32 years now for us, so take hope.

    Comment by Alice — July 2, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  43. This comment is actually for James (comment 25). Your comment is so offensive and silly. Her hobby (at least one of them) is writing. I hate it when people post these types of judgmental mean spirited comments on blogs.

    Comment by Sarah — July 2, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

  44. I am also a newlywed and I’m happy that we actually rarely argue with each other but you should definitely seek out to have better communication with each other as number one and then agree not to throw things up in the others face. I think it’s best if you talk about it, if not it’ll just fester and then reach a boiling point where all hell will break loose, don’t let that happen!

    Best wishes. Talking is key. I hope all works out for you. But we are all just “strangers” in a way. I hope any advice we can give will help you out.


    Comment by Jessica — July 2, 2008 @ 7:28 pm

  45. I enjoy reading your post …and your book (even if I would be better knowing that it was completely fictional as I don’t like the intrusive feeling of going into someone’s life – I usually consider it’s none of my business ;-) ).

    Regarding the last part of my previous sentence into brackets, I shouldn’t give any advice though, but as I’m typing in the comment box… Well, arguing is part of the relationship, indifference is much more dangerous. And, as I am most of the time sure of being 100% right at the time, it is sometime good to leave a bit of space and see the things differently, not so personal, after a while… I can even find sometime the reason of my argument ridiculous (ok, after more than 1 day, abd bot that I was wrong ;-)

    Comment by Vonric — July 2, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

  46. I’m married to a man that I adore. I admit that he argues like a woman and it has been very hard to assimilate. When fighting, he makes sweeping generalizations and brings up my grievances and mistakes from months ago. How he remembers this when he can’t remember to bring diapers home for the baby is beyond me. But this is just how he is. At first when we married, the arguments were loud and nasty. Finally, I said I didn’t want to go for the jugular (which is so easy to do when your angry), and we set some rules. No storming off, or driving off for hours (he gleefully would do this and leave me weeping for hours becoming more upset about being upset than the initual issue). No profanity. We try to say what we need to say in as nice a way as possible and we do fail miserably at times but at least I see that we are trying to love each other even through arguments which has made a difference.

    And lastly, ask yourself if the main topic of argument is more important than the marriage or not. That generally puts things into perspective for me and helps me find the humility necessary to ask forgiveness or give it freely to a man that I’ve vowed to love and share my life with.

    I wish you and your boy the best of all good things. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post, difficult as it must have been.

    Comment by Iza — July 2, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

  47. I feel sad that this is the situation so soon after your wedding. You should be so happy and so crazy in love at this point. Especially after living through the relationships you’ve had; lessons that should have been learned. I like you so much, Petite. I really think you need to go to therapy. The intense inner turmoil you have described on a number of occasions might be calmed with some help. Artistic people often suffer with a deep inner hell that sometimes defies logic. If you don’t figure this stuff out, no relationship is ever going to work. You may not want to hear those words right now, but they may come back to you in the future. How well did you really know this guy when you got married and do you really have the same core values deep down? You need to be with someone who understands your creative side and it’s craziness and who loves you because of it and in spite of it. And that person should have his own thing going on and be a self-confidant person who is not intimidated by your fame. P.S. Do yourself a favor, don’t get pregnant right now.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 2, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

  48. Sounds a bit like when I first got married. Mind you, I was 19 then. I’ve learned how to win arguments without quarrelling since, and how not to make it personal.

    For a start, don’t get sidetracked. If you are making a legitimate point and he is widening the subject, bring it back in again. Don’t say anything you don’t mean and don’t get personal – criticise the behaviour, not the person. Never say ‘you always’ or ‘you never’ – “I can’t remember the last time when…” works well, but may not always be appropriate at this stage of your relationship. If you are hurt, say so without anger. “That is very hurtful and I don’t feel that I deserve it, please don’t say something like that when we both know we love each other” only works, however, if you don’t say nasty things back. I agree with the person who suggested holding hands. If he makes a complaint, try to think about whether he has a point instead of going on the defensive. I’m saying this to both or either of you; I suggest that you disagree like grown-ups.

    I’ve been married 35 years and we rarely quarrel, because I only argue if I’m right (cough) and otherwise agree and make peace.

    It could be, of course, that drama is a vital part of your relationship. If that’s so, I’d be thinking about why, and wondering to what extent it’s worrying Tadpole – nowhere for her to go either during a shouting match. Drama is only effective if both of you enjoy it – doesn’t work for me as it gives me migraines, and we don’t need tension to enhance our sex life. Good luck, I hope you make sure you do things you love together too – I’m sure you do.

    Comment by Z — July 2, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

  49. You’re right…get to the core. Honesty takes huge amounts of courage and both of you need to tackle this sooner rather than later, whatever it may be. Nothing gets better with ‘time’. I’ve been married twice, not saying I’m the expert at all, but recognizing “it” as you are doing now is the first step to resolving this….bon courage! :-)

    Comment by Karma — July 2, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  50. Hmmm, without the dirty laundry it’s a bit vague, but I can’t help wondering if the core issue is something deeper than freedom vs. selfishness. That might be what you THINK you’re arguing about, but it might be a smokescreen for something else. I am picking up something different, although with limited information I could be way off base, of course. But my guess is that the arguments are about him wanting to go somewhere or do something (what he calls “freedom”) and you not wanting him to do it (you feel it’s “selfish”), and when you object, he trots out the list of all your insecurities, very rationally, as “flaws” as a means of defending himself and suggesting that you are over-reacting. (I also observed that no where in the post was there a reference to what HIS flaws might be.) If this is even in the ballpark (and maybe the roles are reversed), then is the deeper issue perhaps something like:

    Is there a lack of trust going on between you?
    Is one (or both) of you not feeling really heard or understood by the other?
    What needs are you expecting your partner to meet, that aren’t getting met? And is your partner really the right one to meet those needs, or can you get them met another way?
    Is your intuition tell you something isn’t right, and are you ignoring it/rationalizing it away when you should be paying attention?

    Just some thoughts that came to mind. In a previous incarnation, I was a certified Life Coach, and sometimes the old “coach intuition” sort of kicks in on autopilot and I can’t help myself.

    Like some of the others, I also really appreciate your candor. I’m a bit nervous that my wedding is just DAYS away now, and not once in nine months have my husband-to-be and I had anything even remotely resembling an argument — not even about how his oldest son is too lazy, because we both agree on that one, as we agree on nearly everything, so far. But I know sooner or later, we WILL have some kind of argument, and I can’t help but worry a bit about how it will be, because although I’m no doormat or people-pleaser, I do not enjoy arguing. At the moment we seem to do well at communicating when we do have a rare moment of conflict (usually arising from our adjusting to living together, which is normal), but no two people are perfect at it all the time. It’s just that it’s rare that you see a couple who can genuinely claim after years of being together, “We NEVER fight!” and I’m not naive enough to think Georges and I might be one of them.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — July 2, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  51. There will always be fights. There will always be root causes that represent how you are different because you are, and always will be, different. There’s nothing wrong with a blow out. It absolutely sucks to go to bed on one, but sometimes it happens. With a healthy dose of self respect, the blow ups will blow over and hopefully occur less and less. Good luck and have fun! x, c

    Comment by clarissa — July 2, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  52. Here we go again…

    Comment by misfit — July 2, 2008 @ 9:33 pm

  53. The best relationship advice I’ve ever had is:

    “Find the kindest reason for your partner’s actions. Then believe it”

    This post sounds very familiar to me. And I know how hard it is to deal with the ‘real’ issue. We still haven’t figured it out (we’re not even married yet) so I don’t really have much more to offer!

    Comment by jenn — July 2, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

  54. That’s the thing of living together- there are no corners to retreat to and nurse the wounds.

    Comment by Misplaced — July 2, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

  55. Hi Petite! It has been a very long while since I’ve left a comment (since before your book deal), but I have been reading you for ages! As I just get tidbits and small windows into your life, I can only speak from my experience and what has worked for me. So, with that said…what has proved useful in my 7 year marriage (yes we are surviving beyond the ‘7 year itch’) is 1. COMMUNICATION: which sounds like you two have no problems there. Talk, talk talk til you’re blue in the face 2. COMPROMISE: hard to do, but really important in order to make a partnership work. Agreeing to something when you might actually not agree. You do some things for the sake of your partner, not because you think you should for yourself, kind of thing. 3. DON’T GO TO BED MAD: I CAN NOT do this, as it keeps me up ALL NIGHT (and SEETHING, too). I just can not go to bed mad at night. My husband however, has no problem doing so. But I just can’t. Therefore, even if I have to wake him, we talk about it. Sometimes a compromise will result or simply the truth that we will just have to agree to disagree. 4. RESENTMENT: This is possibly the worst culprit in damaging a relationship. If you start to feel bitterness or resentment in any way towards your partner, then you got to open up about it now. Cause in 10 years from now, it’ll still be there but will have festered into some horrible, dirty baggage that one just doesn’t need in life!
    Those above are my little checklists. If I can maintain that, I know my husband and I will maintain our healthy relationship. Ultimately, why would I want to use tacts and words to hurt him? Why would I want to make him feel like shit if he thinks differently then I? We just have to agree at times that we are two different people and it’s ok to have different thoughts and ideas at times. Whoa, sorry for the long essay! Chin up!!

    Comment by kate — July 2, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  56. I need help. Somebody come and talk to me.

    Comment by Sylvia — July 2, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  57. I am so glad I’m no longer married or living with anyone. I don’t miss the drama.

    Comment by Passante — July 2, 2008 @ 11:55 pm

  58. I agree with some other commenters: never fighting is worse than fighting sometimes. I think people that never fight or argue skirt around issues to avoid confrontation and never really come face to face with each other.
    As regards another commenter’s concern for Tadpole being affected by the rows, I have a gut feeling that Petite would not engage in a “screaming match” in front of her daughter or otherwise expose her to unpleasant conflict.

    Comment by happyforyou — July 3, 2008 @ 12:06 am

  59. As regards therapy; a good analyst is a godsend and long-term therapy is a privilege, for anyone.

    Comment by happyforyou — July 3, 2008 @ 12:10 am

  60. My 2p worth of online blogged physiotherapy from having a degree in psychology through a non existing well known imaginary university of thoughts…

    Now that I have laid down my credentials, this is what I have to say.

    First, I haven’t read the previous comment. It may have been said already. In that case, great, that university of thoughts was a good investment.

    Second, how so much familiar this sounds to me!!! and I would guess to many, many many people.
    I believe there is a lot due to “ego”. This can be a good thing to have strong character and a bit of a ego… but in those situation it can only make matters worse.
    If your other half has a heart (I was told a long time ago, this time is a real school, that we all have one), so, if your other half has indeed a heart then he will most certainly, most definitely be seething… quietly… painfully quietly…
    THat he may sleep over it would not surprise me…
    in fact, let switch to first person as I believe what I have experienced is probably similar to what is happening to you, him… and to many other people…
    you feel like you are right, the other person is wrong… that you have been there so many times, so why bother givin this time!! he/she should give in… and even when they give in and apologise… oh victory… lets not just accept the apology like that, let’s make sure they really do mean they want to make an effort… this can have a double edge sword… where the person who seem to give in a little bit feel as he/she has just made an effort for nothing… if fact, just not long enough.
    Of course, this isn’t always like that… it could be a swift resolution to a conflict as well… by realising the other person is making an effort and therefore feeling a bit stupid yourself about being so stubborn…
    Where am I getting at… I tend to write what I think on the spur of the moment and never read back… so let’s not deviate from this habit :)
    As stated at the beginning I truely believe ego is the main issue here. (as well as not resolving the core of the issue but I will get to that in a minute, we first need to finish the introduction of that mini essay).
    This can only be resolved when BOTH parties make a CONSCIOUS effort to speak about how they deal with this kind of situation…
    this is not even about the core of the issue at this stage, first you need to agree the rules of the game!
    you need to both understand this is painful to you, to her, to him… this is not about who is wrong or right, this is about bringing communication back, helping one another to swim on that journey of endless argument which happens in relationships (which doesn’t mean arguments have to be bad/frequent… just that 2 people will always have some during their relationship life).
    This is about changing your attitude…
    by experience this works… not all the time… the old habit can be very hard to completely forget… and sometimes both parties cannot think rationally… but this can help being a medium for communication.

