I recently read the nonfiction book “Group How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved my Life” by Christie Tate. I thought this was such a good book I was ready to sign up for group therapy.
There is one part of the book that still makes me think. At one point the author describes to her group how she and her present boyfriend had never fought.
“Dr. Rosen piped up. ‘Pray for a fight.
‘Because you want a truly intimate relationship.’
‘That means fighting?‘
‘If you aren’t willing to fight, how can you be intimate?'”
I admit that I’ve said for a long time that couples that don’t fight aren’t real- that there’s no way that two people get along all the time…
But what’s the line between healthy fighting and non healthy fighting?
I definitely know couples who fight but I don’t consider them to have an intimate relationship- quite the opposite. They fight so much they never have a kind word for one another.
So what is healthy fighting?
How do we achieve it?
How do we know the difference between fighting for the good of a relationship and fighting for the bad of a relationship?
Are mere mortals such as ourselves capable of healthy, relationship strengthening, intimacy forward fighting?
How do we learn to fight without damaging one another?
I’ve always tried to go by the following:
- No name calling
- No bringing up things from the past
- Concentrate on the immediate transgression
- No blame
- Use feelings: when you did X, it made me feel Y
But what if your partner doesn’t fight fair?
I know of couples where one partner still brings up the time their partner forgot to throw out the garbage ten years prior. I know other people who respond to fights with subtle words like “You know where the door is.”
Is it a fair fight if one person is using heavy duty ammunition?
If two people are not on the same page, can you achieve intimacy?
What do you think about this concept- fighting for love?
Do you have rules for fights?
Do you have a threshold of what you will and won’t fight about?
Do you try to avoid fights in relationships?
Let’s duke it out…