October 8th, 2013 § 1 Comment
I never did learn to fight. No one ever taught me. So I watched. Did what came natural. The trouble with this approach is that I was watching people who like me had never learned to fight. They too had watched others; they too did what came natural. And what comes natural? That’s right boys and girls: The will to win. We fight to win. And then I got married.
A couple years into our marriage, I realized we didn’t fight. Oh, we had our conflicts. There were hurts, disappointments. When these arose as they do in every relationship, I didn’t know what to do. I did what came natural. I ran. In retreat, I scorched the earth. It drove my wife nuts. She’s far too kind and well-mannered to put it this way, but if I could speak for her, she’d say, “You chicken shit. Come out and fight like a real man.”
In the past few years, I’ve done just that … come out into the open and fought. I owed her as much. In doing so, I’ve learned a few things. For one, I’ve learned the reason for which I fight. It’s not to win; not to express myself, be justified, get some relief. All these compound the sense of separation that led me into the fight. I fight to get back to her, to close the gap created by the wrong done, the hurt inflicted. For me this has meant that I go to her and start talking. I must resist the temptation to run, to snipe her from the shadows. Funny. Even in a fight, I must not afford myself what I naturally crave.
Learn to fight. We are all different – our spouses, our marriages. A good fight may mean something very different to you. Whatever you do, don’t fight to win. Fight to get back to her, to close the gap and restore the relationship.