(if:visits is 1)[Today has been uncomfortable and is just going to get more so. Alex is still on their way home, now would be a good time to get some relaxation before our talk.](if:visits is 2)[Trying to take my mind off the upcoming confrontation is hard when there are so many memories in this place. Every room reminds me of being with Alex. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, maybe both. Try not to think about it too hard.](if:visits is 3)[I can't recall the last time I was this eager for Alex to get home. Some of the things we're going to talk about aren't going to go over well. I dread it and desperately want to get it over with. The sooner we talk, the sooner we can finish.](if:visits is 4)[Alex is usually home by now, must be some bad traffic. That doesn't bode well for our talk. Alex hates traffic. They aren't going to have a lot of patience, so I'll likely only get one chance to address each behavior. Conflict resolution has never been my strong suit. I'm terrified of messing up.](if:visits is 5)[Alex's car is pulling into the driveway. I'm nervous and scared almost to the point of being petrified, but I'm determined to say how I feel.]
(if:(history: where its tags contains "memory")'s length < 4)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Check social media")'s length < 1)[Check [[social media->Check social media]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "Read a book")'s length < 1)[Read a [[book->Read a book]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the bedroom")'s length < 1)[Go to the [[bedroom->Go to the bedroom]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "Watch TV")'s length < 1)[Watch [[TV->Watch TV]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the kitchen")'s length < 1)[Go to the [[kitchen->Go to the kitchen]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the living room")'s length < 1)[Go to the [[living room->Go to the living room]]...] ]
(if:(history: where its tags contains "memory")'s length >= 4)[Alex walks through the door. It's time to confront them about their [[unhealthy behaviors.->Confront]]]One of our go-to date nights is going to our favorite used bookstore. We typically walk away with a bunch of new titles to add to our [[growing library.]<memory1|]<toReplace1| It's a special thing we've made one of our date night traditions.
It's different being with someone who is so content with just staring at me read. It seems innocent enough, but it's caused some issues. A few weeks ago I jokingly told Alex they must find watching paint dry too exciting so that's why they watch me read.
Alex laughed kindly.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[That's the point, I like how introverted you are while reading. It just makes me so happy seeing you like that. You act more like your true self while reading, docile and quiet. Sometimes when I'm down at work I'll just look at you and feel so much better.]
Things took an uncomfortable turn. The docile comment was weird on its own, but how can they see me from their job?
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Because I have these pictures of you, silly.]
Alex shows the dozens of photos of me reading on their phone. Taking photos of others without their permission rubs me the wrong way. I tried to grab the phone, but Alex pulled it out of reach.
Alex smiled and laughed again.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[See, being extroverted never gets you [[anywhere.->Relax Choices]]]
(click: ?memory1)[(replace: ?toReplace1)[ever expanding collection of graphic novels, historical fiction, biographies, and any other genre of book that exists. If it has pages and binding, we love it. There's never a lack of literature in our home.]]One of the thrills from when we were first started dating was sharing with each other our favorite TV shows. We would sit on the couch for hours, cuddling up to each other while binge-watching show after show.
When we moved in together we started having lots of fights because we don't have the same [[taste in //all// shows.]<memory1|]<toReplace1| Eventually we settled on Alex being the one who picks things to watch. With only one person having a say, we’ve avoided a lot of fights. We watched things we both like for the most part, but I started missing some shows that Alex hated. When Alex wasn't around I started watching things they didn't like. It wasn't a great system, but it worked. Then Alex came home early one day.
Alex was furious at me for going behind their back. They were already mad that I was watching TV without them, but they became absolutely furious when they found out the shows were ones they didn't like.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Why would you put us through this again?! I told you how much I hated this show, but you're still watching it. How would you feel if I enjoyed watching something you hated?]
