Discussing the myths of relationships tends to make us more aware of other twisted beliefs. The more we discuss it amongst ourselves the more we catch people talking serious crap when we go out. From ‘it just happened’ to ‘every couple loses the spark’, there are a lot of stupid ideas of what love and relationship are all about. It is a wonder that we are even able to start a relationship let alone stay together until death do us part.
Lee says: Paul and I have an abnormal relationship. I use the term abnormal in the statistical sense. We are not the norm nor do we approximate the average or even land within a standard deviation. (Sometimes I speak in statistical terms because Paul finds that really hot!) In this case, abnormal does not mean sick. We have been married for over 20 years and continue to be affectionate, loving and fun. The weirdest part of our relationship is that we do not fight. Ever. To be clear, in our 21 years and 5 month old marriage, we have ‘fought’ perhaps a handful of times. Which brings me to a myth:
Myth: Arguing is normal.
Yes, statistically arguing is normal but normal does not mean healthy.
This is what we find so amazing. Yes, in the 30’s it was ‘normal’ for Germans to kill Jews. Yes, in the United States before the 1870s, it was ‘normal’ for Southerners to own slaves. Yes, for a while in Spain it was quite normal to believe that people could confess to witchcraft and consorting with the Devil while having a priest pour liquid metal down their throat. Normal is not necessarily a good thing. Normal just means a lot of people do it. Get it? No? O.K., then one word: lemmings!
Paul and I have discussed arguing many times on our blog and we have stressed that this does not mean we do not disagree. The bottom line is that it is not worth my marriage that Paul agrees with me or that I win an argument. I have more respect for my husband than have to humiliate him or stand over him in victory because I remembered that there were four quarts in a gallon. I would rather end the day with a good kiss and cuddling than a blanket wedge so that we do not mistakenly touch each other in any way. I would rather have the option to vamp him or he me instead of avoiding each other and not speaking. If that makes me wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Paul says: There is some research that shows that, during the first few years of marriage, it is healthy to have a ‘passionate debate’. Laying down boundaries and communicating your needs is not an argument. As a matter of fact, if your belief system is causing a fight, then there are some issues. If one of you is saying that blankity-blank is so important that they cannot see any other side to the debate and the other is saying, ‘hell, no!’ then the underlying message is that you are both in agreement that you cannot be together.
All of the other fighting is just a bunch of ego filtered positioning that becomes more important than the issue warrants. This is the scifi version of the military. No matter how minor the offense, the response is always, ‘nuke-em’. I like to think that we have evolved both as a society and as individuals such that we do not need to totally obliterate our opponents every time that we hear something that scares our inner child.
This is why Lee and I talk about prioritizing the marriage and choosing to love. Quite honestly, it is normal to argue. It is the natural state of being for every unhealthy, dysfunctional and generally shitty relationship out there. If having a peaceful relationship is wrong, I don’t want to be right. That’s a song, right?