To Love, Honor, and Destroy
Some people believe that having a rip-roaring fight is the best thing that you can do in a relationship. Maybe add in some histrionics and some makeup sex and this is what they call a good relationship. We try to avoid these people. But this is Thursday of Losing Your Mind week and we would be remiss if we didn’t say something about those times when we are fighting, usually not remembering why we started arguing because the bloodlust has taken over and we have lost our minds. So, welcome to CoupleDumb. We hope you make it out intact.
Paul says: About six months into our marriage, Lee and I had a fight. Please understand that we have had maybe a handful of arguments in our marriage and most were in the first 2 years. I think that we have written about this before but it is worth talking about again from an insight versus Hulk-like rage point of view. This fight is what we call our ‘what the fuck’ fight.
Allow me to set the stage. I was working full time and going to school. I would be up and out of the house by 5:30-ish every morning and get home at 11 at night. Lee would get up with me and portray her version of a good wife, making me a breakfast that I did not want because coffee was the only thing that I craved at that ungodly hour. Lee and I are both major night people and, if it were not for the sickness of society that placed work roughly in the 9 to 5 region, we would not see daylight at all. Also, Lee worked down the street and could have easily woken at 8:30 am and made it to work on time. But she made me my eggs, toast, juice, and coffee while sitting with me in bleary eyed agony every day. Then she would go to work, come home, make dinner and wait to eat until I returned in the late evening.
So I would come home each night and play the world’s most exhausted Prince Charming to Lee’s tired and hungry Snow White. This would be Snow White without the benefit of an apple and a good long nap in a glass box. I simply did not have the energy to whisk her away for a two hour long bout of romantic lovemaking and, apparently, Lee wanted to eat dinner and watch some TV.
So, we fought.
Studies show that fights in a relationship are good. But not all fights. For an argument to be useful, it needs to be a passionate sharing of ideas that comes to some form of mutual understanding. In other words, you are defining boundaries, establishing roles, and generally letting your partner know what is truly important to you. The reason that this fight is so important to us is that that is what we did.
I am sure that you have read about fair fighting. If not, then look it up. There’s like a bazillion sites on it. In our ‘what the fuck’ fight, I know that I broke all of the rules of fair fighting. For me, somewhere in this ventfest, I asked myself, ‘What am I doing? What do I want from this fight?’ The answer was that I wanted dinner and to watch some TV.
And we lived happily ever after.
Lee says: I remember this fight well. And Paul was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG (please see Tuesday)! It was an opportunity to establish new roles and boundaries but the ‘fight’ was really a free-for-all of nonsensical accusations and I’m pretty sure one of us invoked an Orb of Annihilation (I want you to guess who would have done that. I just played D and D to be nice, not as a lifestyle choice).
Regardless of the craziness, it served us as a cautionary tale. We don’t ever allow ourselves to sink into the bowels of insanity to make our point or to be right. We try to maintain respect and love as our primary feelings for one another but are well aware the anger and try not to minimize it for fear of hurting the relationship. For me, I love the guy so I choose not to hurt him. Sure I can caste a Glyph of Destruction and win the fight but I choose to love him.