Thinking of that last fight brings shivers. It was the worst fight we'd ever had about the TV, but Alex came up with a solution so it would never happen again. Whenever Alex leaves the apartment they take the batteries for the remote [[with them.->Relax Choices]]
(click: ?memory1)[(replace: ?toReplace1)[view of reality TV. Alex thinks it's the worst thing to ever be produced by civilization. I on the other hand can't get enough of it. Yeah, it's often cheezy and scripted, but it's entertaining. The outlandish antics of //Jersey Shore// are hilarious, and the ludicrously strict lifestyle of //19 Kids and Counting// makes me feel lucky my parents weren't stricter than they already were. Yeah I wasn't allowed to wear skirts that went above my knees or show too much cleavage, but at least I could wear pants.]]When we first started dating Alex would gush about my appearance. People would comment on what a cute couple we made. Side by side we were a sweet image of a t-shirt and blouse.
Ever since we moved in together it's been harder to keep up that standard. Passing by the mirror in our bedroom, my top and bottom look mismatched and wrinkled. There's also a scarf, but it clashes with the outfit’s other colors. My hair looks rushed, [[messy and uneven.]<memory1|]<toReplace1|
Seeing me in this state is sad. Fashion has always been a favorite pastime of mine. Before we moved in together I spent a lot of time getting ready. It was so fun spending time choosing an outfit, picking out the perfect accessories, and doing my hair. At first Alex didn't mind it (especially on date nights), but one day they noticed how long it was taking me to get ready for work.
Alex looked at me suspiciously.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Someone at work you're trying to impress?]
No, just wanted to look nice.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Why? So you can attract someone better then me?]
Alex, you can't be serious.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[You think it's funny to try and cheat on me? Fine, if I can't trust you to take this matter seriously we'll have to put some rules in place.]
Since then I only have 15 minutes to get ready for work. 30 if it's getting ready for a date night. It wasn't too bad at first. It could be a good way to help with time management. Looking in the mirror now though, there are [[doubts.->Relax Choices]]
(click: ?memory1)[(replace: ?toReplace1)[something the supervisor at work hasn't failed to notice. The other day I asked her if I could present an upcoming report to the higher-ups. She commented that I needed to learn how to present myself before presenting a PowerPoint. Later that day I spent hours crying in Alex's arms as they comforted me.]]We have a long list of favorite restaurants. Both of us love going out to eat, and it's been a favorite date of ours for a long time. Going out with another person is much better than going alone. Sharing drinks, trying things from each other's plates, and giving our own [[wannabe food critic takes.]<memory1|]<toReplace1| Few things are better than bonding over food.
Walking into the kitchen, memories of last weekend come seeping back. The horrible seafood stew Alex made...just thinking about it makes me shudder.
After the first bite, I knew it wasn't going to [[stay down.]<memory2|]<toReplace2|
Alex's hopeful look crumbled into loathing. The one time they try to make something for our dinner and it's a huge failure. They scream something, but it couldn't be heard from the inside of the toilet bowl I was vomiting into.
After the vomiting, I was feeling lightheaded as Alex spoke sternly from the bathroom doorway.
The lightheadedness made it hard to make out everything they were saying, but the phrases "hard to please" and "get out of eating" along with the words "rude" and "ungrateful" seemed to be said a lot.
Too tired from vomiting to put up a fight, I reassured them how great the stew was. It wasn't that bad and totally worth the nausea. In fact, can Alex make it again [[next week.->Relax Choices]]
(click: ?memory1)[(replace: ?toReplace1)[//very// important and enlightened reviews on Google Maps. We've even gotten a few people who've started following us! The only downside is we've agreed to only review restaurants that we have visited together, so the ones I've visited by myself we can't write about.]]
(click: ?memory2)[(replace: ?toReplace2)[not come back to bite me. Or more accurately, come back up my throat. Ever since I was a kid I've never been able to keep any kind of seafood down. My inability to digest marine life has been a bit of a thorn in our relationship. Alex lives for seafood. It's frankly the only thing they know how to cook. That's why I do most of the cooking, but Alex really wanted to do something special for me and make us a meal.]]Hobbies were one of the things we talked about on our first date. It may seem like an obvious thing to discuss, but we didn't realize prior to that outing how much we had in common. We were delighted to find out that both of us like kayaking, art museums, and costume design (ok that last one's a little out there, but that's why it was so exciting to find someone else who’s into it).