    End of introduction
    Start of chapter 1 (and only chapter)
    The core of the problem… so easy to brush away… or just assume it has been solved… in those cases it is important to trust your gut feeling… you know when something has been solved… really solved I mean…
    sometimes it isn’t just possible… it might be on some subject you will never both agree on… no matter how much you try to solve the issue.. but in that case there must be a middle ground, a compromise for both parties where the boundaries of the core issue can be acceptable. Not ideal… but better than just accepting to disagree…
    saying: I agree to disagree… that may be a nice sentence… but that will get back to your face soon or later.
    One never agree to disagree…
    one always agree to bring this back later!

    Then there are big and small problems… things that should really be taken with a pinch of salt or a smile… things that are not just worth arguing about…
    these, I believe, are so common in a relationship…
    a relationship is almost like “owning” the other person… by that I mean, you expect SO MUCH more from your partner than from your friends… your partner should know better… if that behaviour/joke comes from your partner it is ever so more crual, painful… but why?! why should it?
    ok, maybe it is, but then effort should be made to communicate about it.. not argue about it (is there a theme here? hum… maybe :)
    My take on this is:
    What just pissed you off so much… how would you have reacted if it was a friend?
    If the answer is: well, I would have told him/her: I am not happy, dont do that again you dork… then let it go…
    Well.. then probably this is not an important problem!

    Conclusion of this rather long, very unstructured but how so profressional analsys:
    We all need to communicate more
    we need to agree on changing behaviour when arguing, or make an effort to
    acknowledge and celebrate (with extra cuddles) when such new effort has been successful
    Core issues need to be discussed, really discussed, with care, maybe by breaking them down in smaller issues…
    core issues need to worked on. They can’t be forgotten.. because you never forget them!!

    Anyway… that’s it for me… one hell of a long comment…
    Just the babbling of someone who has been there… and will be there again, and again, and again!!! :)

    PS: Yup, I am not english… hence all those grammatical oddities!!! ;)

    Comment by Bugs — July 3, 2008 @ 12:14 am

  61. At the risk of sounding mean, you might want to read this if you haven’t already. “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage”

    Not because you and your husband are like Shamu, but because some of the behaviors that reinforce themselves in your fights can be alleviated by what is discussed in this article.

    We are creatures of habit, even when we argue, and if we can modify our habits, life can be easier.

    And communication is key… Try to say things like “when you say ‘blank’, you make me feel ‘blank'”, rather than saying things like “I hate it when you say ‘blank’!” or similar. As a man, I know it is hard for men to show what they are really feeling, but this sort of thing will help I think.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Neepster — July 3, 2008 @ 2:01 am

  62. I wonder what does your new husband feel about you going public with your relationship woes? You are after all no longer anomynous. I thought that this type of blogging is something you had resolved to no longer do with your new man?

    Comment by Michael — July 3, 2008 @ 2:23 am

  63. tales of Paris and France=excellent and fun
    stories of Tadpole=cute
    wedding story and pics=good
    book deals=exciting
    But the soap opera-like posts of arguments and the ups and downs of
    married life written to elicit poor Petite comments=dull, silly, a waste of time
    Grow up. You’ve married a man, now make it work.

    Comment by Jean — July 3, 2008 @ 2:33 am

  64. I hope (wearing my rose-colored glasses) that this post is just your creative writing, which we have come to enjoy.

    And yet, if it is a true story, I have my own experience to share, which you may find of value. Some fights are worth fighting, and only you can decide which ones those are. And yet, having said that, it is so hard to tell when we are really fighting about the restaurant spending, or the children, or the art spending, or something completely different (the underlying cause, as you put it. Yes, that’s the thing that must be rooted out, if you can figure out what it is. Might take years).

    The very hardest thing, in my opinion, is where to draw your line, or boundary which must not be crossed, even though you adore the man. You are you, he is he, and if all goes well, the “we” flexes over time to accommodate both of the “yous”.

    Older lady that I am and still married to Husband #1 after more than 30 years, I feel no embarrassment to tell you that many nights, I have gone to my cats for comfort. (Do not have a Tadpole.) You can love the man unrelentingly, but not FEEL love for him now and then. That’s ok.

    Catherine, you seem really normal to me. Sometimes our loved ones make us crazy.

    Comment by PJ Carz — July 3, 2008 @ 3:28 am

  65. Dear Mrs Anglaise

    I think you may have stopped by my blog recently, thank you for doing so, though I have to apologise for its lack of uplifting material. Been a bit of a rough time.

    I have read your book, which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way, and pass by every now and then to see how you are doing.

    I was thrilled when I read that you were getting married, you have been fulfilling a dream that I had, that is to say before it all went a bit… pear shaped but I’m happy for you that you found your man.

    I don’t really make comments, but I feel like I should tonight.

    It does sound like you are feeling insecure. I think I may have even picked it up in your previous post about the wedding ring and the idea of what French men can be like and something about waiting to see…?. I may be wrong.

    But trust has got to be a decision you make, it doesn’t just happen. It’s ok to feel insecure, we are not built to be perfect and nor should anyone expect you to be.

    Sometimes we try to predict into the future too much when we feel like this, but none of it is real and none of it has happened. Our insecurity forces us to believe that there is a definite possibility that this thing or that thing could happen and so we set a ball rolling. All based on stuff we have been through before, old baggage.

    Its a difficult thing is this happy ever after. It never fully is. It can only be wonderful in its imperfections, what you learn from each other along the way and how you grow together on your journey.

    Take each other out on a date and wear your best frock and some killer heels!
    Flirt with him.
    Let him flirt with you.
    Knock him out. (Not literally of course.. )
    You know you can!

    Comment by pplongstocking — July 3, 2008 @ 3:44 am

  66. I have appreciated your writing and have ordered your book, as Barnes and Noble doesn’t cary it locally. I don’t know you personally so have judged your writing on literary merit. I divorced the individual from the story as you have indicated it is only a fraction of your life that you share. I was hoping in your story that you had learnt from, and overcome your trials, miss steps and negative press and would close on the fairytale wedding and move on to success writing novels, while retaining some privacy. I don’t think you understand that your need to be supported by total strangers while publicly throwing your new husband under the world bus will be more detrimental to your future relationship than a few harsh words said in private. I don’t think you are looking for advice but a ring on the finger isn’t a ring through the nose. As James indicated, #25, in a deliberate way, you will need more than physical attraction. Yes you do write well, but from this posting I am not sure that is a pleasure/hobby you will share for long. Bonne Chance

    Comment by shurgar — July 3, 2008 @ 4:11 am

  67. It’s interesting the spectrum of reactions this post has provoked.

    A piece of descriptive writing about the horror of going to bed after an argument (which I wrote for myself) a couple of paras about how unhealthy it is never to deal with the root cause of a repeated dispute. I took great pains to keep the actual dispute off the page, not to apportion any blame, mentioning only my own flaws. I didn’t want to overstep the line, trash the man I love.

    No disrespect intended to the commenters who offer advice, but I never write posts in order to solicit this. I get something out of my system, clarify my thoughts and move on.

    In this instance I hesitated before I pressed publish – admitting that a relationship is anything less than perfect a few weeks after a wedding isn’t easy to do – but decided I wanted to be honest. I love this man, I know we have a great future together, but I married him knowing that we still have a few things to work through. Is it wrong to admit this?

    Comment by petite — July 3, 2008 @ 8:08 am

  68. If you don’t want people to give advice, words of sympathy, or offer pretty much anything except an analysis of your writing skills, then simply don’t keep a personal blog. I was a great fan of yours but each time you post a response like this you insult your readers. I suggest you keep a private personal diary instead of putting out your thoughts for a reaction and then claim you never sought one when you put it online for the world to see.

    Comment by nolongereadingyourblog — July 3, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  69. I don’t think I’m disrespecting or insulting anyone if I say that I don’t actively seek advice. I’ve written entire posts about this subject in the past.

    I read the comments, I find other people’s experiences enlightening sometimes, but I don’t write here in order to engage in group therapy. I write about experiences I think will strike a chord with others. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t.

    But with comments like some of those I’ve attracted on this post, is it any wonder I’m writing less often these days?

    Comment by petite — July 3, 2008 @ 9:47 am

  70. I totally agree with “nolongereadingyourblog” this is a typical ‘Petite’ reaction. When the comments aren’t to her liking we have the sulky 5 years behaviour.

    Talk about biting the hands that feeds you.

    Anyway back to something important. Isn’t it fantastic news that Ingrid Betancourt has been freed.

    Comment by Rolls her eyes — July 3, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  71. Seriously I’m saving my pennies in order to experience the joys of a spare bedroom…

    Comment by whoimbecoming — July 3, 2008 @ 10:07 am

  72. Prior to this thread, I’ve never written a less than friendly comment to you before, I even bought your book as soon as it came out. And yes, you did write a previous post on this topic in the past and I found that really outrageous too. Now you have money and the book deal you no longer give a damn what we have to say. You really ought not to have chosen an interactive medium in that case. I suggest you disable comments in future so people can just read it and think their thoughts without feedback, as this is apparently what you prefer.

    Comment by nolongereadingyourblog — July 3, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  73. Oh, poor Petite! Doesn’t want to post as much anymore because she doesn’t like the advice people are trying to offer up. Boo Hoo. These are the people that made your book deal possible. Grow up and deal with it. You really need to have your ego massaged at every turn, don’t you?

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 3, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  74. I don’t normally write comments (did once under another alias on downing snake-bites & flashing people… hey, I’m classy, like!) but I just read some of the above and p’s reaction and I’m just flipping out!

    I’m fascinated by the phenomenon of the personal blog (as well as that of the friendship network and so on and so forth) and I generally find many people tend to air so much about themselves on the net without realising of its impact and/or consequences (both writers and readers).

    Let’s see, my humble opinion is that p is more than entitled to write whatever she bloody wants on HER BLOG and voice (pen, rather) her opinions and/or disagreements without having to suffer any grief from anyone.
    However, having “said” that, her “following” (which you people are whether you like it or not) have the same right too and should be able to do so. How do we make those two meet? Aha!

    Only, everyone seems to forget that this is someone’s life we read here and not fiction and that makes things a tad more touchy and complicated! Why on earth would you want strangers writing A4-long comments on your life giving you unwanted advice (especially if you’re not feeling tip-top)? But, then again, why oh why would you give them the chance to do so?

    I’ve seen this with many a blog (not just strictly personal ones). They become bigger than life, evolve, change (statistics, following growth) into something else and many people feel cheated that the writer feels like sharing less and start throwing nasty accusations their way (see “Talk about biting the hand that feeds you” pardon me?). I reckon they feel as if they’re part of that person’s life the same way that person may have felt that years before when he or she got a lot of support/whatever from them and yes, perhaps his of her current career too. The price of “blog-celebrity”, right?

    We’re all cha-cha-cha-chaaaanging and everyone can have bad days and bitch, etc. But people, honestly, what’s with the pseudo-psychotherapy??? What a bloody drag!

    Don’t you all see this is a little delusional?
    Perhaps taking ourselves (all of us) a tad less seriously may help?

    Bah, dunno!
    That’s why I don’t write comments often… ‘cos I raaaamble on and on and, unlike others, I don’t like it but can’t stop!!! :)

    Please relax, everyone! No-one’s life’s perfect and even though we all mean well we might as well just nod in agreement (or not) and, now and again, keep our opinions to ourselves (says ms. rambler extraordinaire!)

    End of post! Pheeeeeew!!! :)

    Comment by que sera sera... — July 3, 2008 @ 10:46 am

  75. Petite,

    There’s always the possibility of writing without admitting comments. As long as you admit them, you can’t expect them to be all the way you want them …

    Comment by Ephrim — July 3, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  76. As a first time poster to your blog….I just want to say, that marriage is a commitment of compromise and love- no matter what country you live in. I totally relate to your post. I adore your honesty, book and blog. Your life is an open book (literally), how cool is that to inspire all your readers whether they agree with you or not. You are courageous to express the real you to all of us who just read your life from afar. This is your life, people are not to judge your feelings and tell you write about what they want to read. Kudos to you.

