Working past the scariest sentence for couples: ‘I’m fine.’

Madison Wood

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relationshipimfineEveryone can think of the classic scenario when they have said or heard the words “I’m fine,” knowing things are far from it. In fact, the phrase is actually a good indicator that the problem isn’t going away anytime soon.

There are two sides to this situation. There is the “offensive” point of view, where the person is trying to figure out what they did wrong to end up on the receiving end of those words. Then there’s the “passive” point of view, where the “I’m fine”-er is quietly upset and wondering how the other party doesn’t know what they did wrong to get them there.

Let’s start with the offensive side. When you are on the receiving end of “I’m fine,” it can be a little confusing. You know that this is a crucial point where you need to turn things around, and even avoid further trouble, but maybe you just really don’t know what to do!

It’s important to remain focused on improving the situation and making your significant other aware that you want to help them feel better and correct whatever the issue may be.

Attend to them how you would want to be treated if you were deeply upset by something. Even if you seem to not be getting anywhere, your care and effort to make them feel better will register and be appreciated.

The passive situation is a whole different story. When you say the words “I’m fine” to your significant other, you’re probably in one of three scenarios: First, the issue seems silly and small and you really don’t want to discuss it. Second, you don’t want to say what it is because you want them to figure it out on their own and not have to explain it. Or third, you don’t even know where to start on what is wrong and would rather just keep it bottled up.

In all of these conditions, communication is the answer. Speaking honestly and explaining that there is something bothering you can help progress the situation for the both of you. By taking the time to explain what is on your mind, you are helping your significant other understand where you are coming from so hopefully they can correct their behavior for the future while also alleviating yourself of the pressure of keeping it to yourself and shut up inside.

Whichever side you find yourself on, my advice is to try being as open and honest as possible and empathize with your significant other’s point of view. The situation can be frustrating, but like an obstacle in the road, it can break you or make you stronger!