The Fight We Keep Fighting

MrH and I don’t fight.  Not really anyway – there’s no screaming, yelling, insulting, pushing, shoving, or spitting in faces.  We don’t bodycheck each other.  That doesn’t mean we don’t fight though.  We still have the same, usually very civil, conversation over and over again.  It’s about how we each respond when we’re running late, and how we just can’t seem to get over the fact that we respond so differently.

At dinner tonight, a friend of mine revealed that her second year of marriage was much harder than her first.  I know that the first year is supposed to be super hard since you’re both adjusting to being together.  We decided that for her, the second was harder because of this recurring conversation.  I don’t even know what the topic was for them, but it’s the same idea.

Somehow though, she and her husband got through that very bumpy year and decided that while they think differently about some things, they can actually be happily married and still live together.  Their solution wasn’t so much in finding a compromise (you act a little less like you, I’ll act a little less like me, and we’ll meet in the middle).  Rather, it sounded like they both stayed uniquely themselves and remembered to treasure one another for that.  They remembered to learn from each other’s differences even when the other one made no sense.  They also worked out strategies on how to cope in the moment.

Someone at my church often tells about the fight he and his wife “always” have.  It’s the one that they couldn’t compromise on, couldn’t reconcile.  He always got upset when she made them late for an engagement, and then she got hurt that he got so upset.  Their solution now?  They travel separately and each arrive when they’re ready.  They both acknowledge responsibility for their on-timeness only for themselves, and greet one another warmly when they have both arrived.

I’m not ready for such a solution.  I still want us to live blissfully ever after, traveling to the same parties together, arriving on time together, running the exact right amount of errands (and fun-rands) on the way to get there right on the dot and feeling comfortable.  For now, however, I guess I’ll practice the idea of valuing where MrH is coming from, and admitting that maybe – just maybe – his view of things actually works for him. 

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