However, one love we do not share is playing [[video games.]<memory1|]<toReplace1|
Alex and I used to play two-person and one-person games on my console. It's gone now, as we found Alex's lack of gaming skills caused us to fight. Games aren't as fun when one person is much better than the other, it creates a lot of jealousy. Alex eventually decided it would be better if we just got rid of the console. We both agreed to sell it because whenever we did try to play a game together Alex would feel like it was only an excuse for me to show off, and Alex hates people who show off. They believe it's a sign the show-offing person gets joy out of seeing others fail.
So we've sold the Xbox. Now we need to discuss what to buy with the money, ideally something we can both enjoy. It has been a few months since then, we should probably have that discussion [[soon.->Relax Choices]]
(click: ?memory1)[(replace: ?toReplace1)[video games, granted Alex isn't the first important figure in my life to loathe them. My parents aren't big fans of them either. When I was dating my first boyfriend back in high school, they let me play them as a way to spend time with him. After we broke up though my mom decided that it would make the split easier if she got rid of all my games. Not the "welcome back from summer camp" homecoming I was expecting. Thankfully I got back into games in college, and bought an Xbox soon after landing my first job.]]We both love using social media. Whether it's sharing stuff to promote a side hustle or sharing a fun outing. On our last vacation together we both ran out of space to store all the pictures we had taken, and our friends joked about us spamming our socials with images from the trip. One of the first things that drew us together was our love of taking and sharing photos.
Nowadays it's mainly Alex who goes on social media. It used to be the highlight of the day logging on and sharing with friends what we'd been up to, especially since moving to [[Alex's hometown.]<memory|]<toReplace| Now all our oldest and closest friends are far away.
Alex says that it's mean of them to never [[come and visit.]<memory2|]<toReplace2| Traveling isn't that expensive and they can take time off from work if they really wanted to.
We've been considering quitting social media altogether, though Alex still goes on it a few times a week. Now looking through months worth of unanswered DMs, it's clear my friends still want to reach out. Maybe it's worth reaching out to them, [[but not now.->Relax Choices]]
(click: ?memory)[(replace: ?toReplace)[ Alex's hometown in the mountains. The area here is a perfect mix of rural and semi-urban. Needless to say, we don't lack gorgeous vistas and delicious country cooking, but there is a downside.]]
(click: ?memory2)[(replace: ?toReplace2)[come and visit. All my friends from before I met Alex live either 8 hours south of us or 4 hours north of us. Alex and I had met while going to school in the south so we have a couple of mutual friends from down there. When Alex moved back to their hometown they told me it was just temporary until they could get a good job. Months went by and we had a very hard time being apart. Eventually, we decided I would move to be with Alex since I seemed to have an easier time finding employment. A lot of my friends were concerned this wasn't the right choice. This just made me want to put distance between me and them sooner.]]With work and rush hour in the past, I'm back at our shared apartment. My partner Alex isn't home yet, so there's some time to think about the stuff that's been happening the last few months...and what will happen when Alex gets home.
It's been an uncomfortable day, or more accurately an uncomfortable couple of months. We've been fighting a lot. At first, it didn't seem like such a big deal. Just a few squabbles here and there. We both tried to play it down because we love each other. Things haven't exactly snowballed, there are still good times. But those are happening less and less. I feel like a big part of it is Alex's unhealthy behaviors. But after how poorly our last talk about that went, the thought of bringing it up again is intimidating. The last time didn't end well.
But it needs to be talked about, we can't keep going on like this. When Alex comes home tonight we will talk about these behaviors again. I'm not going to keep putting it off.
It's not going to be a fun evening.
