A Civil War
Bill and I have fought for most the week. You know when you fight over something and then you “make up” but you actually still hate each other..
so if one of you even glances at the other one it’s back on..
That was us, I actually can’t even remember what the original fight was over but it just snow balled.
And then every thing gets thrown into it,
“Well last year you…….”
“Well I wouldn’t have done that if you didn’t..”
“Well maybe be you should have thought about that before you……”
And so on and so on.
Then before you know it your fighting about money, house work, fighting over who started the fight. You’re pretty much entering yourselves into the “who’s life is more shit” competition (tip… There are no winners)
I’m the psycho screamy throwy type of fighter and Bill is the silent, shut down passive aggressive fighter. Which makes me even madder, which makes him ignore me even more.
Before we know it I’m in throwing sentences like “maybe we need to reconsider our marriage if that’s how you feel”
And Bills completely shut down and won’t even make eye contact with me.
Thankfully we have learnt to reign it in before it gets to full fledged Cold War.
Now days our fights are pretty much over when one of us makes the other one laugh, like last night when Bill and I were supposed to be in our silent war while he was in bed in the other room and I heard him let out a massive fart and I just intuitively knew that he had a huge grin of pride on his face. Fight over.
So here are some tips that a lot of marriage therapy has taught us.
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1, Fuck you- fuck you too is fine. Everyone needs to vent, sleeping and leaving on a fight are not. They create too much anxiety, anxious people make bad decisions, avoid doing that.
2, Don’t say horrible things to each other. Threatening divorce, belittling each other’s past etc might feel like they don’t have long term effects but they do. You are chipping away at he foundation of the relationship. You might not even notice that your doing it. However if tough times arise you will soon learn that the relationship has lost its foundation and crumbles. So keep the foundation strong because you will need it if you guys run into a rainy day.
3, If you are really struggling to get along put a rule in place that you are not to mention anything that is bothering you until Wednesday, (or whatever day you choose) on that day set aside 30 minutes to talk about the things that have fucked you both off during the week. By then hopefully the angry element will have passed and you can more clearly interact about your issues instead of just blurting them out as they arise and having a massive argument.
Our counsellor told me that Romeo and Juliet were teenagers for a reason, because they were young and naive enough to believe that true love is a fairy tale. We are old enough and experienced enough to know that in fact a relationship is hard work, constant changes, rewarded with deep sense of contentment.
If you are in the midst of a civil war, I also highly recommend embracing the silent treatment, grab a book, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the peace.