    Comment by JenniferfromUS — July 3, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  77. I’ve been considering to write a comment to this post, since I read it yesterday. I though, I’d express my sympathies that so soon after getting married, you feel the need to write such a post and at the same time I was thinking of expressing my hope that it will get better and that you should certainly not go to bed angry as it does not help anything and it can harm you in more ways that you’d think. (I am more and more sure that being angry is bad for one’s health).

    And now, having read all the 71 comments before, including your 2, I don’t think I know what to say anymore. I feel that most comments were very kind, most of your readers would like to you to be happy with your husband, a few have made nasty comments (maybe more and you have decided not to allow them to appear online – I am not sure how blog moderating works), but one wonders why those people read you blog in the first place. So I think you should be actually happy about the feedback you are reading and not get upset if not every single one of your readers is also your greatest fan.

    Anyway, I hope you and your husband work out your differences, I wish you all the best in your new life, focus on the book you are writing, I am sure even the people who write nasty comments will be interested to see what you wrote next and be less worried about what people think.

    Comment by Liza — July 3, 2008 @ 11:36 am

  78. Wonderful piece of writing Petite. Keep it up and good luck.


    Comment by Sean — July 3, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  79. I understand you are not seeking advice and I don’t find it insulting you actually you just state that.

    Thats part of the risk of having a public blog to get some bad comments. If this was starting to tingle a tiny bit of annoyance then you should probably look into pre approve each comment. And only approve the one which are not insulting… at the end of the day, this is your blog, you do what ever you want!!!

    PS: This is by no mean an advice! ;)
    Hope you have a good day! it is interesting to hear about other people’s life especially when it is written as nicely/funny as in your blog/book

    Comment by Bugs — July 3, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  80. to “nolongereadingyourblog” and “Rolls her eyes” – well done for behaving in the childish manner you accuse petite of.

    I always find it irritating and slightly concerning when those that contribute to blog comments assume some type of ownership over the blog they comment on. That they then lash out by being rude or offensive when their contributions aren’t welcomed with open arms only goes to emphasize their unhealthy attachment.

    Why would you chose to come onto a blog and make nasty, rude or offensive comments? What is it about blogging that brings out the vicious little bully in a person?

    If you don’t like what you read, go find a different blog. Surely that’s preferable to writing things that show you up to be a mean spirited person?

    Comment by Emily — July 3, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  81. Wow.

    This is Petites site, she is free to post whatever she wants. And we are free to read it or not and to agree with it or not. Sure, maybe you don’t enjoy the introspective navel gazing at times, but you know, this is her blog and if she navel gazes once in a while so be it. When you comment mean spirited, vitriolic comments, in her own words “is it any wonder [she’s] writing less often these days?” I would say we are biting the hand that feeds us.

    Petite, I think you’re brilliant and flawed, like the rest of us.

    Comment by magpie — July 3, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

  82. Firstly, @James: don’t be un gros con and take an opportunity to kick someone when they’ve exposed themselves. Sounded petty and hateful…and downright bitchy.

    Now that that’s out of the way…

    Thank you Petite for writing this. I too have been having a few difficult times with my partner, after recently moving in together, and I appreciated reading someone else’s experience.

    The beauty of the argument (if there is some!) is meeting in the middle and actually getting somewhere. My friend said to me the other day, “There are three people in the relationship, you, the other person and the relationship.” It reminded me to think of that third person and how better to serve them (I guess that means big picture). I don’t know, but it sounded good.

    Anyway, thanks again and bon courage


    Comment by Emma — July 3, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

  83. Maybe some people are *secretly* happy to read about issues (that may be very similar to theirs) but they would not dare to share or even admit. Then, it become tempting to give advices and hope for being thanked in return.


    I’ve been trying a lot admitting one for all that selfishness doesn’t threat the feelings my boyfriend have, but I’m still trying… I think that if there were an easy way of avoiding the before-pillow-fights, everyone would already know it.

    By the way, congratulations for everything.

    Comment by Marlene — July 3, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  84. I think a lot of people assume that as a ‘married couple’ that you will have similar opinions and thoughts and that you will automatically work everything out. I’ve been married for 27 years to the love of my life but I still don’t agree with him all the time, nor would he want me to. How boring. What we have learned is that we love each other no matter what else is going on around us and that is enough to get us through the rough spots.We have different personalities and are different people. But the love, oh the love. That is what matters. If the love is there, everything else falls into some kind of order.

    Comment by donna lee — July 3, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  85. Are you not the one who admitted to checking the comments after posting about the break up with Mr. Frog? If you are writing for yourself why were the comments important to you? If you are writing for yourself close the comments section of the blog and just write or don’t write in cyberspace at all. Get on with the wonderful life you have been blessed with after a short period of uncertainty after losing your job. Here is a start for a gratitude list: daughter (with supportive father and grandparents), book deal, money, new husband that you claim to love and was perfect before the wedding. Reading the few seconds of your life that you choose to put out there in cyberspace you appear to be a self destructive person who has already started to destroy this relationship. Check yourself.

    Comment by Jen — July 3, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

  86. Oh dear, I’m afraid I just don’t understand the comments on this blog- seems so weird to me that everyone takes everything so seriously all the time.

    To me this is a well-turned post about something we can ( or should) all relate to. I don’t feel it’s sycophantic to enjoy the writing and the honesty we find here.

    Comment by Marianne — July 3, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  87. I wasn’t going to comment, because I usually don’t. I like to read your posts, they make me think about my own life and often your posts eloquently reflect feelings I have/have had.

    This post may have elicited negative comments, but the majority of the comments have been supportive and positive. If you don’t want to get the negative comments, and I can understand why you wouldn’t considering the personal subject matter, then why don’t you turn commenting off on some posts, as other bloggers do.

    I believe that you’re grateful to your fans and for the support they’ve shown for your work. But with comments like 67 and 69, you don’t seem it.

    Comment by gal — July 3, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  88. I’m just writing about my relationship breaking up now for the book, and honest to god, we went to bed seething. But reflecting back on what we argued about, I wish we’d tried harder to sort out the problem. Hm. on reflection. The ‘problem’ big problem never goes. (at least with Idris and I) I think what I’m learning as I’m writing is that if you love someone you can’t change the problem, but you can change how you behave towards that problem. I hope you’re happy. The thing about love is it’s wonderful, the thing about life is it’s tricky.

    Comment by Single Mother on the Verge — July 3, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  89. @70 So why are you reading this blog? And who wouldn’t say it is great news that Betancourt is freed, that is quite obvious good news eh? What’s more to say about it?

    Why is it ok to talk only about the good things of relationships, and not the bad? I think it’s good to remind us of that marriage doesn’t automatically make couples “live happily ever after”, too many people enter marriage with that misconception.

    Comment by Soontobemarried — July 3, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  90. #68 and #70 are spot on unfortunately. You write “for yourself” and to “get something out of” your “system” but then stick it on your blog where you have a pretty good idea of the average amount of hits you’re going to get, before then reacting badly to the comments people make, which is bound to happen on the emotive subject you chose, which obviously struck several chords.
    Less you forget, your current status in the publishing world is very much due to this blog, the many readers it attracts, and your willingness to share the more intimate aspects of your life and thought processes with complete strangers.
    Maybe your recent marriage does represent a good time to stop the blog, and keep your thoughts to yourself. That way there will be no more pesky commentators incapable of understanding that this is obviously all about thee, yourself and you.

    Comment by PeterSburg — July 3, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

  91. Petite,

    Already the fact that you write a blog (and that it has been turned into a bestseller) suggests that you don’t mind your personal life being in the public domain yet you complain when your readers comment on/give advice concerning your most recent post. Perhaps you should have been making up with your husband rather than publishing an open letter to the entire internet community.

    Having said that, i do think that some people have got a little bit carried away with their advice.

    Comment by Wishistilllivedinparis — July 3, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  92. Hey Petite,

    Good on you for writing this post! Your honesty in your blogs has always helped me feel a little more normal.

    I always find myself thinking – ‘Thank god, I’m not the only one who goes through this!’

    My boyfriend of three years and I would easily fall asleep before a heated argument was settled, and it would boil my bones! I spent many a night unable to sleep in the same bed as him, I was so furious.

    Then, towards the end, I remember suddenly being able to go ‘Oh well, this problem is still going to be here weather we talk about it tonight or tomorrow.’ It was right about the time I stopped caring. The freedom of a good night’s sleep was mine at last, but at what cost.

    Comment by banana — July 3, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  93. Surely you can “get things out of your system, clarify your thoughts and move on” without having to share it with thousands of strangers?
    You may have taken “great pains to leave the actual dispute off the page”, but it seeps through the lines anyway, in spite of your efforts.
    The fact is that while you may not have wished to “overstep the line”/ “trash the man you love”, you’ve cast your relationship in quite a poor light shortly after your wedding, which is not a very generous gesture towards your partner….
    You don’t have to be “honest” with your readers (as you have said yourself on countless occasions, you just post a slice of your life, not the entire picture), but you do have to be “honest” with your partner….
    You say you’re not seeking attention, group therapy or advice, but your question “is it any wonder I’m writing less often these days?” would suggest that the frequency with which you write DOES depend to an extent on the reactions you get from your commenters, wouldn’t it?
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it possible to disable comments? Perhaps that would be the way to go when you don’t want any feedback on a piece of writing?

    Comment by happyforyou — July 3, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  94. Yeah im out here too:( Sorry

    Ive been reading for years now, since i was just a kid in college and im now a married woman. I always enjoyed your posts

    Now youre slagging people off for giving advice? Do me a favour, this is a comments box. Theyre obviously good hearted people

    No-ones “claiming ownership” of you and thinking so seems incredibly immature. Im not in your position so cant imagine what doing what you do feels like, but i do know you have a comments box and people are going to comment so you need to deal with that in a mature way, especially when people are giving advice for heavens sake! Even if its not really being sought, you just thank people and put it to the back of your mind, dont you, otherwise youre obviously going to hurt them

    Im sad about not reading the blog anymore. It inspired me hearing about your adventures in Paris and little Tadpole growing up, and your musings on life. But things have taken a different turn, especially in your attitude, and im not so keen

    Take care

    Comment by Maxi — July 3, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  95. P,s-Not even so much as a thank you to those giving advice and wishing you well. To be frank, you DO sound immature and a little self-centred and you need to sort that out

    Heres MY honesty

    Comment by Maxi — July 3, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  96. Maxi, I think you are confusing some of my other commenters’ responses with my own. I haven’t ‘slagged anyone off’ or complained that people are ‘claiming ownership’ of me.

    But I’d like to point out that I’m not ungrateful for the unsolicited advice I do receive. I appreciate the time people take to post and the important role comments play on this blog, otherwise I’d have disabled them, à la dooce, long ago…

    Comment by petite — July 3, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  97. Parce qu’une image vaut mille mots (et que j’ai clairement pas le temps pour mille mots aujourd’hui) :

    Comment by The Boy — July 3, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  98. A writer — whether blogger, journalist or novelist — can react any way she likes to the feedback she receives from her readers. She might enjoy it, find it interesting, or hate it; but she’s entitled to react the way she wants. She shouldn’t have to defend her reactions or justify it, even to her readers. And really, I don’t think Petite was reacting badly at all to the first round of comments (those before HER first comment, after which she got bombarded!) and I think those who have attacked her have clearly misunderstood her meaning.

    One of the things that continues to astonish me, as a blogger who has experienced a few such attacks of my own on occasion, is how frequently it seems that some readers get very attached to their favorite blogs, and in a way they seem to want to claim “ownership” of the blogger. As “loyal readers” they feel they have rights, including the right to dictate what the blogger should write about or how the blogger is entitled to react to comments written. They begin to have certain expectations about the subject matter or quality of the writing or even how often the blogger posts, and if the blogger fails to meet those secret high expectations, the reader lashes out with venom, clearly hurt, disappointed and let down. They demand that the blog be the way it used to be (people clearly hate change, don’t they?) The blogger then has to decide whether to bother responding, and if so how to respond? When the blogger tries to explain or defend herself, the reader inevitably goes on the attack with the same line: “Well, if you don’t want people to say what they think of your blog, then you should disable comments or better yet not write it in the first place!” How childish!

