I have been listening to The Civil Wars a lot recently and their song “Poison & Wine” depicts every long-term relationship I have shared with a woman and almost all of the long-term relationships I have observed through my friends.

A contradicting love story:

-An example of my side of the battle-

She would tell me she is going out one night. My feelings of anticipation for her meeting someone else trapped me in an irrational obsession cycle in my head. I would try and convince her not to go and just spend the night with me. She would stay. Then, I would spend most of the night talking with her about partying and drinking in order to “woo” her away from it all. I was a social being too though. (ME = CONTRADICTING). Then she would tell me that I don’t accept who she is and I was just trying to control her. (SHE = RATIONAL).

-An example of her side of the battle-

I went through some tough anxiety during our relationship due to my own issues. She would comfort me and tell me to listen to her because she used to have anxiety like it in middle school, but now she doesn’t get insecure due to not caring what people think about her. Well, after we ended our relationship she began to tell others, in and around my circle, that I had been beating her during the relationship. No one but a few believed her since they knew the kind of person I was and that I had not even gotten in a fight before. People and myself began to see her need for attention and value from others. (HER = CONTRADICTING).

-Side note-

The fact that I told this story shows what The Civil Wars display in part of their lyrics. “You only know what I want you to. I know everything you don’t want me to.”

-The songs meaning to relationships including my story-

Even though we were crazy together (due to our deeply engraved, childhood-grown inadequacies), even though I know we didn’t fit internally, and even though she continues to be ugly on the inside after our relationship, I will always love her. I will always love her for what I learned about myself internally and about a relationship in general. I will always love the companionship and adventures we shared together. I will always admire her external beauty. I will cherish the entire, brutally honest story of our experience.

-My growth-

The reason I grew after this relationship and am different now and forever will be is because of my mentor: Paul Hatherley. These blogs he wrote here:

have so much insight into a relationship and I am forever grateful of my growth. Now, instead of describing exactly my experience and my take on his truths he shares with a contradicting love, it’ll be much more beneficial for you to read his blogs in order to wrap-up my story and gain some satisfying insights.

-“Poison & Wine”-

The lyrics are not everything. John Paul White has a grungy yet powerfully sweet voice that matches up well with Joy Williams’ entirely sweet and as powerful voice. The notes that they travel to while following the relatively simple structure of the escalating and powerful melody are unique and very catchy. Be mesmerized.

And remember, from the lyrics, that was my story. Probably not what they experienced and wrote towards. That is art for you; millions of people study it and memories, thoughts, feelings, insights, etc. come from their perspectives. That is why music and life can be so beautiful and unique for each and every one of us.

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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