I want to talk about fighting within a re-marriage. And I can, because it’s my essay :) I’m a pro when it comes to fighting. I grew up practicing with my parents and I’ve mastered it like it’s an Olympic sport. One of the very crucial things I realized in the last few years is that within the boundaries of marriage, (especially re-marriage) there must be some respected rules of fighting.
Ok, all you 50 Shades fans, stop smirking and keep reading! (Hotdamn! Could that series be any hotter!?) Anyway, I honestly believe every marriage needs a safeword (for outside the playroom, in case anyone was wondering). A safeword for fights. Because let’s be honest; words hurt equally, if not more than physical wounds. And when a partner uses a safeword in the realm of sexual pleasure, the other partner is quick to offer comfort and affection. You don’t want your partner to have to safeword. It should be the exact same during a fight. If your partner safewords during a fight, they are saying “stop! you’re hurting me!” and the appropriate response is comfort and affection. Even though we do it because we’re human, deep down I don’t think we really want to hurt our partners. So many times though, whilst fighting, partners are so busy hurling jabs and insults at each other that they aren’t thinking about what their words are doing. And words can have a lasting effect long after the fight is over. A safeword (when used appropriately and not abusively) can keep those meaningless fights from destroying a marriage
Yes, I know you’re fighting. And yes, I know that you could seriously slit your partner’s throat and not feel the least bit sorry for oh, say, 2 days. Max. But if we all remembered one very simple rule, it would not only curb a lot of disagreements from becoming fights, but it would also keep fights from taking over the evening. Be KIND. No matter he/she says, no matter what he/she insinuated, I will be kind. In reality, this will probably PISS your partner off even more the first few times you incorporate it. Experience speaking here. But keep at it, it pays off.
3. Be REAL
Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Marco and I can’t be the only two people on the planet who do this. Once you reach that point; the point of this-silly-argument-may-end-our-marriage, walls tend to go up. Brick by brick you sling those walls up faster than Thor throwing down his hammer. Once the wall is up, it’s all Game on bitches! You know what I mean. The safe words and kindness have been thrown to the wolves and the fighters are out for blood. That’s when the real damage takes place. That’s when the threats and accusations and past hurts are dredged up from their place of rotting and lit on fire to spear across the territorial line and aim strait for the heart. The heart of the one you love, might I remind you. That’s when, no matter what your opponent (ahem, partner) may say, you’ve got your protective shield up and nothing is getting through. Because A) it’s scary to be super real with your emotions, and B) anger is a lot easier to hold onto than say, vulnerability. If I could bottom line it, I think it all comes down to pride. Plain and simple, pride keeps a lot of fights going when they should have fizzled into I’m sorry’s and then erupted into passionate make up sex. (go back to safeword usage!)
I try to think of it this way: Is this really going to matter in 5 years? If the answer is yes, then hell yeah! bring on the debate! (but Yes responses are pretty rare). No? Ok, there’s probably a better way to get my point across — kindly. This morning my girlfriend instagrammed (I totally used that as a verb) this verse: Colossians 4:6 “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” MSG.
At first I was all, oooooh yeeeahhhh, Ok God, I know where that applies in my life (my interaction with Daniela’s mom) but as the day wore on, I realized that there are SO MANY areas that applies to. On the phone with the insurance company that is claiming our client’s date of loss was not within coverage. At the gym when I walked in (unbeknownst) 15 minutes after closing time because they had forgotten to lock the doors. And yes, when Mom #1 is late picking up and I’m trying to keep on schedule. But also when Husband is home after a long day of work and feeling a bit on the…err…snarky side. If I could just keep this verse in the forefront of my mind (which is why I totally made it my background photo on my phone) then maybe my life and my speech would begin to more closely resemble the kindness and mercy in that verse. We’re working on it. I put husband to bed and I’m nursing my 2nd (3rd??) glass of wine. That’s my kindness for now. It’s a work in progress.