How To Fight Better in a Relationship? I Feel X When You Do Y.

All of your feelings are justified.

Stealing time in between dinner and classes to check my phone, I saw a text notification and mindlessly swiped it open.

He: Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to show you what I ate on Snapchat. The atmosphere at dinner wasn’t great.

Me: Oh? Is everything okay?

He: Yeah. The usual. My parents were fighting.

Me: About what this time?

He: I could never tell what triggers the fight, but they were both screaming at each other to shut up.

Me: That must have been awkward for you.

He: Well, I just told them to both shut up and eat. Okay, I didn’t say those words exactly, but I did ask them to keep calm for our dinner’s sake. Sigh, I wish they could learn to fight more effectively.

Photo by Marisa Morton on Unsplash

I suppose throwing shut-ups and insults are not exactly making our voices heard.

However, it sounds perfectly reasonable.

When we feel hurt or disappointed, taking revenge and hurting those we love may be an inherent defence mechanism.

A budding new relationship is exciting and mostly devoid of arguments, but this state is temporal. Hence, I wasn’t so surprised when my friend texted to inform me of their first disagreement.

She: Like, what else can I do? I just said okay, that was the past, moving forward I won’t repeat the same thing.

Me: Sigh… instead of pointing fingers, I feel like he should be talking about his emotions.

She: Then, he was a little passive-aggressive, saying how he should adjust himself since I’m very nonchalant about it. I was like, what does that even mean?

Me: I think he may have unintentionally shamed you and made you feel bad about yourself.

She: Yeah. It makes me feel like that.

Me: It may be more helpful to talk about his feelings?

She: Thanks for listening… I will ask how he feels about it. Honestly, relationships are hard work.

Photo by Alex wong on Unsplash

Our protective mental guard shuts out communications.

It momentarily puts a pause on our ability to listen.

Be the first to initiate. Be vulnerable.

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