Is It Possible to Have a Fight Free Relationship?
I have been in a relationship for seven, almost eight years. When entering into this relationship, I brought two children with me....and since, we have created another child together.
When defining my relationship, I use only one word: Happy.
In the almost eight years we've been together, not ONCE have we had a fight, screaming match, or argument.
If you're like the other people I've made this statement to, you're probably thinking the same thing - Yeah, right! You're thinking that "real" relationships have to have their share of fights - it makes the relationship stronger, yada, yada, yada. I've heard it all before. I've been told by so many people that not fighting in a relationship isn't "normal".
Really? It's not normal to not fight? I don't know about you - but I love not ever fighting with my hubby. Does that mean we agree on everything? Don't be stupid - of course not. In fact, we disagree about 100 times a day. We disagree on everything from what we're going to eat for dinner to the impact the government has on our economy. We disagree - but we NEVER fight.
Being in a relationship like this is new for me. For ten years prior to this relationship I had been yelled at, I yelled, I screamed, I was screamed at - there were even physical altercations and me getting the living crap beat out of me. I am no stranger to fights in a relationship.
In fact, the first time I disagreed with my hubby, I put on my imaginary boxing gloves - ready for a night of duking out our differences. It never happened. He refused to fight. Dumbfounded, and even madder that I wasn't getting my chance to scream and yell... I looked at this man like he was crazy. After about four hours of TALKING, I realized that this relationship was going to be different from any other than I had ever experienced. He told me what he expected from our relationship - and how it would help us from avoiding ever walking down the road of hurt feelings, resentment, and anger.
Now, having seven years to test the waters of his explanations - and having to make some drastic changes in my way of thinking - I've been able to prove that it works. It is possible to have a fight free relationship... but it's not easy. It means having to give and take, swallow pride, stomp away from ego, and the magic word... TALKING.
Rather than doing a "top ten list" or step by step instructions - I'm going to share our story. Take from it what you will... try applying it...and maybe, just maybe, you can have a fight free relationship. It is possible.
Here are the things my hubby said to me the first time I was ready to wage war...
"I am who I am. I'm not going to change. You can either take it or leave it."
A simple statement, yet powerful. How many relationships are built on a foundation of "well, I don't like *insert annoying quirk* but I'm sure I can change it, eventually". If that's your master plan - it's going to backfire.
"I don't fight. If you have a problem, tell me. Don't pout, bottle it up, and then explode at me weeks later. I'm a big boy, and as long as you're not mean about it - I want to hear if you're upset about something. The only way to fix our problems is by knowing you have a problem to begin with. I'm not a mind reader or psychic. I can't read your mind and expect to know why you're mad."
He followed that up with explaining that he intended on telling me if he had a problem - and that I had to put my big girl panties on and not get all defensive anytime he had an issue. Years later, it's still sometimes hard not to get defensive... but I remember why he's telling me - so that we can work through it - and just have to realize that it's not personal.
"I don't play mind games, nor do I get jealous. I have friends that are girls, you have friends that are guys. This relationship should be equal. I'm not going to stop talking to my friends, and I don't expect you to stop talking to yours. I will look at other women, you will look at other men. It's natural. The important thing is that just because I look doesn't mean I want. If there should ever come a time that you feel that you need to do more than look, I need to know. I promise to do the same. Oh, and can we both agree that the telling will come BEFORE the action? I don't want to be cheated on, and I won't cheat. I don't want to be unhappy, either. If I feel like things aren't working out, you will be the first to know - I expect the same from you."
That should really be printed in every relationship book on the shelves. It's so simple, yet one of the biggest causes of infidelity and break-ups. Most women can't handle their men looking at other women - and most of the time it's one sided. By just accepting the fact that eyes wander- and it's innocent - could solve a lot of fights. We've actually used this statement to one of our favorite games to play "point out the hottie". Yes, we actually point out the people who catch our eye. We tell each other about it - and have a good laugh about it. It's even gotten to where we point out people to each other.
"I will not let money issues get between us. We have to work together on our budget and expenses. I don't play the "I bring home the paycheck, you pay the bills" game. We have to make financial decisions together. There are going to be times when money is tight. We have to just suck it up and do what we can to get through them. Fighting about it is pointless - it won't bring more money into the house."
This has been such a rock during our relationship. There have been MANY times that money has been tight... we've had to make sacrifices, but we do it together. We talk about it, go over our budget, and we make things work. Money is the number one reason for divorce in the country, yet (in my opinion) is one of the stupidest things to fight about.
For the next few hours, we discussed our expectations and determined resolutions. We talked about everything from who will do what around the house to how we spend our free time. We both clean, we both cook, we both allow ourselves free time. I go out with my friends when I want to - he plays his video games all night long, if he so desires. Its give and take.. from both of us.
Relationships are partnerships. The moment you start making those "must change" lists, bottling up emotions, and pretending that you can put on a happy face... you're running straight to the hypothetical boxing ring. It takes time, yes, but it can be done.
At the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself one question: Are you willing to try it?