Relaxing while there's still time might [[help calm the nerves.->Relax Choices]](if:visits is 1)[As Alex enters I try my best to act nonchalant, afraid they will pick up that this won't be a normal evening.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Hey sweetie. How was your day?]
Ok, but I think we should talk about some things.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[What things? What did I do now?]
Well, I've been feeling concerned that you've been showing some unhealthy behaviors. I feel like you're unaccepting, controlling, take things too personally, and don’t trust me.](if:visits is 2)[That wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, though I wouldn't call it easy.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Well that was something, so about dinner...]
Hold on, that wasn't the only behavior I want to talk about.](if:visits is 3)[It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders the more of these behaviors we talk about. Alex is looking uncomfortable and irritated, but I want to keep going.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Ok, that's the end of it then. So I was thinking you could make some pasta...]
Wait, there are a few other things I want to bring up.](if:visits is 4)[My heart is racing a mile a minute. We've never had a conversation where I bring up this many negative things about Alex in a row.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Oh my god how many things do you want to talk about? I've had a long day at work and am starving!]
I've had a long day too, but I'm almost done.
My voice is shaking, but I say what I need to say.](if:visits is 5)[Stairing at each other after everything's been said, there's a heavy uncomfortable silence in the air. It feels like it lasts for hours, but it's only a few moments.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I don't want to talk about this anymore.]
That's fine, I've said all I needed to say.]
(if:((history: where its tags contains "conflict")'s length > 3))[
(if:(history: where its tags contains "wrong")'s length >= 3)[
[[I guess that's the end of the discussion.]]](else-if:(history: where its tags contains "right")'s length > 2)[
[[I don't think this is going to work.]]](else:) [
[[I wonder where we go from here.]]]](else:)[
(if:(history: where its name contains "not trusting")'s length is 0)[About the [[not trusting]] part...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "control")'s length is 0)[About your need to be in [[control]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "not accepting")'s length is 0)[About you being [[not accepting]]...]
(if:(history: where its name contains "personally")'s length is 0)[About you taking things too [[personally]]...]]Alex is taken aback.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I trust you more than anyone in the world, even more than your own parents. When have I ever not trusted you?]
(if:(history: where its name contains "socialmediaclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Check social media")'s length is 1)[When it comes to who I choose to be friends with, your trust has room for improvement. You [[don't have faith in me.->socialmediaclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "stewclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the kitchen")'s length is 1)[Remember when you thought I threw up your stew just [[to make you feel bad?->stewclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "lookclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the bedroom")'s length is 1)[How about how you think I like looking nice just so [[I can cheat on you?->lookclaim]]]]
[My parents aren't the greatest, but that bar's at the bottom of the ocean. I'm not perfect, but I've committed to our relationship this far, I think [[I've earned your trust.->Confront]]]Alex's jaw clenches.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[How dare you say I'm controlling. Don't you realize how you're the one who's controlling in this relationship? Every time I try to stand up for myself you have a fit. If you weren't so obsessive I wouldn't have to be this way.]
(if:(history: where its name contains "bookclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Read a book")'s length is 1)[Well you try and change me by making me more [[docile and introverted.->bookclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "videogamesclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the living room")'s length is 1)[You try and control my access to video games because I’m better at them than you, that’s why you sold the console to [[prevent me from playing.->videogamesclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "lookclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the bedroom")'s length is 1)[You don't want me to look too nice, so when I'm getting ready to go out you control how nice I can look by [[limiting my time to get ready.->lookclaim]]]]
[Yeah I can be obsessive, but I shouldn't always have to bow to you. Never being the one in control makes me [[feel powerless.->Confront]]]Alex is in shock.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Not accepting? Why on earth would you say that? I am the most loving, accepting person in the world. My coworker who I help drive to work thinks I'm accepting. My mom thinks I can be even too accepting. If you tell anyone I'm not accepting then I'll tell all our friends how you can't see what a good person I am. Then you’ll know what real unacceptance looks like.]