    I respectfully refer such irate readers to Daniel Pennac’s “Readers Bill of Rights” which says that readers have:
    1. The right not to read.
    2. The right to skip pages.
    3. The right to not finish.
    4. The right to reread.
    5. The right to read anything.
    6. The right to escapism.
    7. The right to read anywhere.
    8. The right to browse.
    9. The right to read out loud.
    10. The right to not defend your tastes.

    You will note that no where in there does it say, “The right to freely abuse and attack the writer when you don’t like his or her writing, or when that writer doesn’t blog as frequently as she used to.” If you don’t like something that has been written on a given blog, please see Rights #1, 2 and 3.

    The song running through my head right now is: “You don’t own me… I’m not just one of your many toys…”

    Comment by The Bold Soul — July 3, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

  99. Does that rabbit have a scotch pancake on its head?! Wow. What an awe-inspiringly wonderful picture.

    Comment by Jaywalker — July 3, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  100. So the honeymoon is over. Marriage is for better or for worse. Sometimes it is better. Sometimes it is worse.

    Comment by cheshire wife — July 3, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  101. Gosh!

    Apologies to you Petite, if I offended in any way by commenting.

    I hope I didn’t. I was purely trying to let you know that an ear was being lent and we have all been there, married or not.

    What bad luck. One of the first times I comment there is uproar.

    I agree with The Bold Soul, take the good, discard the rest.

    Comment by pplongstocking — July 3, 2008 @ 5:32 pm

  102. I wholeheartedly agree with both The Boy and Bold Soul, above.

    And no, no relationship is supposed to be 100% perfect 100% of the time, marriage or no marriage. Not exactly a groundbreaking discovery, is it?

    Comment by ontario frog — July 3, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  103. You might wish to read this. It seems like it might be relevant for you. The recurring pattern is the think that struck me;

    Comment by Tony — July 3, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  104. I don’t think anyone, myself included, was trying to abuse and attack. After we’ve nursed Petite through hangovers, relationship erosion, childbirth and multi angst-ridden situations, and then, lolling in the glow of shag weekends, new love, the delight of a petite Petite, and the glory that is Paris, we feel like girlfriends talking here. We’ve been given all this very personal info about a person we feel like we are now close to. And when she is hurting, we want to help. And if she gets a little too big for her britches, we’ll also tell her what side her bread is buttered on. And it all comes from love!

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 3, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

  105. The rabbit gave me a much needed laugh. Yay for my husband!

    Comment by petite — July 3, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

  106. HI Petite,
    I just finished your book and have been reading your blog from the beginning. I *LOVED* your book and am looking forward to the next one! I was actually sad when I finished it. I hope you continue to enjoy and write on your blog. I really look forward to reading it, and can totally relate (same age, married to a frenchie) . You are a wonderful writer and I just want you to know that you really give people enjoyment. I hope that the unfavorable comments you receive on the blog won’t deter you from writing, it would be such a shame :(
    Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to reading more from you.

    Comment by Jen — July 3, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  107. What 102 said.

    Seemed a perfectly OK post to me, made me think about relationships including mine. Couples who say they “never argue” – probably an endangered species, and with reason.

    Comment by Jan — July 3, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  108. Having someone by your side who can lighten sticky situations with humor is one of the greatest gifts on earth. I think you found yourself a keeper. :-)

    Comment by Jenny — July 3, 2008 @ 7:06 pm

  109. Petite: Hang in there. I’m amazed–not in a good way–be these comments! I often received criticism when I admitted to friends that my marriage was not always blissful. Four years later, we’re still married, and I think now, finally, friends and others appreciate my candor. There’s nothing wrong with having issues, admitting them or anything like that. Take good care. You deserve it. Loved the rabbit with the pancake! Kat

    Comment by Kathleen — July 3, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  110. Aie aie aie.

    Most of the guys I’ve had this type of problems with (the freedom thing) have become exes…:- { That said, I did get married knowing there were unresolved issues (mainly sex life) but it hasn’t stopped me being very happy (over 5 years now, nout much but still not bad!). Like one of the comments said, it’s a question of deciding what’s worth fighting for. Anyway, The Boy has spoken, subject closed. For now.

    Your relationship with your readers is another aie aie aie, me fears it may have been easier when it was all anonymous. But there again, look at all you have gained since!;-)

    Comment by I.F. — July 3, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

  111. Funny, Bossy can *never* see the error of her ways with time. A personality flaw? Definitely.

    Comment by BOSSY — July 3, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  112. You made your own bed, now you get to lie in it!

    Comment by SW France — July 3, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  113. Funny how since the Boy’s comment, negative comments seem no longer to be appearing…

    Comment by louise — July 3, 2008 @ 8:28 pm

  114. my gosh. i know this is against the whole concept of blogging, but this all makes me wonder if the harsh commenters met you face to face, would they be as willing to so ‘eloquently’ point out your every flaw. the annonymity of this has it’s pros and cons eh? i’m glad you seem rational enough not to take it to heart.

    Comment by Helen in Valence — July 3, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

  115. PA, I loved this post not because it is personal, but rather because how well you describe those common feelings after an upsetting fight when the night falls.

    The huge interest taken in this particular post I feel confirms that the topic is relevant for not only me, but many people. Just today over lunch I was discussing the same (?) core issue with a girlfriend. Personal freedom, being in a couple, respecting eachothers’ needs and meeting some basic expectations.

    I’ve been married now a few months and found the first month or so to be the most difficult. However, I can’t say I am desperate to find the perfect serenity some aggrevated commentors seem to have in their own private lives. I think I prefer the spice.

    But then again, not right before going to bed.

    Comment by Kajsa — July 3, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  116. I suspect that Petite’s responses are calculated to stir the pot and increase the heat (and readership).

    As for advice, given your “unlucky” relationship history, to put it kindly, perhaps you should actively seek advice from those who have managed to hold it together?

    Comment by An old poop, I suppose — July 3, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  117. I enjoy reading your blog. I read it for things that I can relate to and for others that are new to me. I appreciate you writing it because I think you write well on so many different subjects. And as it’s your blog, if you write something I don’t agree with too much, i just think to myself aren’t people different in terms of what we share and how.

    I’d miss you if you stop writing or keep writing less because of some commentors as I enjoy reading you. But as it’s your decision and your blog, that’s your perogative. And as your reader, I have no right to ever tell you what to do.

    And by the way, pancake rabbits are hot!

    Comment by Kingston Girl — July 3, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  118. Petite,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post, I can almost see myself lying in bed simmering with rage whilst my husband snores next to me. You write so eloquently and I can really identify with you.

    I am shocked that people choose to brand you immature and self centred. We all like to vent our feeling sometimes and this is your way of doing it. You should be commended for putting yourself out there and not critisized. You have got where you are today through your talent for writing, I loved reading your book and still check your blog regularly for you latest post.

    Thanks for your honesty and being brave enough to show us the ups as well as the downs.


    Comment by Anglaise Anna — July 3, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

  119. Um, I’ve been following some of these comments, and have to admit my first reaction was a slight annoyance that so many people should jump to proffer mostly rather glib, oft-recycled advice (however good the intention). Petite, I don’t see how anyone who reads your blog could accuse you of ‘stirring the pot’ to boost readership. Your relationship history is not ‘unlucky’ (at least as far as I’m concerned). I have always found your writing refreshingly honest, and underpinned by a solid sense of integrity. I fail to see how the entry could be interpreted as an opportunity to jump on some sort of pop-psyc bandwagon, or accuse you of immaturity etc… I was much amused by the advice to take up politics/an interest in cinema, though. How quaint a piece of counsel! Please don’t let the nonsense discourage you from writing. I recognised myself in what you wrote, with a sense of relief in that recognition. Thank you.

    Comment by Paige — July 3, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  120. You see, #116, everyone has a failing ‘relationship history’ until they meet the one they end up with, do they not? Success is about finally getting it right, not about having never failed along the way.

    Petite, you have a gift. Not everyone is capable of expressing themselves in so clear a way.

    Comment by Tammi — July 3, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  121. Funny, I thought blogs were meant to be a reflection of life – regardless of if those times are good or trying. And yet here are a list of commenters who suddenly find that inappropriate or that its purpose was to start a comments pity party? At the risk of looking like a chat obsessed teenager, the only “words” that come to minds are WTF??

    I thought your post was wonderful. I have often felt exactly as you described – and it gives me some reassurance that I’m not a failure for not having a perfect cookie cutter life.

    Comment by mrs. bee — July 4, 2008 @ 1:30 am

  122. “In the early years, you fight because you don’t understand each other. In the later years,you fight because you do.” – Joan Didion

    “Women get the last word in every argement. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.” – Unknown

    “If your husband and a lawyer were drowning and you had to choose, would you go to lunch or a movie?” – Unknown

    Just thought you’d appreciate a laugh…

    Comment by Belle — July 4, 2008 @ 2:25 am

  123. Two words: Couples Counseling

    Dismiss that if you will, if you actually don’t want to resolve your communication disconnects, if you prefer to have meaty words to write in your blog. If you really mean to stay married to him, consider going to a class together. It’s not “therapy” it’s “education”.

    Comment by CeeCee — July 4, 2008 @ 3:22 am

  124. I think that it is brave to admit after just a few weeks of marriage that things are not “perfect” as we so often imagine them to be. Spilling your thoughts out to the general public is also brave and as a blogger I understand the need to “vent” now and again and these people who are condemning you for whatever reason don’t have to read your blog. They can easily skip it and say to themselves, “oh that petite wants pity…” or whatever else it is. Are they looking for some flaw to harrass you about? No one is perfect and if you are 100% honest in your posts and honest to yourself and husband then who cares what a bunch of people all over the world say about your situation, to which they don’t even know the extent.

    I don’t want to ramble or make this too long. I just don’t think it’s fair for you to write what you feel and then be “punished” by readers who can easily click the X at the top right of their Internet browser.


    I already gave my advice, if you can call it that about being open and communicating with your new husband.

    I am saddened that you don’t post as frequently as you did at one point, but I constantly hit refresh just in case. :)

    Comment by Jessica — July 4, 2008 @ 3:46 am

  125. Please don’t let these “readers” ruin your blog. :)

    Comment by Jessica — July 4, 2008 @ 3:47 am

  126. Hi Petite

    Well, after reading this entry I was pleased that the Petite of old was back, your honesty helps me to reflect upon my own life & realise everything is not as perfect as it can seem on the surface. I am truly appreciative of the way you put your heart & soul into it.

    Then I read the comments, my god, if you don’t like the blog, don’t read it. If you’re having a bad day get over it, stop projecting your own frustrations at the wrong subject & deal with your problems in your own life.

    PLEASE, PLEASE don’t stop posting Petite, I love your blog & would sincerely miss it if you stopped.

    Comment by QldDeb — July 4, 2008 @ 4:39 am

  127. Dear Petite,
    Like a few others, I too am horrified and disgusted by so many of the petty, possessive, negative comments above. Not only is this your blog and no one is being forced to read it, your own two comments in this section were quite neutral and honest and perfectly kind. People totally misinterpreted what you said, unable to discern the fine line between “I reject your advice!” and “Just an FYI, the original intent of this entry wasn’t to solicit advice.” There is a huge difference in attitude between the two, and the haters out there just glommed onto the one they decided was more fun to bash.

    I think it’s so incredibly sweet that The Boy posted the pic of the cute little bunny, and I’m confident that with your self-effacing honesty and ability to confront yourself, as well as your great English sense of humor (I’m American, sorry, I think all Brits are funny), will contribute to making your marriage a long and mutually satisfying one. You and The Boy are equally lucky to have each other.

