My Husband and I got into a terrible fight last week. The kind of fight you leave from feeling not only worse about your relationship, but also about yourself. The kind of fight you’ll continuously replay in your head trying to figure out what could have gone differently. This got me thinking, is it possible to argue with someone while still coming from a loving place? I cannot be alone in this struggle.
If I am being honest, I left our argument feeling like my husband and I would just have to live as roommates, that is just going to have to be enough. And seriously, God bless my husband, because these kind of arguments NEVER happen in person…. its always a 100 page text message that he would have to receive in the middle of a work day, entirely out of no where. This happens because I honestly SUCK at addressing things that bother me.
I’m sure you’re wondering… what was this fight about? So, to put it simply- it was his attitude. I know, so super small when you think about all the other real life challenges people face on the day-to-day. But, I was just sick of feeling like I was his punching bag because he was having a bad day. And when I say punching bag, I mean like a verbal punching bag. Don’t leave here thinking I’m abused. But for YEARS I have found myself catering to his every mood, and finally I had just had enough..
Here is what a bad day looks like for me, when Nick is having a bad day. Remember, I am a people pleaser so I am going above and beyond trying the get him happy… meanwhile every nice thing I do gets a negative comment, or goes unrecognized. So the night ends with Nick still having a bad day, but also I have now ended up now having a bad day and feeling unloved. Meanwhile our kids sit back and watch this super unhealthy cycle.
So I thought, what does Love look like when you’re fighting and hurt?
This is so freaking key. How can I possibly know how to help my spouse have a better day if I don’t even know what makes him happy when his days are bad… come to find out, what he wants is SPACE. Alone time, he needs to process and cool off. I am constantly hovering over him trying to make him happy when the best thing I can do for him is take the kids out to the park and give him some time. He also had no idea the effort I would put into trying to make him happy when I realized he wasn’t having a good day. I could have saved myself a lot of pain just asking him “what do you need from me?”
Don’t go into any conversations with a single view and ready for a fight. I mean we all have our own perspective and beliefs. But you have to be open and understanding to the fact we aren’t all the same. Nick and I have A LOT of different opinions. But our constant? Is our faith. And through our faith we are able to understand that love can be an every day struggle. We may not feel the same way, but we respect that the other person does, and because they do, it matters. Once you have understanding, you need perspective.
If you are open to the idea that we are all different, you can then try to walk in “someone else’s shoes”. In some cases this is really hard to imagine. Their are some challenges in life that we cannot possibly truly understand how it feels. But we are doing a disservice to the people we love if we don’t at least try.
NO SCORE BOARD
When you’re talking to anyone about an issue, it is not good in any way, shape, or form to start listing all the things they have done wrong, and how perfectly you would have done it. I listened to a podcast not long ago about how we keep score on what were doing compared to our spouses. If you have ever said or even thought “Do not start with me, you will not win.” then you have already LOST. You and your spouse are a team, if there is one winner then the team has officially lost. This should motivate you to the 3 points above!
LOVE EACH OTHER
If it doesn’t sound like love, it most likely isn’t. Be humble and compassionate towards their feelings because you love them. That doesn’t mean changing your own views and beliefs so you both can be the same. You’re most likely married because you’re not the same. This can just be another thing you can value about your partner. Being humble is the hardest part about loving. Having to admit when you’re wrong feels so degrading. But it speaks levels to me. If someone can acknowledge their actions that hurt me, it shows me how much I mean to them.
I am certainly no marriage expert. I’m only 26 years old and have been with Nick for 8 years. But having that simple yet super extreme and hurtful fight with him last week made me want to be better. No only for myself, but for our marriage. I feel like if we can go into conversations with those five values kept in mind, our marriage will be stronger for not only each other, but for ourselves, and for others around us.