(if:(history: where its name contains "socialmediaclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Check social media")'s length is 1)[What about how my relationship with my friends has become strained because you [[don't accept them?->socialmediaclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "bookclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Read a book")'s length is 1)[The only hobbies of mine you accept are the ones where I'm docile and introverted. You [[can't tolerate my extrovert side.->bookclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "TVclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Watch TV")'s length is 1)[Someone who removes remote batteries because they can't stand another person watching reality TV isn't what I'd call accepting. It's not torture to [[put up with a show you don't like.->TVclaim]]]]
[I get it that there are some things in life that are hard to accept. I'm not saying or asking you to accept anything or anyone, but I want to [[feel safe to be myself around you.->Confront]]]Alex looks confused and angry.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[What?! Why would you say something like that! You used to say when we started dating that I have the thickest skin of anyone you know. Now you're saying that I can't even take feedback. But you know I can! This whole conversation is evidence that I can hear feedback and not take it personally!]
(if:(history: where its name contains "videogamesclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the living room")'s length is 1)[I have evidence too, like when you sold my video game console because you took my talent for [[videos games as an attack on you.->videogamesclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "stewclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Go to the kitchen")'s length is 1)[This conversation doesn't change how you viewed me vomiting from your stew as me just [[being rude to you.->stewclaim]]]]
(if:(history: where its name contains "TVclaim")'s length < 1)[(if:(history: where its name contains "Watch TV")'s length is 1)[There are plenty of other things you take personally, like how our different taste in TV shows [[makes you so upset.->TVclaim]]]]
[I appreciate we're having this conversation, but it's only a start. It's not the end of the world if you're sensitive about things, though taking too many things I do personally makes me feel you just think I'm out to get you. That's not a healthy dynamic, and [[I don't want that for our relationship.->Confront]]]Alex looks hurt.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[It's mean of you to play video games when it makes me feel bad. We've already resolved this.]
We did already come to a solution so I guess it's not worth bringing up. Plus I could have been more [[considerate about your feelings.->videowrong]]
If you were doing something a lot that I was really bad at I wouldn't [[feel great about it either.->videowrong]]
But I'm not sure it was resolved in a healthy way. We shouldn't have to get rid of something just because [[one of us is better at it.->videocorrect]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I got rid of that stupid thing because it didn’t bring us joy. I thought you would feel the same.]
That doesn't make it any better. You should have thought about how it made me feel. It's not ok for you to just go around doing things and not thinking about how other people feel.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Oh like you're thinking about my feelings right now. How do you think I feel when you point out [[my flaws?->Confront]]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[You know how much I was picked on for being bad at video games. When I watch you do so well at them it feels like I'm being bullied all over again.]
I wasn't trying to bully you, but I could see how it brings up bad memories. If you want I could teach you how to be better.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Maybe, as long as I'm in control of what game [[we're playing.->Confront]]]Alex scoffs.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Your friends don’t genuinely care about you, I'm the only one who will always be there. How can I accept people who don't have your best interest at heart?]
It's so hard to tell what people think just from text messages and social media. Maybe my friends don't care about me as much as [[they seem to.->socialmediacorrect]]
If my friends don’t care about me, then why do [[they keep messaging?->socialmediacorrect]]
I know you [[care about me too.->socialmediawrong]]Alex crosses their arms and mumbles.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I don’t know, maybe they’re just hungry for attention.]
I think you're the one who's hungry for attention.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Obviously you're the one who needs attention, that's why you're [[confronting me!->Confront]]]Alex puts an arm around me.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I know it sucks not having people you can depend on. I've had to distance myself from a lot of people because they weren't good for me.]
I'm glad you know how I feel. It makes me feel less guilty about not reaching out to people.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[See I've got your back! No matter what, I'll always be with you, and you'll always [[have me.->Confront]]]Alex tears up at the mention of the stew.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[It was so mean of you not to like it.]