    Comment by amy — July 4, 2008 @ 6:05 am

  128. I’m sorry, why are you making it sound like all your fault, there are at least 2 people in every fight. Exactly whose right to individual freedom were you referring to. If he thinks you are fundamentally flawed then why did he marry you, anyway everybody is flawed, nobody is perfect. By the way you looked lovely in the wedding photos, pity every photo of your husband he had a fag hanging out of his mouth

    Comment by Jo — July 4, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  129. Wow, petite, you should be proud of all the reaction you have provoked. That, to me, is a sign that your writing can (still) touch people and make them identify with what you’re writing. That’s what made me read your blog in the first place and it’s why I, for one will keep reading. I think the reason so many commented is because you really crystallised a feeling which many people, including myself, have experienced.

    Whether or not you like the comments, is, in a way, beside the point. After all, you’re not going to stop writing your new novel because you got some bitchy reviews on, are you?

    Hats off to The Boy, what a great picture…

    Comment by Suziboo — July 4, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  130. Nice writing, what your blog does best regardless of the subject. Whether it brings praise or criticism (which have equal merit) surely the worst reaction is indifference?

    Comment by Eccles Cake — July 4, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  131. #128 – er, that will be in one photo? In one other he is holding a coffee stirrer. Ooh, that’s bad.

    Comment by petite — July 4, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  132. Petite,
    What a sad little post. I am sorry for you. I really think you need to get to the bottom of the whole reason for the argument. It sounds to me as if it is quite a serious issue, not just a silly fight about nothing in particular. I really don’t think you should let it go unresolved if it is fundamental to your happiness, both of you. I was wondering, reading between the lines if it had anything to do with similar feelings you had towards Mr Frog. You began to resent becoming almost the sole presence in Tadpole’s life, having all the responsibility for her without much help from Mr Frog. You could see a lifetime stretching out, where he was always working and then tired and you were always taking up the slack and unable to have much of a social life. Is this what is happening now, I wonder? Please don’t take offense, I am just thinking over bits I’ve picked up on, in previous posts.

    Whilst I haven’t had time to read all the many comments, skimming through, I thought Julia’s comment (15) was spot on and also Steve and Jen, further down. It’s not such a good idea to be the first to say sorry if underneath, you feel you are in the right. It will eat away at you and you will resent apologising for something you feel you shouldn’t have. Of course there is nothing wrong in apologising for perhaps, some of the things you said in temper, or certain behaviour – that’s fine.

    By the way, I am always surprised at the ability of men to sleep at such frought times, but they seem to be quite able to, while we suffer on alone and abandoned. I think it’s a gender thing! Men seem better able to compartmentalise things. An argument is one thing, much needed sleep, another!

    Anyway, whatever the problem, I would sit down, calmly when you both have the time and without all the anger of the moment and really iron out exactly what the problem is and be prepared to compromise a little on both sides. I do wish you luck.

    On another note, (probably not so appropriate to mention right now, but hell!) I am still enjoying your book and have written a little piece about it on my own blog. Not that you need any publicity, and not that anyone will find, let alone, read my efforts, but there you go. Reprendrez courage!

    Comment by scribble — July 4, 2008 @ 11:27 am

  133. @99 I’m Scottish and that’s definetly NOT a Scotch pancake, looks more like a waffle ! What do you say Boy ?

    Comment by Pauline — July 4, 2008 @ 11:28 am

  134. God. Jo was just trying to be nice.

    Comment by Amy — July 4, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  135. Pauline, I’m Scottish too and the picture is quite clearly of un lapincake…

    I’ll get me coat.

    Comment by suziboo — July 4, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  136. What? Has the male of the species (I speak as a happily married for 20 years one)learnt nothing?

    The wedding service is all very fine. What the guy is actually signing up to is:

    1) All that is mine is hers

    2) All that is hers is her own.

    The final element he agrees to in the wedding vows is:

    ‘Resistance Is Futile’

    If he applies all these concepts then something magical occurs.

    1) She can have it all – she’ll make you blissfully happy anyway. Actually, it is the best bargain you’ll ever make.

    2) She is always right anyway. The female of the species is smarter so get over it. She will bear a grudge and win in the end – so get on giving-in straight away. Life will be better – return to the blissfully happy concept.

    All males should acknowledge that they are on earth to apologise first and get on with life. That way lies untramelled marital success. All other routes lead to failure.

    So, tell M Frog to get with the program. trust me, it works!

    Resistance is futile!


    Comment by Chicago Bear — July 4, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

  137. When I sent my comment in I was completely unaware that there had been negative ones having not read through them all. Now that I have, I feel rather silly sending in well intentioned advice that you didn’t really want.
    A couple of things in response to some of the commenters – #90 makes a fair point in that if you are writing ‘for yourself’ and ‘to get things out of your system’ then you could do that privately and not share it with the world. You have said in the past, that you like to see what people have to say, that you await the ‘results’ of your work with interest and after years of exposing yourself to everyone, you are fully aware that whatever you write, will generate responses and I thought that was part of what you liked about blogging.

    When I first saw you on TV I was a little taken aback when you said you have, on occasions, almost provoked certain things in your life in order to provide ‘fodder’ for your blog. You were unsure whether you deliberately provoked certain things in order to have subject matter. I must admit that I felt a bit uncomfortable over that, this desire to deliberately create/provoke something you could write about later. It did though have the right effect, in that it really aroused my curiosity and I started reading your blog and wondered which bits were contrived at any time. You have also admitted in your book that not all of what you write is true either, creative licence etc.

    Either way, you provide readers with an interesting read and many of us thoroughly enjoy it but you cannot be too upset if people respond in an unfavourable way and I would suggest you completely ignore those people that upset you. Who cares, you don’t know them and they (we) don’t really know you. It’s not like a friend being harsh towards you. So keep smiling and keep writing! P.S. what a wierd one from Trevor #33, extraordinary arrogance!

    Comment by scribble — July 4, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  138. @ pauline

    it’s definitely a pancake !

    for the waffle see the, sadly, last performance of Oolong :

    Comment by The Boy — July 4, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  139. Thanks for clearing that up The Boy, what sort of Scottish lass am I who doesn’t know her waffle from her pancake. That’s what happens when you’ve been off the gin for too long.

    I’d never come across Oolong before, but I think the “Loo Roll Rabbit” is my favourite:

    Comment by Pauline — July 4, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

  140. The whole selection, pick your favourite:

    Comment by Pauline — July 4, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  141. gee petite, I’ve been reading for several years now and this has certainly evoked some bitter comments from some of your readers… wonder why they’re stopping by then… anyway,it’s comforting to read that we married ones are not alone in our flawed relationships…

    Comment by magillicuddy — July 4, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  142. All I know about marriage* is: that every marriage is different and none endure without some suffering; none is perfect.

    I feel that, as a commitment of loyalty, any pain should be borne privately as long as the marriage exists–as far as possible. Write for posterity, or yourself, but not for an audience of things that should be private. Disguise in a novel if you must. I could be wrong (see first comment). But I wish you well.

    This is a suggestion not a criticism btw and is kindly intended. No need to post this.

    I missed whatever it was you deleted but that you did seems a very good sign.

    *It’s only been 29 years, so hopefully not even half-time if she will continue to put up with me. The “secret” is that there is no secret, except a commitment to staying married. Everything else is negotiable.

    Comment by Eats Wombats — July 4, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  143. Any plans for a guest post from the Boy/Husband ?!

    Comment by timide — July 4, 2008 @ 5:28 pm

  144. Petite, upending fairy tails since 2004. Shame on her.

    Great post. :-)

    Comment by queenie — July 4, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  145. Ah, now we finally read Petite again – capital P and everything! Great post, excellent writing. I won’t comment on the content. I’m sure you’ll get to the bottom of the problem at some point. Just carry on writing!

    Comment by Lotus Flower — July 4, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  146. Why not try to bring up the subject and possible compromises when you are having one of your more peaceful moments in a nice atmosphere like a cafe? If you feel things are not working, just veer off the conversation to bring it up later. People sometimes need time to assimilate emotional issues so that logic and reasoning can perculate to the top.

    But i agree with you, you definitely need to bring this out in the open or it can morph into other things.

    Comment by Blueseaurchin — July 4, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  147. Chicago Bear seems to be under the misconception that you married Mr Frog..
    I think the reasons people have been so pissed off is that your post put a pin in the Petite Fairytale and burst the bubble of happy ever after. The dress, the red shoes, the longing looks etc etc. Your readers now just want missed periods, shock, The Boy’s unexpected ambivalence to the news, you know that sort of thing. Create some drama Petite!
    I am not one of those readers by the way – I’ve been married 17 years and sometimes…. Ugh out with anger, in with love..

    Comment by Alice Band — July 4, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

  148. En même temps, je me demande si, lorsqu’une relation est très fote, on n’éprouve pas le besoin de se mettre à distance de l’autre pour se prouver qu’on peut continuer d’exister même sans lui.

    Comment by marie-hélène — July 4, 2008 @ 7:31 pm

  149. If you look carefully at the photos of Oolong, it looks as though the various cakes (pancakes, waffles, what have you) have been photoshopped into the pictures. Does anyone have actual live footage of the rabbit balancing the stuff?? Methinks ’tis not true. Sadly. But good for a laugh.

    Comment by Tandy — July 4, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  150. Hi petite – haven’t commented for a while, but felt compelled to do so on this occasion.

    It was clearly very honest of you to write a post to take a bit of the gloss off your wedding photos.

    What I struggle to understand, though, is why you are always surprised when you put an honest and earnest post out there, that people offer their honest and earnest advice.

    You may not be soliciting it, but you are presenting your problems to this forum in a heartfelt way, striking a chord with many people and giving them an opportunity to react and to share their experiences and advice with you. This is all part of being a human. We want to share our experiences, we want to help others.

    I’m not sure how many comments you don’t let through moderation, but the vast majority of your comments are positive and encouraging.

    If it were me, I would simply accept them graciously, in the spirit in which they were sent.

    Comment by anxious — July 4, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

  151. I started to read this in the wee small hours I went from sadness at your turmoil, been there done that n got thousands of tee shirts….We cant all be perfect can we so refreshing to know you arnt but suffer the same emotions we all do….n you will get over it both of you n work it thru by the time I got to the boys comment I was aghast at the sarky comments n thought ello here we go same type of nastiness you get on the social networking sites Im on …When I saw his post n clicked the picture I nearly fell offa ma chair laughing spoke volumes to me in that hes got one hell of a sense of humour n he bears no grudges at you venting your emotions in your blog …Bloody nora I wish I had the way with words you have got to a tee missus to write such a fab blog …Yep missus your most deffo human like the rest of us …..

    Ermmm any sign of tadpolettes yet :A

    Keep up the great work …Im off for more meds ….grrrrrrrr :)

    Sooz x

    Comment by soozyuk — July 5, 2008 @ 12:33 am

  152. Of course marrage will not resolve relationship issues.

    If the relationship had issues prior- it will have them post.

    I am not sure why anyone would want to get married in this day and age.. and why have a relationship that makes you feel worse not better?

    ME? I have been married 22 years…does that make me an authority? nope….

    Comment by simon — July 5, 2008 @ 2:05 am

  153. Haven’t commented before, but have to after seeing all the furious “Don’t you dare write about your personal life” comments.

    Bon courage! The post was excellently written, as always. I’m glad that you’re courageous and honest enough to so eloquently describe things that most people either deny or keep under wraps.

    You go Petite!

    Comment by LN — July 5, 2008 @ 2:38 am

  154. “I love this man, I know we have a great future together, but I married him knowing that we still have a few things to work through. Is it wrong to admit this?”

    Nothing wrong at all, and that my dear is all that matters. Of all the things you wrote in the post, you have said more in these two sentences as a comment than perhaps in the whole post.

    I am coming up on my 19th wedding anniversary. The last several years have been fraught with the most extreme stress imaginable, to the point where divorce was practically on the table. We are working very hard to salvage this marriage, and it takes a great deal of work. Will it survive? Time will tell.

    As I posted before, marriage is an ordeal. That is not necessarily a bad word to use. In fact, it is rather accurate. The point is, you go through the ordeal together. Hopefully, you come out stronger for it, though sometimes you don’t. The fact that you recognized that you have issues to work on even before the marriage is the first step in overcoming them.

