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How to Fight in a Relationship

 After almost 16 years of marriage, let's face it we have had a fight or two along the way.  Hollywood tends to show us the romantic, passionate, happily ever after sort of thing, which is great but let's face it it is either a) very rare, or b) a phase of love that does not last for eternity.  Then there is the real life, every day sort of love.....The kind that is like a cozy hearth you sit in front of that makes you feel warm and safe, and content, with a strong base in friendship.  If you are lucky this is what you will find and learn to cherish, but even into this kind of love there are a few storms along the way, and to weather the storms there are certain rules of engagement that I have learned, that if followed, will allow you to get through without too much damage. So here they are:

The Rules

1)  I am pretty certain you have heard the whole 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" theory (if not please go check out the book), and corny as it sounds it is true.  Men and women visualize things differently when we are talking to one another.  My hubbies and my early fights were mostly about design concepts for costuming etc.  We just could not get what the other one was trying to say as far as design/ construction techniques.  Finally we found a method which stopped that sort of argument, we started keeping a sketch pad with us and sketching out our ideas.  Now this will not work for every argument of course, but sometimes when it is about something which is visually based it is an enormous help (ie: designing the new patio area, etc).

2) Hold your tongue!  When we are angry we tend to lash out verbally saying things we may mean at the time, but later on we regret.  If it is meant to be hurtful do not say it, plain and simple.  If it regards something that is bothering you, and is not relevant to the fight discuss it calmly at a different time and with gentler words. Just remember this little poem I learned in High School: "Be careful of the words you say, keep them soft and sweet.  You never know from day to day, which ones you'll have to eat".  There is no undoing something once it is said, or given to someone in writing.  There are no magic erasers for the heartache that cruel words can cause.  If it seems mean remember, just do not say it.

3) Forgive yourself, forgive the other person.  We all make mistakes, we all do, and say stupid things, we are all absolutely, irrevocably human.  I do not know anyone who walks on water (ice maybe, but if I walked on ice it would be a disaster of epic,  if not humorous proportions).  The point is and I stress..... we all make mistakes, and we have to be willing to forgive others, as well as ourselves for being human.

4) Let go of the past.  Once the fight is over do not keep bringing it up (beating a dead horse will get you nowhere), and remember the self satisfied cry of,  "I told you so!" is off limits too. If you were right, they probably know you were right, and if they do not all you are going to do is start another fight, just  let it go.

5) Apologize! Really this should be simple, but this is one of the most difficult things for some people, swallow your pride, and apologize if you said something hurtful during a fight.  The ideal is not to do it, but if something does slip out you really need to offer that apology asap as things are cooling down.  If you have trouble apologizing then you need to address your own ego stand in the mirror and say "I am truly sorry"  to your reflection at least 100 times (or as many times is needed to get comfortable with saying it).  Loose the ego folks, it does not belong in the relationship. 

6)  This is going to sound cliche, I know, but here it is:  Never go to bed angry.  There are several reasons for this the first of which is you will have a hard time sleeping if you are angry, your mind will run amok, and furthermore you will be miserable when you wake up in the morning, if you do manage to get any sleep at all.  Get over the fight and then go to bed (aside from the fact that making up can be rather fun, lol.)

7) Probably the most obvious rule, but somehow the hardest to achieve at times.....compromise.  This can be very tricky, again you have to let go of ego here, and sometimes have to be willing to accept  something in other than what you might consider an ideal format.  It is a balancing act of give and take.  A good way to figure out how important the issue is to you is to ask yourself "Will it matter in 10 years time?", if it will not and nothing life altering is attached to the situation then you need to figure out what the most important issues are to yourself and to your significant other and then proceed from there.  If it is something really tricky you should both take a paper right down what you want then choose the most important components of what you want from there, and then discuss them and work on reaching an equitable solution.

And that my friends, is what I have learned about fighting in a relationship.  These may not work for everyone, but if it works for some I will be glad to have offered it up.  Pax, my friends.  Always have the courage to be kind.  May God/Goddess keep you safe, and well, and bring you peace, joy, and love always.
Hugs ^^!



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