dear sharideth: We Never Fight

Dear Sharideth,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 7 months, and we were friends for 3 years before that.  We get along great, talk about everything, and feel the same way about all the important things. Things are really (really really) great! My family loves him, my friends love him, and everything is working out.  We’ve been talking about marriage for a couple months, and he’s saving up for a ring now. I’m very sure about this guy, and he feels the same way.

But here’s the thing…we’ve never had a fight. We’re both super laid back, so maybe it’s just an outcome of our personalities. But it still seems strange to both of us, and it makes me wonder how we’ll handle conflict when it does finally show up in our relationship.  Should I be nervous? Should I stop over thinking and just enjoy it?

Sincerely,

not a fighter

dear NAF,

i love it.  my first problem that really isn’t a problem.  if this is as bad as it gets for you, you’re home free.

the short answer?  this is perfectly fine.

but you will fight.

oh yes.

you will fight.

the most important to thing to remember?  it’s not fatal.  and it certainly doesn’t mean your relationship is taking a turn for the worse.  it only means you’re both human and life has kind of settled in around you.

when it does happen, don’t hold grudges, don’t assume the other person who is normally all about peace and harmony is out to get you.  be ready to let it go.

and don’t panic or assume it’s necessarily about the thing you’re fighting about.  it could be any number of external things that cause one or the other to lash out. just be ready to give the other one the benefit of the doubt and don’t return anger for anger.  dial it back and have a conversation.

the best way to avoid fighting?  never let anything get to the point of resentment.  don’t let something bother you for so long, you begin to internalize it and allow it to color how you see your snuggle puss.  keep everything out in the open.  even if it’s painful. 

especially if it’s painful.

but for now?  enjoy the not fighting.  it’s not a sign of the apocalypse.  it doesn’t mean you both don’t have your own opinions or are weak.  it’s just…nice.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

for more on this, take a gander at “it takes two to fight”.

what else?

are you a fighter?  how do you keep the peace?

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7 comments on “dear sharideth: We Never Fight

  1. Ed Blonski says:

    When I sit down and talk with a couple that is planning on getting married, I spend one of the sessions on fighting. How to fight fairly and productively.

    Yeah, I know it sounds kind of corny, cliche and a number of other things.

    But the thing is, couples WILL fight. That is, unless one or both of them are not being true to themselves as individuals. Giving in so as NOT to fight is not a healthy thing for any relationship, especially so for a marriage.

    I utilize “Prepare/Enrich” for pre-marriage counseling and it seems to help a lot of couples deal with fighting in the relationship.

  2. Yes, you will fight. And it will be a doozy. And this is coming from two of the chillest people who hate to fight in the world.

    But, the sign of normalcy is not regular fighting like so many post-newlyweds would have you think. Your first year of marriage doesn’t have to be clash of the titans. Friends tell soon-to-be-marrieds this and then look to us for agreement and we say “Actually we had a great first year, but to each his own. Some couples prefer fighting to having sex.” 😉

  3. Melanie West says:

    Be ready to agree to disagree about some things. My husband and I use this one occasionally if we’re on opposite sides of something and can’t compromise. We’ve used it three times in seven years and today I couldn’t tell you what either of them was regarding. At the time it was important but it obviously wasn’t.

    You’ll fight, argue eventually. We manage one big one every eighteen months or so and that’s about it unless you count the “put the damn tea back in the fridge when you take it out”.

    Also, it’s different when you live together for a long period of time. Dating while living alone or with roommates or at home with your parents is a lot different than living with someone you’re in love with.

  4. zkhei says:

    i get why you might be worried, because if you havent been in a big fight before then theres no way of knowing how it’ll affect your relationship when it does happen. and yes, marriage will definitely throw a few big fights your way. But at the end of the day ….thinking about this really doesn’t do anything, because you’re still going to marry him regardless, which means that you’re still going to have to handle those big couple fights …the only thing you can do is take it one day at a time 🙂

  5. reneamac says:

    I have a few sets of married friends like this. Each partner is super laid back and they, even after 6 and 7 years of marriage, have never had a big fight. In both cases, each partner shares a lot in common with the other. They also regularly work at communication, communication, romance, and communication.

  6. It’s great that the two of you get along so well. It’s not a warning sign for anything. Irritations will come; the best of friends get on each others’ nerves some of the time and the best of married couples do as well. But irritations don’t have to become erupting volcanoes. And even when they do become a volcano, they don’t have to stay that way. “This too shall pass” applies to a lot of things that seem insurmountable in the moment.

    Building a great friendship before you build a marriage is a great foundation, and will stand you in good stead in the hard times. Don’t let fear that it’s “too good to be true” become a self-inflicted wound. There will always be people who try to kill your joy because they don’t have the same joy, whether they actually do it intentionally or merely let their own regrets splash on you. God designed marriage to be a source of joy. Our humanity means it’s sometimes also a source of pain. But that isn’t meant ot be the norm, and God is well able to change those where it IS the norm if we’re willing to surrender control to Him.

    So keep being joyful, and when hard times come, make a point of trying to focus on what made you love them in the first place and treat them like that person. And if you find yourself starting to recite past wrongs already forgiven? Stop. Don’t let a disagreement over a present issue turn into a list of past issues; list past joys instead. Manage those two things and you’ll be well on your way to a positive outcome to conflict.

  7. snowdropexplodes says:

    @NAF: I think it’s great and no bad thing never to have fought. But I think the one thing I would suggest to think about is whether he’s seen you when you’re angry about something (regardless of what), and the other way around: have you seen what he is like when he’s angry about something? (More particularly, angry about something the other partner isn’t that angry about). For a fight to break out, one or both of you have to be angry at each other about something, so it seems like that’s the test: how does anger affect you and him? Apart from that, the OP advice seems to have bases covered as general “anger management” techniques, so if you have those and remember you’re both human, it should be fine.

    Also – sometimes many small fights prevent any major ones – I suspect that’s why my parents’ marriage has lasted so long: I grew up in a household where rowing was common, love was more so, and beautiful counterpoint (rather than harmony) the result.

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