    I wish you the best in your ordeal. If I spoke French, I would say it that way too.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — July 5, 2008 @ 5:59 am

  155. P.S. Keys to successful marriage:-

    Men. Work 6 days a week and NEVER get home before 7 pm. Avoid the “week of rouge” by doing just a little bit more. i.e. work back late or cook a meal. In this week you will never be right about anything. not even sleeping.

    Remember:- rule number one:- Your woman is ALWAYS right. Rule number 2:- if she is wrong refer to rule number 1.

    Remember they are ALL sisters. if you understand this.. you can get away with anything…..

    Finally:- don’t get caught.

    Women:- do not get involved in “mens business.” Give him space…. eg women want to talk about their day… men do not…30 minutes of de-stress before you load him up with your day is perfect. Be a lady about town and vixen within the home…..

    Remember, Men cannot run their brain and other parts at the same time…..and their ego hinges on it

    failure in this will result in him wandering & trying not to “get caught”

    Have 6 kids- this means there is NO chance of any personal relationship until they are all grown up- by then a mans testosterone levels are low, and women are going through menopause…. so neither care less….

    Develop your own hobbies and circle of friends……

    finally live in separate homes….. aahahahahah! or just find a woman you hate and give her a house…. :o)

    ( I am married for 22 years!)

    Seriously- the home should be the sanctuary from the reality of the world outside. The people within should build you up not tear you down.

    if it not, then why have it… better off alone methinks….

    Comment by simon — July 5, 2008 @ 9:00 am

  156. I think the bravest things we do in life are often the ones where we are just unsure how things will sort out in the end. Embarking on life with someone is rarely trouble free and takes time to settle and sort every facet of life together. The longest marriages are often riddled with issues that both parties have taken time to want to resolve. Nothing is perfect from day one.

    Some interesting comments here, some amusing, some of don’t add anything at all.

    Looking forward to the next post and hope you are all enjoying some sun.

    Comment by Mark — July 5, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  157. P.S. I forgot in all my ramblings, to say that I thought your analysis of your feelings was beautifully written, really excellent. I don’t see any problem at all with the post or any reason why you shouldn’t have written it. Just wanted to add that. You needn’t put this up, just wanted to let you know! Best wishes.

    Comment by scribble — July 5, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  158. Dear Petite

    I’m with “anxious” (comment #150).

    That said, if the situation was getting to you as much as the writing of your post suggested … I’m not surprised you found some of the comments hard to take, even though they seemed mostly well-intentioned. I don’t think we yet know how to handle your own open style, which makes what you write so interesting.

    It offers a common voyage of discovery to all of us. You put up with the consequences of being the author. As a rather shy and private older Englishman, I wouldn’t do it, for any reward. But I’m interested and glad you do. And grateful your husband seems to take it in his stride, whatever he may feel about it.

    Comment by John Norris — July 5, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  159. Hi, Petite!

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and I must admit it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the “life” you (when you write to share) and the “book” you (when you fictionalize your life to get perspective). Some readers thought that this post was a “life” one and hurried to offer helpful advice – and were wrong, which resulted in bitterness when you corrected this mistake.

    I think it would be better for all if you tell us what kind of feedback you expect. If the first comment to this post had been by you saying “It’s OK folks, I’ve dealt with this and moved on”, we would have taken it much easier. You didn’t disable comments which means they are useful, but you write less often because the comments are not what you want them to be. Then why not ask for specific things? It will make us, your readers, more focused on what you need and the quality of comments will improve. Also, it is a good way to deal with generalized negative comments: if something is “off topic”, people are less likely to write it.

    Yes, you wrote about your attitude towards comments before, but such things are the last ones to come to mind when we see someone in trouble. Also, previous posts are not of much use to newcomers.

    Best wishes,

    Comment by Sandy Raidy — July 5, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

  160. I don’t think it’s right to berate petite for writing what she wants to.

    Comment by Babycakes — July 5, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

  161. “Physical complicity,” hehe… haven’t heard that before!

    Comment by Perakath — July 5, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  162. People weren’t berating Petite. They were trying to offer advice which, apparantly, was very naughty of them.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 5, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  163. You know what the problem is, petite ? You write too well. The feelings and turmoil of emotions of a fight were so beautifully described in this post that perhaps it sounded more “serious” than it actually was and everybody was like OMG, they need counselling ! We tend to forget that as a writer, you might enjoy exploring darker sides of a relationship, just for art’s sake…
    Anyway, keep writing great pieces like this !

    Comment by Delphine — July 5, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

  164. Be a lady about town and vixen within the home….. Simon are you off your head?

    Comment by Alice Band — July 5, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  165. I love the way you people were not deterred by your reprimand. Funny! And oh so human of you. Or did you just not read the posts…

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 5, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  166. Gosh, what a load of claptrap. Roll on the first full-scale row, then the separation and after that the divorce, then Tadpole’s bolshie teenage years, material enough for many a pot-boiler to come!

    Comment by gonzales — July 5, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

  167. What?! You are not writing as often because of comments?! Is it why I have had to sneakily click your link about a thousand times at work, heart beating faster at the thought of being caught, to only see the very same post for days on end and feeling my levels of frustration rise beyond their usual paroxysm! Bloody hell Petite, have a thought for your once fellow PAs, who spent their hard earned cash on your book and rely on your website for a bit of much needed free talent too!Thank you, looking forward to more posts…and more comments;o)

    Comment by gorgeousophie — July 5, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  168. Putain! Franchement je n’ai jamais vu une telle forte réaction. Allez petite, allez petite!! Au moins votre mec-pardon homme, mari (sais pas quoi dire la) a un sens d’humeur aussi. N’arrêtez-pas d’écrire, vous me faites rigoler, pleurer et sans vous je vais lire quoi pour me rassurer que c’était une bonne idée d’habiter ici? Hein!? Il y quelques gens ici qui sont vraiment trop con. If you weren’t seething before, I bet you were after reading that load of (insert appropriate offensive word) From one northerner to another, if they don’t like it, they can lump it.

    Jacqueline x x

    Comment by othersideoftheborder — July 5, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  169. Hola from a Brit in Vancouver.

    Have read yr site approx once afore.

    Do you know Gottmans work ?

    He’s really the cream when it comes to relationships.Thank Charles Darwin he was a mathematician afore he went into psychology.

    Some facts.
    the gottman lad reckon at least 69% of conflict inh relationships IS NOT SOLVED..its managed.
    And also the arguiing or not is immaterial;it’s the ratio of good to bad thats ALL IMPORTANT.
    5:1 and you’ll be good to go for as long as that ratio keeps to that..when its starts to fall then things get wobbly.
    Also check out the 4 horsemen of the apocalypze as he calls them contempt, stonewalling, defensiveness and i canny recall the last one !

    Also eat a low carb ketogenic diet. Your brain and heart is fuelled 25% more efficiently with ketones than with glucose and as such your whole ednocrine system with function more efficiently i.e you and he will be less stressed.
    4000iu min of Vitamin d given where you ( and i live ) crucial for neural stress reduction as well as a slewe of other things.
    Also a pharm grade huile de foie de morue..or Cardiozen from the UK….1000mg per day 3-6 x variably per week.
    You try that and i will wager you will write a nicely emailo to me afterwards !

    All good things. (i used to live in the 14th Sevres Lecourbes and also just off Ave Wagram too.


    Comment by Simon Fellows PhD. — July 6, 2008 @ 12:09 am

  170. Haven’t visited for a while, recuperating still from surgery and sitting at a computer isn’t particularly appealing but reading your post tonight Petite took me back to the ups and downs of 16 years of a relationship that included 11 years of marriage. Your comments made me remember things I loathed about my marriage which is probably why I’ve lived alone for the past 28 years.

    Tonight I had dinner with a very attractive male friend who works in Bermuda and who romances me……….when he’s back in the UK. When he left and before going to bed I logged on and was initially saddened by your post because it brought back those memories but then I was maddened by some of the responses – WHY do some of these “well meaning” posters feel that they need to counsel you?!

    Over the years I’ve found that people always want me to find or look for someone to share my life even though I don’t claim that this is my desire or ambition. If people try to resolve my single state by trying to get me to commit myself to someone/anyone then I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who writes a BLOG and is willing to discuss relationship issues is inundated with suggestions how to resolve their “problems”……but by disclosing normal human frailty we’re not actually inviting someone to tell us what we should do next. Are we?

    A passionate relationship often does mean ups and downs and the old adage of making up before sleeping though good in theory doesn’t always work in practice.

    I confess I’m glad I’m off to bed alone and that Mr Bermuda had to drive home tonight and not in the morning and we haven’t even had an argument. I can sleep all over the bed and not just on one side, but have cuddles when I want. Sometimes being a singleton is the most desirable state in the world……..I really love it.

    P.S. Tried to reclaim my copy of Petite Anglaise but it travelled to the South of France yesterday! I’m going to have to buy another.

    Comment by ookymooky — July 6, 2008 @ 12:39 am

  171. Petite, I have just read almost the whole blog, after finding the book and reading it in a weekend. Your ways may not be my ways, but they make for great reading. Be hugely grateful for the Boy’s sense of humour, for the delightful Tadpole, and for the seemingly sensible M. Frog. Is he still your good friend?
    Most issues can be sorted out with humour and love. Its the lack of humour that resounds in so many of the “worthy” comments that bothers me.
    If I may offer one word of advice, which may be quite unnecessary, as she is not mentioned, its that Tadpole should not hear you quarrel. Those are things that children remember.
    You are a good mother, and a wife who loves her husband. Little else matters.

    Comment by 40 yrs on — July 6, 2008 @ 2:07 am

  172. Petite,,,,,,oh how I have enjoyed your story. Still do. I loved your wedding dress. I could only dream to ever have worn such a dress, and looked so perfectly beautiful in it. As far as marriage? I have been married 20 years and I am 38 years old. I do this horridly morbid thing when I am in that quiet seething phase of a disagreement. I imagine that the phone rings, or there is a knock at the door, and I find out that an unexpected illness, or accident has happened to him and I’ve only mere days left with my husband. Then I compare that feeling to the disagreement and suddenly? The “fight” or reasons for, don’t seem important in the grand scheme of it all. Example. (not trying to trivialize your situation at all here). After asking that he not leave up the toilet seat over and over and over, and my falling my bum bum into the cold water on many occasions, it manifests into him not caring, not loving me, I’d never do that to him? how much effort can be compared to such a cold, wet, awakening in the middle of the night, how much effort is my happiness and well being worth to him? Truly this has ended up in an honest disagreement, complete with guest bedroom residence. Then I imagine if I were to possibly lose him? and it doesn’t matter anymore. Just for the record he is more careful now. Not perfect, but does try. The worst situation I’ve ever used this idea for, is when I found out about his affair. The litmus test for any love that could be left? What if I lost him? not kicked him out of my life by choosing, but what if the CHOICE was taken away from me? and I couldn’t decide if I wanted him or not? What if someone dared to try and hurt him? Would I intervene? Sounds insane I know. I’m a worst case scenario girl in my imagination. Truth was, I did love him still. 17 years and three children later, I did. He might be a complete idiot for having had the affair? but he was MY complete idiot and someone would have to walk through ME, to ever hurt him. If losing him is what you fear the most sweet petite, don’t lose him because of your fear. Personal happiness is the most attractive trait of all. I think you are divine.

    Comment by commentorwithapreviousname — July 6, 2008 @ 6:13 am

  173. Wow, thats funny, not the fact that you were fighting but the first time that i went to read this post i was angry with my husband, in retrospect something small, but at the time i was so angry that i couldn’t read. Now that i have read it, i’ve had to have a little giggle.

    Comment by Sara — July 6, 2008 @ 6:23 am

  174. Dear Petite,

    I have been reading your blog from pretty much day one and it has been so fun following your story over the years! Yours is actually the very first blog I ever read (I didnt know they existed before!). When I first started reading I had a lovely but troublesome French boyfriend, that relationship ended and after a few stumbles, I eventually met the man i have now been living with for the past two years and will be marrying in a few months. Anyway, it has been lovely reading your blog through this whole time, and I was so happy to see your ‘wedding post’. I have never commented before, even though so many of your posts have been SO exciting!! I just never felt like I really had anything to say, and was just happy to read your lovely writing and follow the story. Still dont really have anything to say now except – thankyou and congratulations! I look forward to reading your next book!

