It’s been three years since my husband and I exchanged marriage vows and pretty rings. We said “I do” under twinkling lights, outside on a chilly New Year’s Eve. What followed was a glitzy celebration full of champagne, confetti, and popcorn. The whole day, from […]
Tag: love blogger
Those who are close to me and actually ask my opinion occasionally have heard me say time and time again that some arguing is healthy for a relationship. [ click here for more healthy relationship tips! ] I’m always suspicious of those couples who never fight, never argue, never so much as have a calm yet stern disagreement. I call bullshit on every single one of those couples, because all they’re doing is holding it in, and being fake isn’t healthy in the slightest. Of course, full-on fights that include screaming profanities and slapping aren’t healthy either. So, where do we draw the line and how do we find that balance between a healthy argument and an all-out brawl?
It’s all about fighting fair.
Someone out there has a stupid smirk on his face saying, “I thought all was fair in love and war?”. No, you idiot. That old adage was never true. In fact, it’s incredibly important to have boundaries when having disagreements with your partner. We’ve all had those little bickering tiffs, the ones where both parties aren’t really serious and all will be forgiven in a moments time until someone took it too far, said the wrong thing that crossed the line and blew the whole thing up. Yup, I’ve been there several hundred times before, I’m sure. And more likely than not, it was probably me who crossed the line at least 50% of the time. Hey, I’m not too proud to admit my shortcomings.
Obviously, fighting fair is something that I have to work on, and if we’re being honest, so do all of you. Don’t worry, I don’t judge. Instead, let’s focus on how we can prevent our disagreements from turning into our very own battle of the sexes.
1. Choose your words wisely.
Probably one of the most important rules when it comes to fighting fair. We can all say things that cause a little sting, or worse, knock the wind out of someone. For some sick and twisted reason, we are especially capable of this when it comes to our partners. When the argument starts heating up and the tempers flare, it can be easy to just let the words fly. Try your best to breathe, count to 10, and truly think before you speak. You can’t take the words back after they’ve left your bitter little lips and more than likely, you only said what you said to simply hurt the other person, not because you actually meant it.
This is also a valuable rule for those dating someone who has a hot button word. You know, some girls can’t stand to be called crazy and the second you call them crazy, they go, well, crazy. We all have our sensitivities, and it would be wise to not use those against each other during an argument.
It happens all the time. In a fit of anger you compare your wife to her mother or your husband to your ex. Big, big mistake. The last thing anyone wants to hear during a heated argument is how they are acting just like their stubborn mother or how your ex was a better listener than you. Comparisons won’t do any good when it comes to ending a relationship conflict in a constructive manner. In fact, it will do the complete opposite. Talk about adding fuel to the fire.
3. Try to watch your language and keep it down.
Sometimes your spouse deserves to be called a dick, but be careful when throwing around profanity. Using four-letter words to describe your spouse will likely earn you some expletives in return. This whole cussing back and forth thing will escalate things even further, raised voices and all. You can’t call your boyfriend an asshole without yelling it, right? That’s just how cuss words work. Yelling profanities will do little for conflict resolution, and maybe even get the cops called on you by the neighbors. Plus, it’s just mean and hurtful. Trust me, I know. My ex and I said some of the meanest things to each other when we’d fight (I don’t say argue because it was never just that), most of which would be a continuous “beeeeeeeep” if we were on television. Keep your voice down, its a great deterrent for cursing. Think about it, when’s the last time you whispered profanity at someone? That would just be weird and creepy.
4. Leave the past behind.
Bringing up past arguments, events, or issues is not what I call fighting fair. Those issues are in the past for a reason, case closed on those ones. Time to move on, and moving on means not throwing it in your partners face when it’s convenient for you. If you’ve ever messed up, paid your dues, and been forgiven, you understand how hurtful it can be to have it used against you after months or years go by. Issues that have been resolved don’t get to be resurrected. That’s the deal you make when forgiving someone. To keep your relationship healthy and moving forward, focus on the issues at hand.
5. Don’t be too proud to apologize.
Sincere apologies can make everything better. No really, they can; I wrote all about it here. Refusing to accept your portion of responsibility for the argument stalls things and puts a halt to any conflict resolution that could be happening. Not only is it incredibly unfair to be that stubborn, but it will no doubt create a riff between you and your partner, who will most likely harbor some resentment. I’m wrong all the time, and I will be the first to admit it. If you truly think you’re right about something, find a way to discuss it in a respectful manner. No arrogance needed, thank you very much. No one is perfect, and sitting all alone up there on your high horse is not only infuriating, it’s unattractive.
6. Sticks and stones will break bones.
So, I feel like this is a given, but I also feel like it needs to be said because a lot of women, young and old, find themselves in a situation of abuse that they might not recognize. At no point in any fight between boyfriend and girlfriends, fiances, husbands and wives, etc., should the argument take a physical turn. Again, to some this may seem like an obvious rule of fighting fair, but you’d be surprised. It’s easy to dismiss a shove or two during a heated argument, but any aggressive physical touch should not be tolerated in the slightest. If you feel like you may be the victim of abuse, talk to someone outside of your relationship, call the police, or reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Okay all seriousness and joking aside, I think you get my point. Some healthy bickering is totally natural, but you have fight fair, kids. Put your weapons down and forget about throwing low blows. Isn’t it always better to kiss and make-up, anyways?
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Blake and I spent the last week in Napa Valley celebrating the new year and our first anniversary as a married couple. It’s a good thing we were in wine country because we had plenty to cheers to. We survived our first year practically unscathed, which is saying a lot considering we had purchased and completely renovated (a pain-staking ordeal) our first home within six months of saying “I do”. You always hear that old adage that the first year of marriage is the hardest. How much truth there is in that statement, who knows? Despite the stress we endured throughout our reno, I highly doubt we will look back and think of our first year as the hardest.
2. You Need A Household Budget
3. Monotony Gets Boring
4. Compromising Is A Necessity
5. Tiffs & Spats Are Normal
What did you learn in your first year of marriage?