Our Fears About Fighting
There is a stigma about relationships that two people should always get along and agree. Also, many expect relationships should be easy and carefree all of the time. “If our relationship is great then we’ll always have great days together, filled with great conversations and always be in the mood for spontaneous, movie-like lovemaking.” The other drastic viewpoint people have is bad expectations- the ‘seven year itch’, ‘the longer you’re together the more you fight and less you make love’ or the ‘things get boring’ mentality. These notions are all disastrous prerequisites for relationships in the past, present and future.
Two different people, one commitment.
Relationships can be defined in more ways than one. Whether or not they are pleasant depends on how flexible both partners are. It’s not about control; it’s about compromise and compassion. It’s very important that the two can accept each other for who they are uniquely and that includes their good and bad qualities. One common problem is that people develop or have a sense of entitlement and ownership towards their partner. They think they should act the way they think themselves. However, wouldn’t it make relationships a whole lot easier if people could accept each other at face value? Sure, we all have our fantasies and love the ‘best’ side of our better half the most, but we must not forget they are just people with individual personality traits and thinking patterns. When we can accept the little quirks and flaws, relationships are much easier to enjoy. It’s the beauty of two separate people with different thoughts and opinions coming together into a singular union.
The problems behind the fight – Our private fears.
So what predicament lies behind many disagreements? It’s fear! Commonly, it’s fear of being the one in control, of letting go, fear of losing that person’s affections or that a one’s own flaws will cause demise of the bond. Many times people will fight and defend themselves (when being told they are in the wrong) because they don’t want the person they love most to dislike them. Nobody wants to disappoint their favorite person. Other times a relationship has gotten dismal and starting a fight may be the only way one partner feels will get the other to show they still care. Fights caused by fears or insecurities are usually because of ill communication or lack of passion. However, sometimes they are an uncomfortable (but necessary) first step to open up their feelings and move on to a better understanding.
Fighting isn’t a big deal – unless you make it one
People take fighting so seriously (which sometimes it is). Nevertheless, fighting doesn’t always mean your relationship is bad or you can’t be together -which is a stereotypical misconception. Conflicts happen. They happen especially once the ‘limmerance’ phase has worn off in the relationship. This term was coined by American psychologist Dorothy Tennov describing the early stage of love or affection – when one is ‘blind’ to the flaws of and rather infatuated with another person. The thing is, once that stage wears off the two are really getting comfortable and discovering the not-so-cute about each other. The thing is, being ‘comfortable’ in a relationship doesn’t mean doing whatever you want…it means you’re more open and accepting of each other. It’s very important to keep a positive mindset and focus on that which you truly like about your partner. If you criticize them in your thinking that will reflect in the way you treat them and your relationship in general.
The times are only as ugly as you allow them to be
People get so caught up in a specific time or issue at hand that they forget about what matters. Unless it’s over something extreme (i.e., abuse, infidelity, substance abuse) don’t ever let a fight be more important than your relationship itself. Don’t allow a stressful time when you’re both moody and disagreeable convince you into not being together. This is what happens with many people. They attribute or associate their money problems, life problems, personal problems or family issues to their relationship which they decide to end. Allowing a relationship to fail because of other things failing in one’s life is rash. Don’t allow what’s going on outside to burst your love bubble.
Let your feelings go
People put such an emphasis on having a physical, sexual union. While it is extremely important to bond together in a concrete way, having an emotional ‘nakedness’ is truly what makes love last a lifetime. To have true emotional nakedness with your partner, you need to let all of your true sides show. Don’t disguise your feelings or keep secrets. Now I’m not saying when you feel angry like screaming and throwing things to just let it all out and do that. Self control is definitely needed and there are things that definitely shouldn’t be said or done during a disagreement. What I’m getting at here is having the trust in another person to not only trust them with your whole heart but every bit of who you truly, deeply are. Don’t be afraid to tell them what’s on your mind and what you feel differently about. Express your opinions about politics, beliefs and so forth. When a fight arises, don’t hold back your feelings for another day. Don’t lie about what you are truly thinking. Being upfront pays off. This builds a beautiful intimacy and gets you to the comfortable place that is a good kind. Even when you’re not agreeing, if you let it out, get angry and then move on- it is much better than holding it in, playing games or hurting each other with not talking.
Fusing your love
All in all, arguments and disagreements will either arise and pass quickly, or drag on and hurt a relationship. It truly isn’t a horrible thing if you have frequent, little arguments with each other (lasting a short amount of time) which, after they arise, you feel in a better mood than before. There is something about having a fight and then making up after you both express your thoughts can be very rewarding. It’s eliminating emotional waste from your relationship. As time goes by and you strive to communicate more (even if that means escalating to an argument every now and again), in time things will be easier and the arguments shorter. Why is this? Because as you two get to know each other better, the acceptance part will come into play. You’ll eventually learn about each other more and fuse your relationship through your conflicts. So say your peace, and make up in a wonderful way after you argue. Verbally and physically reinforce your love and dedication to your partner now and watch your communication and love grow.