My husband and I hadn’t had our first fight until almost a year into our dating relationship. Up until that point, we weren’t a “real couple”… At least that’s what I was led to believe. According to some, a relationship wasn’t a true relationship until that first fight. Why? Because up until that point, you’ve been on your best behaviour with your partner. A fight however was when all that came undone. Your true colors came out. I remember thinking, I don’t want us to fight, but if we’re being on our best behaviour then perhaps we should have our first fight – you know, to see what the other person is really like! (By the way, whoever said that wasn’t kidding!!)
But when we had our first fight, and fights thereafter, it wasn’t as glamorous as Hollywood would have you believe. And it wasn’t punctuated by great you-know-what either! I think this was because we (i.e. me) didn’t know how to fight well.
When my husband and I fought with each other there was an obvious vantage point. We knew to hit where it hurts. We knew enough about each other, the good and the bad, the strengths and the weaknesses to really deliver a good punch. At the same time, because we knew how to deliver a good punch, we could also do serious damage to our relationship. I heard somewhere that for 1 negative comment you dish out at your spouse, it will take at least 20 positive comments to cancel it out. Whoever said that knew what they were talking about! When I say or do something negative towards my husband, I feel the need to go on damage control and even grovel, simply because I feel terrible for the way I acted! (Of course, this realization only hits me a few hours later, or the next day. At the time, I completely feel justified in my behaviour!)
But there is an obvious disadvantage to fighting with your spouse, and I’m not just referring to the beating your relationship takes. When you fight with your spouse, you are constantly reminded of the tension between you two. After all, you eat and sleep with the “enemy”. Simple things like asking for the salt to be passed, or accidentally touching each other’s foot beneath the covers, take on a whole new meaning when you aren’t speaking to each other!
This last thought alone motivates me to master the art of fighting quickly. …It’s still chilly where I live. Who else am I going to cuddle with under the covers for warmth?? 😉