The Beauty in Fighting

This past Saturday night, CBG and I had a fight.

Sort of.

I’d say that it was the closest we’ve come to having an actual fight in the three and a half years that we’ve been together.  Sure, we’ve had little “tiffs”, we’ve gotten irritated at each other, we’ve even exchanged angry words via email….but Saturday night was, I think, the first time we’ve had an in-person argument.

And really, it was only a ‘sort of’ argument.

It was one of those ridiculous things that started out as something small, a minor irritation, that got blown out of proportion. The thing is, it was really about a bigger issue that hadn’t yet been dealt with, head on, in our relationship. It hadn’t been dealt with before because it simply hadn’t been identified.

That’s the thing about relationships, isn’t it? They’re constantly giving us opportunities to grow <insert eyeroll here>.

Saturday provided one of those “lightbulb moments” that allowed us to each understand the other just that much better. Another layer was pulled back that allowed us to see a little closer to the core. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t actually had an argument, that the issue might not have been discovered…or at the very least, not for a very long time. Sometimes it takes those heightened emotions to really get to the heart of what you’re thinking and feeling, deep down underneath it all. And it’s pretty difficult to deal with something that you’re not aware of, now isn’t it? It’s when things are left to fester, uncovered, that a relationship begins to decay. I’m pretty familiar with that phenomenon from my marriage, and that’s the last thing I want to have happen here.

Fighting is kind of a tricky issue for me. My failed marriage was so littered with discord. There were so many arguments, so many fights — some of them that turned pretty ugly. I don’t want the same thing to happen with CBG and I, obviously. While I recognize that disagreements are a part of a normal, healthy relationship, it’s still difficult when it happens. Particularly since, for us, it’s not something that we have a lot of practice with. And honestly, I hope that we never become experts in that field.

The encouraging bit is that, for a “fight”, it went about as well as it possibly could have. There were no harsh words. No one said anything that they needed to regret. There were no personal attacks. The actual “argument” part of the “argument” really only lasted a short while. I think that he and I are in the same place at this point in our lives…we just don’t want to make the same mistakes we made in our past marriages.

We argued. We talked it out. Things surfaced that neither one of us had been aware of before. There were tears, apologies, promises to work and do better in the future. The evening ended with us curled up on the couch together, me dozing off with my head in his lap. There were no lingering bad feelings or resentment…simply a deeper understanding of one another, and a renewed sense of why relationships take work sometimes…and why that work is so incredibly worth it in the end.

4 Responses

  1. When I look back on any “fights” GJ and I have (again, he doesn’t see that we’re actually “fighting” just disagreeing on something), I have to smile. Mostly because of the reasons you mention… because those things needed to happen to reveal something else to ourselves and to each other. And also because we fight with such love.

    I know that sounds funny but because we each know the other person’s fears and background, we’re typically aware of the hurt points, triggers and fears of the other person when it comes to disagreements. So, though we may be talking rather LOUDLY (heh), we will still try and figure things out without saying harsh things or, if they are said, acknowledging them and apologizing.

    I have to give him most of the credit. I tend to get rather childish and want to run away. I’m with you, I loathe discord and anger. He gets frustrated, yes, but he STAYS with me and generally keeps a good head on his shoulders.

    Sorry for the long comment but this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now and your post brought it out.

    Thank goodness for love that seeks to fly beyond our baggage, huh?

    ((hugs))

  2. I completely agree with you and with what T says about looking back at arguments and smiling…because I too have found that anytime M and I have gotten heated about something or disagreed about something (which is pretty rare), it has always been so enlightening and brought to the forefront something that neither of us even realized. And we end up stronger for it. I am glad you ‘battled’ through it and realized these things…sometimes fighting IS good. I am always reminding myself of the same!

  3. Hmm. I need to process what I just read but I am pretty sure I needed to read it.

  4. Totally agree with T and my sis on this one too — one of the biggest fights Scott and I have ever had (that also started out a misunderstanding over something so very minor, it’s laughable now) ended with one of the most eye opening and poignant moments in our entire relationship. It got really raw, it was long and tiring and draining. But the bottom line was — it shed new light on our feelings towards one another, it clarified some things that neither of had fully touched on before and it drew us even closer than ever. I still remember those moments so vividly, and the fight was a few years old by now. I think fighting (healthy ones like the one you describe) are so important to growing strong, deep, meaningful, forever relationships. Truly.

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