Monday, November 2, 2009
Sometimes we fight just to exercise our right to fight I think. We cover the same ground, over and over and over using the same arguments as last time and really, no one is going to budge on them. Sometimes the fight really IS about who should clean the damn bathroom or whether the person cleaned it thoroughly enough, but often is is about something else entirely. Sometimes it is about exerting a tiny bit of independence from each other and declaring that we each DO have parts of our lives that do not involve the other. Sometimes, oftentimes, I think, it is just about proving we are important to each other. If we care enough to fight about things, we must care about each other and we must care about continuing a relationship with each other. This is the same whether fighting with a spouse, a co-worker, a family member, a best friend. And at some point, when the fighting is going nowhere, it might be just best to stop. Agree to stop and let it be. But in order to do that, both parties need to be able to let go. One cannot dredge up words said and sulk and pine about them. Both parties must realize that much of what got said was in anger and hurt, not really meant and sometimes just made up out of anger to hurt. Those things need to be let go. If there were genuine problems or issues that came up, one or both parties can agree to work on them in the future. But continued carrying on about the past is just dirty water under the bridge that cannot be cleaned up or fixed. It should be let go, and focus made on the future and what can be done to make the future better. But sometimes, we are attracted to each other because we are different, so we are always going to find things to fight about. I worked with a woman once who exactly complemented me in the project skills we had and we loved to work together for precisely that reason. She did not have to struggle with space design details because I was the great puzzle solver and I did not have to labor over the 38 shades of off-white to find the right one to go with the green we had chosen because she had amazing color sense. But we got into ridiculous arguments over silly things at lunch because . . . we saw things differently. We could have let those disagreements color our working relationship, but we stopped after a few rounds and laughed and moved on. Sometimes what makes a relationship amazing IS our differences, yet those differences lead to fights now and then. Rather than dwell there in fighting and sulking by replaying that fight and things that got said, we should drop it and smile and think about the rich gifts our partner in the relationship brings to our life and move on with an attitude of appreciation and anticipation of the things we are great at together.