First off, I’ve been divorced twice and my non-married life partner (can we please find a better word for that?) has been divorced once. My most recent divorce and his single divorce had one thing in common—we never fought with our spouses.
Now my first husband and I did fight, but I can’t say we fought well. In fact, I purposefully married my second-ex-husband because he and I never fought. I was not going to go through the screaming and crying and crazy desolation again. My second ex and I agreed about everything. We were both even keel kind of people. Except we weren’t—or at least, I wasn’t. I didn’t agree with him about everything. But I had developed a habit in my first marriage I liked to call the “we’ll see.”
The “we’ll see” is where you make “I agree with you” noises with your mouth, and in your head, you think, “We’ll just see how that works out for you,” or “We’ll see what I really do when you aren’t around.”
Fair? No. Honest? Not even close. It did make me easy to live with, though. I was superficially very easy to get along with. I didn’t fight back. And it was a major reason that my second marriage failed.
“We’ll see,” is a predecessor to walking out the door, never to return. It is leaving the relationship while smiling and nodding.
So, when I met my current love, I vowed to never fall back on the “we’ll see” with him. I fight when I am right, I fight when I am wrong. We keep talking until we both feel heard.
We follow three basic, but not necessarily easy, rules:
No hitting, shaking, threatening violence (this should go without saying.)
No swearing (really hard to keep to sometimes, but once you go down that path, it doesn’t get any better.)
No leaving in a rage (this is super hard.)
You know that saying, “Never go to bed angry?” I call bullshit. When you hit the 2:00 a.m. marker and you’re still fighting, nothing further is going to be accomplished. Sleep offers a reset button.
But I think, “Never go to bed alone and angry,” is probably good advice. You see, I like to huff off down the hall to the guest bedroom. This is a terrible idea. I generally sleep for a few hours and wake up alone, my arms lonely for my lover, and wind up trudging back down the hall and crawling into bed beside him. When we sleep, our bodies intertwine and reconnect, even if we are spitting mad when awake. When unconscious, our bodies remember that we love each other.
Passionate love results in passionate arguments, but some things are worth fighting for.
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