It was rude to puke and I can try and [[eat some more later.->stew wrong]]
I couldn't really tell what you were saying when I was throwing up, it might not have been [[as bad as it seemed.->stew wrong]]
But I didn’t throw up to upset you, it’s [[not my fault you're a bad cook.->stewcorrect]]Alex looks cold.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I don't care what your intentions were, you hurt my feelings and should have known better. Throwing up isn’t such a big deal.]
I'll remember that next time [[you're sick.->Confront]]Alex beams.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I'm glad you've realized your mistake. I accept your apology, and as a bonus I'll make some more stew this weekend for us.]
Ok, I'll give it [[another shot.->Confront]] Things don't change that much between us after the confrontation. In a way it's a relief. The thought of things getting worse between us is terrifying. This is one of the few strong relationships either of us has, and we need to stay strong. The alternative is failure and rejection.
We tried to research more activities we could do together a few times, but it always ended in us fighting. We got tired of it and Alex said they would handle looking into any stuff for us to do from now on.
After the confrontation, we also decided to set some boundaries, specifically with certain people in our life who have a problem with our relationship. We sent out DMs to friends with a brief message explaining how they've been hurting our relationship. These "friends" didn't seem to take the hint, as a lot of them messaged back expressing concern that our relationship isn't healthy. It took a while because there were a lot, but we were able to block all these former friends who had accused Alex of manipulation.
Things are not any different, but in hindsight they weren’t that bad to begin with. Our relationship offers safety and constant companionship. Our dynamic has created a safe stable world where everything is in control and nothing is left to chance.
We are in love, and nothing will ever tear us apart.Alex is sitting next to me. They look like they do after every fight. Hurt, paranoid, defensive, with just a hint of confidence. But this doesn't feel like the other fights to me.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Look, I don't want to talk about this anymore tonight. Maybe when I get home from work tomorrow we can talk about it some more.]
No, I won't. This was the last fight we're having, I'm leaving you. I'm tired of your manipulation, your lies, your abuse. I don't want to feel afraid to be myself, or that I have to hide my talents to be accepted. You may not trust me, but I trust myself!
They laugh cynically.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Abuse? Oh my god you're so full of lies! You think you know what trust is when your own family hasn't always trusted you? You're the one who's abusing me! You're the one who's always...]
(text-style:"rumble")[I don't have to experience a healthy relationship to know when I'm not in one!]
By the time Alex comes down from the shock of my outburst and begins screaming their rebuttal, I've already started packing. What they're saying undulates in the background as I go from room to room collecting my things. Moving with urgency, I grab my filing folder, wallet, and select what I'll need for tonight and the next day. As I make my way towards the door I ignore their shouts. They've caught on to what I'm doing and are making a last-ditch effort to appear remorseful. I'm not buying it this time. I've cut through their lies and seen their unhealthy behavior. I'm done with all of it. I walk out of the apartment into the cold dusk of the parking lot. For the first time in a long time, I feel free.It felt good to air my feelings about how Alex acts. So often couples just go about their day and don't stop to talk about the things that make them uncomfortable. There are a lot of things Alex did that made me feel unsure about our relationship. I've never liked feeling powerless, especially when it's a person I love who is the one who has power over me. After our talk I got the sense Alex feels the same way.
I wish there was more evidence to back up my claims because it feels like Alex didn't take me seriously. If there were some specific things I could have referred to or if I'd doubled down on my point of view, I think the fight would have gone more in my favor. On the other hand, bringing up examples of Alex's flaws might have made things turn ugly.
Life has been tense since our confrontation. We seem to be walking on eggshells sometimes, and other times we just do what we would normally. It certainly feels like Alex seems more aware of the unhealthiness of at least some of their actions, but hasn't made any effort to change. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into his behavior.
I don't know for certain if we'll stay together or not. Time will tell if Alex actually changes, but I'll stick around to find out.(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[What are you talking about? Yeah, you used to be more of an extrovert, but that isn't the real you. I'm just trying to help you be better.]
