If you’re not fighting in your relationship, then sometimes probably wrong. But wait, careful…you must decide what’s worth fighting for. That’s not an easy task. You heard me right. Being calm and collected all the time is not the best way to live your life, especially when you share that life with an intimate partner. I know you’ve gotten advice through counselling and friends that says fighting too much is unhealthy and it means that something is just not working in the relationship, but if you are not having one single conflict at least some time, then something else may be wrong. It’s okay, I’m going to break it down for you.
My failed marriage
I was married, not once, but twice. And during this time, I fought relentlessly with my mate. Trust was destroyed, and I felt as a young wife, that I had to fight to restore that trust. Boy, I was wrong. After years of fighting these bloody mental battles, we were divorced. As I dated others, I noticed that I tried to avoid fighting at all costs. I didn’t question anything nor did I have any disagreements. I guess you know what happened. Yep, all those relationships failed as well. So how could I win?
It wasn’t about fighting and not fighting, it was about my strategy. It was about fighting for the wrong things. I fought for things that I could not change during my marriage, while I didn’t fight to stand my ground in my other relationships. I learned over time that not fighting was worse, and there is a time and place where mentally duking it out was necessary.
Following me so far?
And so, I married again, to the same man that I divorced. This time, I tried not to fight about the major things and instead focused on fighting a limited battle only when I found it necessary. The lack of conflict, instead of strengthening us, helped us to grow cold toward each other. After a while, we were going through the motions of a “whatever” life. This also failed horribly. I had so much to learn and already past adulthood. What would I do now?
That’s when I found the key!
During growth, marriage, divorce and remarriage, I found a glimmer of hope. It wasn’t about fighting and not fighting. I was about communicating in the correct manner. Apparently, while fighting the good fight, I forgot to be kind and loving. The absence of this emotion made the environment rather volatile. During fights, it became an arena for control. Many times, the fight ended in nothing resolved and nothing gained-there was only an atmosphere of animosity which was damaging to both of us.
And so, I used this key to analyze our non-fighting days. It worked in much the same manner. In fear of fighting, we were unconsciously avoiding each other and creating a wall between us. The lack of correct communication left an atmosphere of fear and we didn’t want to face those fears. This was exactly what we had to do in order to get back to fighting again….
Yes, we had to fight, but in a healthy manner. And yet, we had to find peace at the same time. It was possible and the possibility came from healthy communication. Yeah, I know it may sound lame, but it works.
After 25 years of marriage, divorce and remarriage, I know how to go another round without knocking my opponent out cold. I was able to hash out important issues and still sit quietly with my best friend at the end of the day.
Is it easy, no? It takes time to learn these things. Is it possible? Yes, and it may save years of disappointment and despair. And yes! Fighting is a good thing!
Trying a new approach and perspective with communication makes it a fair fight.