Rules for a Happy Marriage #20:
Don’t be afraid to fight.
My oldest, dearest friend once dated a guy whose parents had never had a single fight. So he believed that was how relationships should be. And any time my friend would get irritated or upset or angry, he would freak out and threaten to break up with her because “people who are in love don’t fight.”
This is bull shit.
I love Husband more than anything in the world, but we can have some humdingers. Doesn’t mean that we stop loving each other.
My parents – who have been happily married for 37 years – argue and grouse at each other occasionally.
Husband’s parents – who have been happily married for 37 years – fight once in a while, too.
If you’re fighting non-stop, there’s probably a deeper, serious issue. But if you blow up every now and again… or get mad that he left the closet light on AGAIN oh my god in heaven why is it SO HARD to turn the freaking light off when you leave the closet?… or yell at him for deleting Grey’s Anatomy from the TiVo because it’s a stupid show…
Well, in my very un-researched and un-credentialized opinion, that’s NORMAL.
And it’s even HEALTHY.
Lay your cards on the table, people. Let your husband know that sometimes you get grouchy or angry or that sometimes he annoys the hell out of you.
It’s GOT to be better than bottling it up until you explode and shave your hair off Britney-meltdown style.
Here are some rules (some that I learned from my mom) about fighting:
* Don’t let things fester.
* Don’t go to bed mad.
* Don’t let little things turn into big things.
* Don’t dredge up every single past thing he’s done wrong.
* Always fight fair. (Don’t threaten divorce… or murder… or that you’ll run over his prized high school letter jacket with your car.)
* Don’t throw things.
Of course, the flip side of fighting is making up. Which can involve lots of nice things – like kisses, and sweet words, and extra kindness.
All right, Internet… What’s your take? Is fighting with your spouse normal? Taboo? Any rules before you throw down?