Monday, November 15, 2010

The Marriage Confessions Day 1 Fighting Fair

I love the picture above. We took it just a few days before I graduated from college at a school music fest. It was a May day and as you can see the weather was perfect. No, we did not fight on this day. We were simply silly.


Ask anyone and they will tell you they hate to fight. Whether it is with your husband, your children, or the bitchy lady in the mall who runs her stroller into yours--on purpose. Fighting sucks and I have never been one to fight. BUT. I am one tough cookie. When I feel strongly about something, you better believe I will fight til the end to win. Yes, win. The gratifying feeling of a solid win in an argument is quite the victory for me. Sadly, as soon as I am done doing my happy dance and finally look over to see his sad, defeated face, I feel bad.

I have a very hard time remembering the bad fights B and I have had and I could count them on one hand in the almost 4 years we have been together. I am not saying that to be boastful--it’s true. We hardly ever fight and when we do, it is rather epic. But then we usually drink ourselves into a silly stupor and I beg God to rid my memory of it ever happening. He does a great job doing so.

So how do we fight? I never see B’s stubbornness come out until he is adamant about something. He can be just as stubborn as me, but you’d never guess it with his laid back “whatever” attitude.

Any time a disagreement comes up, we both try to understand and listen to the other persons concerns and go from there. Sometimes I am way out of line and B has to bring me back to earth (thank you anxiety!) and other times I do the same for B. This is why our marriage works. We never want to hurt the other person and even though I said I like to win, I would much rather lose and make my husband happy more than anything else. It’s not worth it to me.

So here are a few principles we practice to keep things fair in our fighting:

1) We NEVER go to bed angry. We resolve whatever it is that is on our minds so that we can give one another a genuine kiss good night and not feel resentful while we try to fall asleep. There have been times (maybe one or two) when we sat across from each other for HOURS without saying anything into the early morning. Finally, someone apologizes or something and we move on. We made this rule within the first few months of dating.

2) We NEVER walk out on each other. We’re allowed to go into another room to cool off or just be alone. But under no circumstances is anyone allowed to walk out that door.

3) We never curse or name call. This is a biggie. Watch Teen Mom and that is all you see Amber do to Gary and it’s no wonder their relationship doesn’t work out. They hate each other! Just because we are fighting, does not mean that all respect and love goes out the window. Sure there may be a few eff bombs, but not like an “eff you” type thing. Saying stuff like that would just make matters worse and it would make us like each other less.

4) We NEVER fight in front of Logan and we ALWAYS make up in front of him. We made this rule early on in my pregnancy. If we begin to get heated about something, we either wait it out until Logan is in bed or we go into another room while Logan is safe in his jumper or swing. We make it quick. I actually think having Logan around makes us want to fight less because we don’t want him to hear our raised voices and angry tones. Secondly, we always kiss and make up in front of him. And we always will. Logan, and all the other children we have someday, need to know that just because mommy and daddy have a disagreement, doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. My parents hardly ever got heated in front of me and they always made up so I could see that they weren’t going anywhere. They’ve been married for 29 years and there is totally something to be said for that.

5) We make up again. Later. You know what I mean. Need I say more?

No one likes to fight, but you do need to know how to do it right so that no one walks out on the other. After just over 2 years of marriage, I can safely say that B and I still have a lot to learn. But the 5 principles we follow above are going to get us through tough times. Being a parent and having been raised differently is going to pose some interesting arguments over the years. Compromise, love and respect are the only way for us to make it through a fight or argument. We even try to figure out the best way so that we both “win” and that is only through discussing ways to compromise.

Now, how do you fight fair?

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