Love

The Good Fight

I’m a bit late, but 2 months ago Dan and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. SIX YEARS! We have this really awesome tradition where we eat at a nice restaurant in the city that we’ve never eaten at before. That’s easy to do in Chicago. There is no shortage of good food. This time we ate at  the cutest Italian restaraunt right down the street from where we live. It had ambiance akin to Alice and Wonderland. Of course, the food was fantastic. 

I can’t believe how much time has passed. We were babies when we met 13 years ago, wading through the unknown of our teenage years, the confusion of our young adult years, and now…growing old together.  Life is still confusing sometimes, but I can’t imagine walking through it with anyone else. We were made for each other. The love I have for Dan is that deeply ingrained love that overrides everything, which brings me to fighting. 

Fighting is a good thing. That whole, “we’ve never fought” is not something to be proud of. When there are two entirely different people trying to work together in a relationship, fights are bound to break out, or at least they should. The magnitude of them depends on the couple. It’s learning to fight the right way that’s difficult to master. 

Picture this: I’m a naturally emotional person who feels all the feelings intensely, while Dan is calm as a cucumber in the face of everything. He very rarely raises his voice. It’s a character trait I like a lot. But how do you think our fights end? Depending on the topic of conversation, I can lose track of my emotions and be reduced to a sopping mess of boogers and tears. Fighting means we’re communicating, rather than building up resentment inside. Getting super emotional doesn’t help. This is where walking away or sleeping on it helps. Never going to bed angry is a ridiculous line of reasoning. It can actually help clear your head and give you time to think about your words. Fighting doesn’t have to be yelling. It can be sitting down to talk calmly about something that there is disagreement on. There have been many time where I’ll say, “No Dan, I don’t agree with this. We need to talk.”

Another thing – try to think before you speak. Words can be as painful as shards of glass. Dan knows me well enough to know when I say something I don’t mean, but the heat of the moment sends me in too much of a tizzy sometimes. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to make your case and nothing reasonable you say is getting across. But walk away for a minute instead. Take a walk. Pick up where you left off later.

Listen to each other. Don’t talk over the other. Let them get it out, no matter what it is. Dan is wonderful about this. He always listens to me. At the end of a good fight, if done properly, you should feel relieved, like a problem has been properly discussed and hopefully resolved in some way. Not like you ruined everything. 

Relationships are give and take. There are sacrifices involved in love. Be ready to be selfless. Dan and I work well together because there is a solid understanding of who we both are. One doesn’t try to change the other. We accept each other as they are. That’s true in fighting, too. 

Here’s to many more years!

Until Next Time,

Jen

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