The Condiment of Discord

          Buenos Dias and welcome to Wednesday on CoupleDumb. We hope your summer is treating you well and you are wearing plenty of sunscreen to avoid those pesky UV rays. Why are we being so nice? Easy. We have been talking about the dumb things we do to mess up relationships and today’s post will be discussing one of the worst culprits of partnership discord. We all do it and it is just another one of those situations where being a lemming is just going to get us smashed on the rocks below.

          Lee says: We have mentioned that we love to compete. We have mentioned that competition is like Mother’s milk to both of us and if we had turned that tendency on one another, we would have imploded as a couple long ago. Competition takes many forms in a relationship from keeping score to positioning in any conversation. Positioning, taking a stand, in any conversation is a recipe for disaster.

          Most people will agree that arguing in relationships is normal. In fact, most people will tell you that arguing, fighting, having a row, spat, disagreement, is the bread and butter of relationships. It brings you closer. It makes things passionate. It shows that you are fiery people. Do you agree? Let us then be the first to call- BULLSHIT!

          Arguing is stupid, petty, immature, inane, misunderstood, combative, competitive, masked violence, dysfunctional, evil, wrong and a surefire way of causing rifts in relationships. As a society we propagate this myth that relationships are argumentative and young couples have several disagreements as they sort out their union. In our humble opinion, there is nothing healthy or positive from these disagreements except the remote possibility of setting some boundaries. However, this can only happen if the participants have not positioned themselves.

          So here is a little example of the types of arguments that society thinks are necessary for relationships:

          Partner 1: You want ketchup on that?

          Partner 2: No, I don’t like ketchup.

          Partner 1: What? Everybody likes ketchup. Ketchup is the best condiment!

          Partner 2: That’s not true. Mustard is way better and most people eat mustard.

          Partner 1: What? Ketchup is the most used condiment. Anybody who doesn’t eat it is a communist.

          Partner2: This is why you are so small minded. In the world, mustard is the most eaten condiment. You are so fucking provincial.

          Partner 1: Oh yeah? If I’m provincial then you’re a snob.

          Partner 2: Snob? I married your ass didn’t I? My parents told me I was slumming it.

          As you can see, these partners immediately staked their positions and were not listening to the other except for how to retaliate to one another. If you look closer, they are both correct however neither of them would ever admit it because to acknowledge that your partner could be correct would be to lose the fight. It’s like somewhere along the line we create this belief that we are opinion goalies and nothing can penetrate that boundary.

          We equate changing opinions or being incorrect as an irrevocable loss. Since we have this belief that our opinions are correct, anything that threatens this tenuous grasp on faux esteem is seen as an enemy. Meanwhile, our relationships are broken by our need to be right, to win, to conquer, to save our opinion.

          So cut it out. Stop positioning. Your opinion is not more important than you! When you care for someone, you listen to them and, who knows, they may be correct. Being open and vulnerable is necessary to create intimacy and it may cause the added benefit of loosening the death grip of your opinions. I’m not telling you to roll over but for God sake you don’t end a relationship over a fucking condiment.    

          Paul says: Mix ketchup and mustard together and I create a whole new condiment. This was brought to you by Paul, Ambassador Of Condiments. Thank you.

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