We don’t argue much, but I’m not going to sit here and try to convince anyone that Ben and I don’t argue at all. Part of me wonders what it would be like to be one of those couples that “don’t fight”, but another part of me wonders if that (a) exists, and (b) if that would even be healthy. Who knows?
What I do know is that I don’t think arguing will ever feel “fun”, but I also don’t think it has to feel as bad as it used to for us. And, it used to feel gross.
It was a lot of having our own perspective on what happened, trying to figure out what (the hell) the other person was thinking, what the solution should be. It was just a lot of one-sided views on what “reality” was.
It’s so hard to not do that, though, right? Like, you’re coming in so hot with all of these emotions that feel impossible to control…or, you feel like YOU are killing the controlling-your-emotions game but the other person is an emotional disaster.
Then, you have your take on what happened, which as far as you’re concerned, is nothing less than an actual fact. Which it’s not, because the other person is thinking the same thing.
And, because you are the victim and the one that has been wronged, the fixing is entirely up to the other person. You’ll be patient while they figure how to fix the mess they’ve made, but they were the reason the whole conflict started in the first place. So, they need to change something up.
Our best argument yet happened a few weeks ago. It was the first time I didn’t let myself just close up and walk away thinking that avoiding the argument would be less painful than it was to sit there and actually work through it until it was resolved. It was the first time we said the words, “I’m trying really hard to reframe what I think you meant by that and understand what you’re saying you actually meant.” And, it was the first time we finished the conversation, free from passive commentary, and said, “That’s the best we’ve ever done with that.”
Yes, it was kinda’ crazy. I’m not sitting around excited for another round or anything, but I will say this: I am dancing around in this beautiful place where I feel vulnerable but totally safe in our relationship.
I have never known this level of love or connection in a relationship, even with Ben, until now. And, until now, that is something that would have terrified me. To trust my emotions and love over to another person like that would’ve meant that I was risking the worst kind of pain and heartache possible.
But, seeing us rise up to a place where I, simultaneously, know he is my safe place…we are our own safe place for each other…changes everything. Seeing his vulnerability and his acceptance and exposure of that makes me feel like I, too, can be as unfiltered and brave as him.
It’s like we’ve created some sort of newfound common ground, where we can trust ourselves, trust each other, and trust our togetherness.
And, all of this came from a hugely intense argument. Amazing.