    Comment by Janet — July 6, 2008 @ 7:02 am

  175. Some people, they only need to read the words “short bursts of conflict” and “the core subject remains unresolved” in order to freak out completely:

    Comment by Johanna — July 6, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

  176. I have to say that warning bells sounded for me when you admitted that it was you who had proposed. The poor guy must feel like a trout that has been snared by a beautifully crafted lure.

    Comment by Estelle des Chevaliers — July 6, 2008 @ 8:49 pm

  177. Petite,
    I appreciate that it takes a certain amount of guts to send slices of your life out in the internet like you do. Like so many others, I’ve enjoyed following your blog for some time, and it can be very refreshing to read your honest words, whether or not they flatter you and even others around you.
    But to be honest myself, Im not sure how you actually prefer your readers to react. Would you rather we commented strictly on the writing alone, regardless of the topic (as in ‘i love the first paragraph, particularly your use of the word ‘…’).
    Or would you like us to draw on our own similar experiences and share them with you? So you have a pool of other people’s trials, and how they each dealt with them?
    Personally, I initially thought that advice would be the best thing to offer you… in thanks for providing writing I enjoy, I thought that taking some time to reflect and offer some help might be appreciated. Whether or not you actually heed what is said, I thought it was a way to give something in return. However, you have demonstrated here (and again in the past) that advice is not what you seek. In which case, taking time to formulate a comment along those lines seems like a waste of my time, especially if it something that is not welcome in the first place.
    I think what Im trying to say here is- as a reader, I thoroughly enjoy your writing, and would love the opportunity to give you something back in return, through your comments box. However, I am really not sure what sort of comments you are hoping to receive.. so if you could let us know what you are hoping for, we can do our best to do our bit in the way that you would prefer?

    Comment by Sunny — July 6, 2008 @ 11:56 pm

  178. @176 – “I have to say that warning bells sounded for me when you admitted that it was you who had proposed.”

    Moi aussi!

    Comment by purple — July 7, 2008 @ 12:33 am

  179. after reading your book, i can’t help but think this is a publicity stunt. likely you’re watching the readership graphs as i type. ‘must keep it interesting after marriage…’

    Comment by justreadyourbook — July 7, 2008 @ 1:05 am

  180. Sheesh! Lots of opinions -just because you write about your life doesn’t mean you have intentionally offered yourself to other peoples opinions about it, you simply give us a honest slice of a little part of your life. And as for no 176, I take it estelle must be about a zillion years old to have such an old fashioned approach to marriage proposals. And yes I asked my husband to marry me, and it was beautiful and totally appropriate for our relationship. Poor battered Petite, a crap argument, some deeper issues to deal with (and you probably both know that)and a world full of readers judging you for sharing it with us.

    Comment by Lisa — July 7, 2008 @ 3:48 am

  181. Wow! How horribly nasty and…. ‘small’ people can be – to want to say such incredibly hurtful things to people they dont know. My breath is taken away…Petite, I am truly sorry that you have to see comments like that, and wonder at how you can stomach it.

    Comment by Janet — July 7, 2008 @ 4:10 am

  182. to Tandy #149. –> Pancake Rabbit is Real!

    “The head performance is actually a result of the domestic rabbit’s natural tendency to cuddle with each other, other animals (like housecats) and their owners by submissively putting their heads underneath the others’ chin”

    see Oolong “the Pancake Rabbit” wikipedia entry for more :

    [nota : you have to know that Oolong is not only a rabbit, he is also what we call an ‘Internet Meme'(I let you guys do the searching).
    And that’s the important point here.]

    And to Estelle # 176 : Dont’ you “Poor Guy” me,
    you definitely have no idea what you’re talking about.
    bless you …

    Comment by The Boy — July 7, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  183. Why am I so depressed, reading (increasingly rapidly, with a few head-shakes!) through no fewer than 181 comments, including your reaction to them, Petite? I can only offer my opinion (though I am not alone) that you are in danger of becoming addicted to your positive commentators, and your response to some of the more negative comments does seem a little narcissistic and immature. What is it you are looking for, just approbation? This quotation seems to prove just that:

    “But with comments like some of those I’ve attracted on this post, is it any wonder I’m writing less often these days?”

    You talk about writing this piece ‘for yourself’. How can this be either completely honest, or very fair to The Boy, who clearly reads your blog and whom you don’t want to ‘trash’? If you are indeed writing for yourself, why post the piece, which is very personal? If you do so, you have to expect a 360 reaction and not stamp your foot about it. I have to say, I sometimes find it hard to believe your chronological age. We all remember how well you described your worries that Jim might have fallen for Petite, rather than Catherine. Don’t make the mistake of making this blog and its comments box more important than living your life….please! God knows, you have so much going for you and your reaction here sounds….petulant!

    Good luck! I mean it. Don’t go the way of Liz Jones!!!!

    Comment by Lindy — July 7, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  184. I re-read all the comments on this post this morning (it took a LONG time!) and I think it’s time to clarify a few misunderstandings.

    When I wrote here (@67) that I don’t post in order to solicit advice, it was directly in response to one commenter who was accusing me of writing the post in order to invite my readers to some sort of pity party. I certainly didn’t intend to upset any of my well-meaning commenters in so doing. I apologise if I did.

    I always read every comment (and only moderate them for spam, letting everything else through). I appreciate people taking the time to give me the benefit of their own experiences, even if I admit I have to take some of their well-intentioned, thoughtful advice with a pinch of salt because sometimes it simply doesn’t apply to my situation at all. But much of what I read here was really useful. I even put some of it into practice already.

    (Comments are only the tip of the iceberg. I get inundated with personal emails too – some from people recommending specific prescription drugs they think I should be taking. These I do reserve the right to ignore.)

    @179 – I didn’t write this post as a publicity stunt. (How would that work? Is me having a fight with my husband newsworthy? Will it sell books or increase my readership? I doubt it. All it did here was cause a comments’ spike.) I used to be much more blog/stats obsessed than I now am. The book was written about a period of my life which ended two years ago.

    I also reserve the right to feel upset when a stranger accuses me of proposing to my husband in order to create blog fodder, for example, or tells me to get a life (and this may, at times, prompt me to write a rather petulant reply, being human and all…) I realise the overwhelming majority of comments on this post were positive, and some of the criticism was well-intentioned and constructive. Sadly it’s the spiteful minority that penetrate the skin barrier and stay with me. What can I say? I’m a sensitive soul.

    But as long as my husband and I know what is what, I’m going to try not to let this kind of nonsense get to me. Life’s too short.

    Comment by petite — July 7, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  185. What a poisonous comment from #176. Despicable.

    Comment by happyforyou — July 7, 2008 @ 11:35 am

  186. I was looking back to when you first set up your blog as my own is quite new and hoping to get a few tips! I’m pathetically bad at the techy stuff. I’ve just worked out how to link between posts and other blogs, but can I ask someone, why do I then get a comment which is apparently from myself and contains a bit of my own writing (from the link). Sorry, but can anyone explain? I really hope you don’t mind me asking here.

    Comment by scribble — July 7, 2008 @ 11:37 am

  187. Here we go again.(sigh) It’s déjà vu. Slapping down your private life for everyone to see especially after having published pictures of your new hubby. Nice work. Le heureux élu should have shoved a contract and a pen in your face before taking the vows.

    So now with the ring on the finger up comes the latent unsolved conflicts that should have been worked out before one says I do.

    Ever say to yourself that history repeats itself and wonder why? Thinking about a second child to assuage the pain?

    Previous post on cleavage and barmen. What? one month after marriage and those wondering eyes of Frenchmen. Hummm

    I give your deal about 3 years

    Comment by rocket — July 7, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

  188. Sunny, (Nr. 177): my thoughts and feelings exactly.

    Petite: How about writing in 3rd person, whenever you exploit a “personal” topic for literary purposes? I don’t think 3rd person invokes sooo much voluntary counselling (even though I rationally understand people who don’t really want loads of advice, I think there are posts I’ll forget all about it and seconds later, I’ll be writing down my personal experience for all it’s worth, happy for the opportunity to add to a large pool of damn interesting things others had to say…) Prevent me from doing it, next time. :-)

    Look it sounds nice, too:

    If there’s one thing she hates more than any other, it’s going to bed after a fight still seething with anger.

    Comment by alcessa — July 7, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  189. jesus, are you people still at it?
    give it a break and go back to work, will yas? hee hee!

    just one thing though, either that boy’s command of the english language is v. impressive or someone’s pretending to be the boy to stir things up!

    so… how’s that for a conspiracy theory? ;P

    Comment by que sera sera... (whatever will be, will be...) — July 7, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  190. Amen, Petite! #184 is wonderfully stated!


    Comment by Kathleen — July 7, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  191. Advice for people who are leaving negative comments…


    Spreading such negativity as you feel you must is disgusting…get a life! FOR.REALS.

    Petite, keep writing, when I check in with you to read your posts, i feel like I’m checking in on an old friend..your readers who are commenting so crudely should ask themselves WHY they are checking in and commenting soo rudely, is that how they treat their friends?? IF so, I bet their friends don’t need any enemies on their side if they have them!

    I’m half way through the book:) I love it!
    And btw, argueing is so normal…it’s not by doing everything right all the time that we learn anything…it’s by making mistakes, having arguements that we really are able to learn!

    Comment by kim — July 7, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  192. I’ve never followed the comments on Petite’s blog before, but I keep checking this post to see what else has been added. It’s like a train wreck. I cannot look away.

    How hateful can you all be? For those of you who have your own blogs, you should know that posting items can be a means of catharsis. For those who don’t, I’m sure you have used some similar avenue to clear your own heads. If you feel there’s too much information being shared here, read something else. She can post whatever she pleases.

    Lay off!

    Comment by Jenny — July 7, 2008 @ 5:32 pm

  193. Advice for Kim – read the rules of the game.

    1. Petite posts a topic.

    2. Petite encourages reponses, ‘Have your say’

    3. Readers accept, or decline, her invitation to

    4. Petite may moderate (ie censor, ie delete) any
    comments, or her original post, if she so pleases

    5. Petite (only) makes the rules – so she can
    change them any time she likes

    That’s it – its really that simple. Get it now?

    Comment by gonzales — July 7, 2008 @ 5:37 pm

  194. Rocket – #187. What’s the matter? Is your sad little life not enough. Go home to mommy and daddy little child. I bet you were the schoolyard bully, hmm?

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — July 7, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  195. I haven’t commented on this blog before but feel compelled to after reading some of these comments. We are privileged that Petite shares her ups and downs with us and she certainly doesn’t warrant such vitriol from her readers. This post is an excellent piece of writing and Petite should be respected for being so open with us.

    Keep it up Petite and take no notice of such small minded people.

    Comment by Kathy — July 7, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  196. #191 Thank you, Kim! My thoughts exactly!

    Petite, I think things are going a little bit too well for you at the moment. One sign of vulnerability and the vultures abound!

    Why don’t you people who have so many opinions on how other people should live their lives go work on your own.

    All people have conflicts, advice is fine… but it’s a thin line between advice and condescension and a generally patronizing attitude. And jealousy is just depressing!

    Petite, thank you for your honesty. Ignore the spiteful comments or just delete them. They do not bring anything of value to the discussion!

    Comment by Johanna — July 7, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  197. Will everyone please stop commenting so we can get another post and get on with our lives. Thank you.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 7, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

  198. I love it! They’re all for you – no wait – they’re all against you, hang on now they’re turning on each other! Isn’t the internet great? To be able to pop in and catch a great post and then read all the different reactions, brilliant!

    Comment by Tuesday — July 7, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  199. Were you cross with The Boy because he put a scotch pancake on a rabbit? Is this something he does often? I get really cross when my boyfriend puts things I can eat on top of the pet’s head for the sake of photos.