No, you’re happier when I’m introverted, that’s why most of the photos on your phone are of me reading, which [[you never asked permission to take by the way. ->bookcorrect]]
Everyone has an introverted side, it’s just more a [[part of who I am now.->bookwrong]]
Extroverts can be kind of grating, and I'd don't want people to [[think of me that way.->bookwrong]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I've never cared that much about what you watch. The main reason I remove the batteries is so they can last longer! This is so like you, attacking me when I try to do something nice.]
You take the batteries out of the remote when you leave, but never let me do the same. This is about me using the TV, [[not the batteries.->tvcorrect]]
We do buy cheap batteries, so it makes sense to try and make them last longer, even if [[only one of us does it.->tvwrong]]
Maybe I should be more open to your thoughts on TV shows. A lot of reality shows are trashy, and I don't want people to [[think I'm trashy.->tvwrong]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Why wouldn't I? If you look nice other people are going to be attracted to you, and I can't trust you not to cheat on me! You have to be aware of your appearance in order for us to remain together.]
There are always going to be creeps in the world. If I want to be safe maybe I should [[tone down my look.->lookwrong]]
Instead of forcing me to look bad, you should just [[be able to trust me.->lookcorrect]]
I never want to find myself in a situation where I’m tempted to cheat. Maybe it is safer [[if I don’t look too nice.->lookwrong]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Well I don’t trust you, especially when you’re dressed like you’re trying to impress someone.]
I don't like what you're implying. I've never cheated on you and I don't want to, but when you treat me this way it doesn't make me want to be around you.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Same thing, either way you [[can't be trusted.->Confront]]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[You can still dress nice, just when I’m the only person you’ll be around.]
In that case, can we at least try to go out more so I have an opportunity to dress up?
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[I don't know. There aren't a lot of places to go on dates where it's just us, but you can always just dress nice [[around the house.->Confront]]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[We live in the same space, why do I have to ask your permission to take a photo?]
Because I'm not comfortable with you doing it without me knowing. Besides, that's not even the point. You're trying to change who I am, and that's not ok.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Ugh you're just impossible to understand! This is why things are better when you just shut up and do what [[I tell you to.->Confront]]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[People are complex. Sometimes people change after a while, and that's ok.]
At least we can both [[agree on that.->Confront]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Batteries are expensive. I don’t want to waste my money buying more so you can watch those trashy tv shows.]
If the batteries are really the issue, then I'll take over buying them. Also, my tastes may be different than yours, but that's not an excuse to be rude.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Rude?! You're the one who's being rude! All I wanted to do was help you have better taste, but I guess you don't care [[what I think.->Confront]]](font:"arial")+(color:"white")[That’s right, I do a lot of helpful stuff like that, you should appreciate my work more.]
Plus we won't fight as much about my TV shows if I never get the chance to watch them.
(font:"arial")+(color:"white")[Exactly! It's a win-win: we save money on batteries, and you get to learn what [[good TV is.->Confront]]](align:"=><=")+(box:"X")[=
[[How to Play (Spoilers)]]
[[Acknowledgements]]The goal of //Let's Talk Alex// is to use memories as evidence to confront your partner about their unhealthy behaviors. There are a total of 6 memories, though only 4 can be expierenced per playthrough.
After these memories are experienced, Alex arrives home and the confrontation begins. Not all memories are relavent to each behavior, and you cannot use the same memory as evidence more then once.
There is a good, bad, and mixed ending. Which of these you get depends on your reactions to Alex's responses to the evidence or if you decide not to use any of the memories.
[[Return to Start Menu->Lets Talk Alex]] Thank you to Dr. John Murray for his invaluable guidance in navigating twine and knowledge of interactive fiction.
Thank you to my capstone team for their patience and understanding as I balanced the work for this project with the many hats I wear for them.
Thank you to Matt & Morgana for the love, support, and chicken.
[[Return to Start Menu->Lets Talk Alex]]