Fighting 101 | Sharon
In any relationship, there are moments where you are so full of love that you just want to burst with excitement. Then there are moments when you are annoyed as hell, and would like to have an immediate wrestling match with your significant other and just throw down. Here are some ways we’ve learned how to get through fights.
Since the beginning of our relationship, Steve and I have grown up a lot together. I’ve learned not to let my emotions get the best of me and he has learned to communicate more clearly about how he’s feeling. We have moved from intense yelling matches (think in terms of WWIII), threats to break up, and storming out of rooms to being able to understand what pushes each other’s buttons and how to handle disagreements. Here are some things we’ve learned (most often the hard way) to do when voicing concerns or raising issues we’re not happy with:
1. Have patience
No sh*t right. But seriously, this can be really difficult when you are upset. It’s worth it though. Be patient with the other person, even if what they’re saying is (in your mind) completely stupid, absolutely insane, and totally wrong. Because to them, it’s their feelings and those still matter. Also, your viewpoint might be seen in the exact same way and so no matter how difficult it is, take deep breaths, count to 10, imagine a punching bag, whatever – but be patient and give your significant other the time to talk and vent.
2. Don’t sweat the petty things (…and don’t pet the sweaty things! Oh wait..that’s another topic..)
If something isn’t that huge of a deal, then don’t fret about it. Of course, when you’re PMS-ing (hello mood swings!) or when you’re having a bad day, little things grow into much bigger problems. Bigger than they need to be. Just really think about it something is worth a fight, and if it’s not that big of a deal, just acknowledge it casually and lightly, deal with it, and move on. Don’t bring in other arguments and let something small fester into a full blown argument for no reason (for example, bringing up what someone did last year because today they forgot to buy groceries) because it just snowballs into a blame game and that just really sucks and is so not worth the aggro.
3. Get over it
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to just let things go. Steven will be the first to tell you that I have a habit of nagging (yeah yeah..I’m working on it okay!) and not letting things drop even after apologies have been said and things have been resolved. I’ve learned to just shut up and get over it. Yes, feelings may have been hurt, he should’ve have said that, that thing shouldn’t have happened etc. But it happened and that’s it. It sucks to suck it up, but it’s the only way to move forward and let bygones be bygones. Just learn from the situation and agree to improve for next time.
4. Respect each other
In the heat of the moment, people can say awful things to each other. Steve and I are no stranger to that (i.e. epic university fight of 2010). We’ve said some pretty nasty things to each other in fights we’ve had, but over time we’ve learned that a) those are really hurtful b) it doesn’t help the situation in the least and c) regardless, we still love each other deep down. Remembering to respect each other and that you care for each other is important. It’s easy to push away those feelings of love (“Whatever. He’s being a jerk and I hate him” or “She’s freaking crazy. I don’t want to deal with this crap anymore”) when you’re in a fight but really, take 10 seconds to remember one good thing and while your main instinct might be to push that away, just remember you really did (and hopefully continue) to love that person for that reason and more. It’s hard, but it’s harder to deal with having said all that horrible stuff to your significant other after the fact.
5. Admit when you are wrong
And here we have arrived at the hardest thing to do (well for me at least). Just admit when you are wrong. It’s sh*tty to swallow your pride and put aside your ego sometimes, but it’s part of your own growth and personal improvement to do that. I know it has been for me. I hate admitting I’m wrong, but I’ve learned to do so and in doing so, I’ve learned to be more open to changing and improving myself. Also by admitting you’re wrong, you’re showing your significant other that you realize when you make mistakes and are willing to acknowledge that and be better for them. This is what helps you become a better person (if you want to be) and sometimes it takes your better half to help bring that about by bringing it up, even if it is hard to hear.
Fights in a relationship are always crappy but I believe you need to have fights to grow. I’m not saying you should every day or week, but once in a while it’s normal to have disagreements or areas of conflict. Fights reveal a lot of things – issues/concerns that someone has, personality traits that you may not have noticed or realized, and the willingness to improve and compromise for the sake of the relationship. Fights are necessary for change and are really just growing pains for your relationship. They help you get to know each other better and learn to manouevre around and communicate better with each other. And plus, with fights come awesome makeup… oh wait…that’s another topic.