    You could write in French that might get rid of some of the folk who don’t appreciate your honesty. Although I would prefer it if you didn’t as then I would have more difficulty reading it. I am taking classes though so perhaps you could consider it in the future.

    Comment by Thea — July 7, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  200. Petite,
    This post made me think of so many arguments I’ve had with boyfriends. I don’t know whether this applies in your case, but sometimes the real cause of friction lies in our way of bringing up the problem, rather than the problem itself. When we are reactive or when we make accusations without giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, we end up making the other person defensive and hostile. Then we feel even more wronged because we think we’re pointing out their bad behaviour and instead of getting an apology, the idiots accuse us back of all kinds of atrocities! Our indignation at this injustice leads to more protests and it then perpetuates the cycle of arguments.

    I’ve learned that if I ask for what I want or clearly state what I don’t want, the men in my life actually want to please me and they comply. This sounds simplistic, but a lot of people never learn to ask for what they need or they feel they have no right to ask. In order to get what they want, they resort to guilt trips or accusations to shame the other person into doing something. I know that I have a tendency to be like this. It’s not conscious, it’s just a bad habit and it ruined a couple of good relationships I had in the past. Is this perhaps what you’ve been doing too?

    Also, do give The Boy his space. I’ve come to accept that no amount of optimism will stop me from having days where I feel vulnerable and needy. The Boy cannot always help you through those times and it’s unrealistic to expect him to do so. On needy days, call a girlfriend, take Tadpole out for a walk or go watch a movie on your own. Oh, and continue to flirt un peu avec des autres or learn to do it. A lady of a certain sophistication should never be oblivious to the right kind of attention from the right kind of men. It helps to keep you playful and lighthearted. You’re in Paris, so there’s no excuse.

    Comment by Zerlina — July 7, 2008 @ 10:06 pm

  201. Wow! Like it or not you have fans, Petite. A mixed bag of nuts, but fans too.
    And I’m with #197, although I couldn’t help it either.

    Face it, you guys are lucky to have each other, and at the end of the day you shouldn’t let anyone else’s angst interfere with your private life.

    Stay away from the dark side ;).

    Comment by ang04 — July 8, 2008 @ 12:52 am

  202. Petite – Your comments are doing better than the stock market. When you hit 210 comments, sell. ;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — July 8, 2008 @ 12:54 am

  203. Right, that’s great advice. Continue to flirt even though you’re married now. What a pinhead. Well, at least the stories will be good.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 8, 2008 @ 1:57 am

  204. People. People. People. It was a quarrel. Time to move on.

    Comment by Mental P Mama — July 8, 2008 @ 2:23 am

  205. Comment 199 must be the funniest in this thread :)

    As for advice, I wish I had some. I’ve been married for 3 and a half years now with someone born halfway accross the world and we still get a lot of communication issues, where little things often accumulate until they blow way out of proportion. The little things are easy to address, but the communication issues that blow things up every time are harder…

    Take care, I know you can patch things up somehow. I’m shocked at the nastiness of some commenters, too :/

    Comment by walken — July 8, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  206. Blimey! Any chance of another post now to give everyone something else to think about!

    Comment by scribble — July 8, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  207. Sheila K, first you give advice that’s beyond condescending and obnoxious (“go to therapy”; “Do yourself a favor, don’t get pregnant right now”), then you insult other commenters on the board? (comment# 203).

    You may disagree with the advice, you may say that it’s bad, but you have no right to call people names. I suggest you learn some online etiquette and learn basic manners.

    Comment by Zerlina — July 8, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  208. Zerlina, I think it’s condescending and obnoxious to tell a newly-married person to flirt with other people.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 8, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  209. But of course you would! That doesn’t surprise me one bit that you should see evil in such an immoral and depraved act such as flirting.

    Comment by Zerlina — July 8, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  210. It’s not “evil” but I don’t think it’s really a great idea. I don’t think most people are even thinking much about flirting when they are first married. You’re so starry-eyed over each other at that point, you don’t really have other people on your radar. Flirting can be innocent and it can also lead into dangerous territory given the right (or wrong) circumstances. Why not channel that energy into “flirting” with your mate..Fun, healthy, and good for your relationship.
    Zerlina, you go ahead and flirt with whoever you like.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 8, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

  211. “individual freedom turns into personal selfishness”

    Some thoughts:
    Selfish is a attitude, not a behavior. Be sure you aren’t painting a behavior with an incorrect attitude or motive. Assume the most innocuous motive is behind whatever behavior you don’t like and start the discussion from there. It generally works better that way. And the advice to talk about your own needs and feelings rather than what the other person is doing or not doing is really good too.

    For example, my husband forgets important discussions we’ve had, or plans we’ve made. For a long time I thought he did that because those plans weren’t important to him, or because he was being passive aggressive. I stopped thinking that and just focused on the problem. “I am frustrated at constantly having to remind you of things or having you ask me the same questions over and over. I do not want to be your walking calendar. How can we be sure that you don’t forget what we talked about or important plans? What is a solution that would work for us both, because I am tired of repeating myself and I am starting to get very angry about it. ” Then when we made an agreement, and it gave us both persmission to hold the other person accountable for doing what he/she agreed to.

    Comment by meme — July 9, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  212. Sheila,
    So you *are* capable of presenting rational arguments to back up why you disagree with an opinion. Even though there’s still a hint of hostility, it’s so much better than name calling.

    Comment by Zerlina — July 9, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  213. Zerlina,
    Stuff it. Thank you.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 9, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

  214. Sheila,
    Good luck on your mission of spreading cheer and mirth with everyone whose life you touch.

    Comment by Zerlina — July 9, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  215. Something that has helped me is that immediately before anger there is another emotion, often hardly imperceptible but it will be there. Once it is recognised then it gives understanding about that situation and why it caused anger.
    Plus it is early days of living together so inevitably you both have to adjust to that.
    Hope that helps, God bless.

    Comment by Jenny — July 10, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

  216. I must say that reading all these comments through (I have a lot of time on my hands) has been gloriously entertaining.

    I do, however, have some comments of my own

    Do you not think it’s a little soon in your marriage for rabbit pictures? Most people at this stage in the relationship aren’t even considering floppy-eared pancake balancers and here you are, openly discussing them on the Internet! I am shocked. SHOCKED.

    Please can people stop being amused by bunnies so that Petite can write something else and we can all get on with our lives?


    Comment by Léonie — July 14, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  217. I must say I agree with Petite that we should be allowed to share our feelings without vitriolic response. I received a mail from a reader on who accused me of being ‘the puta’ because of my relationship with the Delivery Boy – I mean would we go around calling strangers ‘the whore’ if not for the internet.

    Comment by Suzy vegas — July 14, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  218. One thing to remember is that all the comments posted on your blog come from people from different backgrounds. Their appreciation of your posts may therefore differ depending on their personal and cultural views about the subject. You cannot please everybody. There will always be people who will agree with you and others who will not. That is a matter of fact.

    Seething is not pleasant and will often generate intense negative thoughts, negative emotions and associated action tendencies (behaviour). These are not dramatic if you forget about them after a couple of hours/days. They are called healthy negative thoughts/emotions and will naturally disappear. If, however, such thoughts and emotions tend to loop, you may be in presence of what one calls unhealthy negative material that you may wish to work on.

    Our perception of ourselves and the world depends entirely on our core belief system. These core beliefs are held unconsciously and are often created during the early years of life. The good news is that what has been learned can be unlearned in order to change from emotional disturbance to emotional health.

    Il y aurait beaucoup plus a dire sur le sujet mais je m’arrete la.

    Bon courage pour la suite!


    Comment by French Psy in London — July 14, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

  219. Not all of us want, or really need to change our core belief system, SF. I suppose since you are French AND a shrink, (amateur or otherwise) you think you’re going to be the one to decide who needs help here? Get in line. Oh, you did. You’re #218. Just really goes to show that opinions are like navels; everybody has one.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 15, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

  220. Petite, I have been reading your blog since you started. My life is no less complicated than yours and I can relate to so much of what you write. But I am less talented in writing than you, and less courageous in that I cannot express myself in the open. Thank you for being an honest voice in the blog world. The honesty alone is such a comfort.

    Sharp daggers like #177 and 187 (and several more prior) are completely worthless. If you write to express yourself and help release any tension, I would simply try to not read the comments at all… both positive and negative. That way you can focus on living life without having to weed out the poisonous comments that dig their way under your skin. I just don’t understand people like that. They wouldn’t say such things to someone to their face (or maybe they would!), but express negativity so easily on the Internet.

    Comment by nancy — July 16, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

  221. Two people brought up in different cultures – used to being independant and making their own decisions – get married – do you really expect everything to be sunshine and roses? I would be worried if they didn’t have issues – no-one’s perfect. You can love someone and still not like them sometimes.

    Sounds like a perfectly normal relationship to me.

    Comment by Me2 — July 18, 2008 @ 2:09 am

  222. Sharing your hopes is quite brave; sharing your fears and doubts is braver still (or is it “more brave”? Hmmmm.). But I digress… I hate fighting, but I realize it is a part of any relationship. I think the key is to make a fight productive, to foster communication, to bring about change, to learn from it. And while I am loathe to recommend anything of “self-help” nature, I have found Rabbi Schmuley Boteach’s “Eight Rules of Fighting Fairly” to be very insightful; in this case, #7 is right on the money. I wish you and your new husband all the best.

    May you love each other more today than you did yesterday. May you love each other more tomorrow than you do today.

    Comment by Timothy — July 19, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

  223. So much for a bit of ‘light reading’ before going to bed – feels like I have just walked in on a food fight! Not one to get egg on my face, or in my hair (it’s hell to wash out, especially with hot water – think scrambled egg), I am not going to say anything too controversial. A bold post…yes. Would we expect anything less…no. And that’s why we keep coming back for more.

    Comment by Tarte Tartan — August 1, 2008 @ 12:57 am

  224. “Never let the sun set on your wrath,” was the advice given to me by my Dad on my wedding day. It always runs through my head in those situations where you’re sitting it out in the dark, waiting for your other half to apologise. If it looks like enough time has passed and she ain’t gonna budge then I’ll swallow my pride and commence verbal reparations.

    On my wedding day, Dad might also have added “Set your alarm for 3.37 in the morning because the fire alarm in the hotel you’re staying in is going off at 3.38 and it will give you a chance to at least get something to cover your lower half before you have to dash out into the car park.”

    Nevertheless, the former advice has proved more valuable long-term.

    Comment by chris goodhead — August 3, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

  225. Just discovered your website Petite, and read this post. SO many bells rang true for me. This sounds EXACTLY like what I go through with my partner. We have weeks, sometimes months of blissful happiness, and then an all out war. I used to drag things up from the past, and he was the one that projects into the future. I’ve stopped doing that, well except the odd occasion when emotion takes over rationality. Sometimes I just don’t get why ‘he’s doing it again’ – being selfish that is, when he knows how much it incenses me. Thoughtless. Maybe over minor things, but each time I feel more and more sensitised to it. He doesn’t see he’s doing much wrong, gets defensive, makes excuses and says some quite hurtful things. A few days later he seems to understand and says words which let me know he ‘gets it, only to do it again a while later when all has been forgotton. This is who he is. There’s no changing the man and i’m coming to accept that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me, he’s just got a little laddishness in there that sometimes pops up. I compare what I would do and feel that becasue he doesn;t think the same way, how can he love me totally? But not everyone is the same of course. If i’m honest, I really don’t see why it’s so hard to ‘get’ but it obviously is for him. I guess at some stage we have to accept the other for who they are. I’m not blamesless either, and iunderstand him, because I have been him in the past, it’s just i’m not that way anymore.

    It reassures me that there is no ‘perfect relationship’ though, and from reading what you wrote, and the comments on this board, it helps me to know that others go through the same thing.

    It’s hard to decipher how bad something is sometimes, when some of your froends tell you he’s being awful and I should end it, others tell me to calm down and a third set take the view of ‘no one knows what goes on except you two, take the rough with the smooth’.

    Comment by Wendy Juniper — August 11, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

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