Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the f word

I distinctly remember my bridal shower like it was yesterday.  Roughly three years ago my maid of honor threw me a super fun bridal shower in our little apartment in southern Utah.  Surrounded by lots of close friends, some future in laws and my mom I opened gorgeous lingerie while blushing, ate yummy food and loved watching the girls try to make wedding dresses with toilet paper.  It was seriously wonderful.

 (Roommates at my Bridal Shower.  We were SO YOUNG!
 Fun fact: now 4/5 of us are married. Circa April 2012)

One of the activities the girls did was write anonymously on these little cards that we marked "marriage advice."  I was one of the first of my friends to get married, so most of the advice was comical coming from lots of single college girls.  I still have all of those silly cards that the girls wrote their advice for how I would deal with my upcoming nuptials. A week or so ago as I was going through some old papers I came across these advice cards again.  Nearly three years later, it was still just as funny to read all of the "newlywed advice" the girls had given me.  Then I came across one that struck me...

"Your happiness is more important than a fight."

And I thought a lot about it during that day.  I mean, JD and do not agree all the time.  Was I single handedly ruining our relationship because I am not at all submissive (if you know me at all, you know I've got a pretty strong personality...for better or worse)?  Would I be better off just letting JD run all over the countryside buying every piece of Nintendo memorabilia he wanted?  I mean, my marriage sure feels pretty happy...am I doing something wrong?  So, allow me to go through some myths about fighting in marriage and why I think you should let conflict happen.

MYTH: Don't go to bed angry
FACT: This is one I sometimes agree with and sometimes don't.  Mostly just because,when you're tired the fight always just continues to get worse.  Sometimes, you just have to go to sleep and deal with it in the morning.  If you're in the middle of a knock out, drag out type of argument, it is probably best to get it finished before going to bed.  However, if you're just going in circles because you're so exhausted, you may just want to give a time-out until the morning.

MYTH: Happy Couples Don't Fight
FACT: JD and I are a happy couple.  And we do fight.  We allow conflict into our marriage on a small scale as a way to express our frustrations.  When I get passive aggressive (which, let's be honest, happens a lot) I create a way bigger conflict that necessary.  If we express our problems frequently, we're less likely to have huge fights. 

MYTH:Conflict means there is a lack of love in your marriage
FACT: The best things in life are worth fighting for.  If you marriage is your top priority, you should be doing everything possible to fight to make it the best.  That means airing your grievances with your spouse so you both know what you need to be doing to make your marriage fulfilling for both of you.

 (There are a few articles that I've been reading and loving on this subject, here, here, here and here.)

So yeah, we fight.  But we're still pretty dang happy, and that's what really matters.

Us, Circa November 2014

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