October 8, 2011

Fighting Fair

Living long distance means we talk a lot over the phone. Talking a lot over the phone means we lose some of the clues we would normally get if we were looking at the person; if they were tired (bags under the eyes), if they were joking (smirk on the face), if they were mad (angry eyes).

We don't Skype; that was weird. Why look at someone when you can't touch them? Such a taunting game, and I lose every time. We tired it once and spent the majority of the five minutes being bashful and making funny faces and not actually talking. Never again.

Fighting - it happens in relationships. And it definitely happens when you're planning a wedding. And it even more 'definitely happens' when you're long-distancing it and planning a wedding.

So the fiance and I sometimes find ourselves talking about something funny and then all of a sudden I am raising my voice and crying. In the last few months, we have had some less-than-pleasant conversations and have had to learn the hard way how to talk about problems in a non-threatening way.

The fiance learned that in order to make our conversations go smoothly, he needs to keep me informed about details as they come up, not bring them all up at once. When he doesn't do that, I perceive them to be a bunch of problems thrown at me all at once - like when you're trying to slice all the fruit in Fruit Ninja on xBox Kinect...sometimes overwhelming and impossible and leaves you exhausted and sweating profusely (no? just me?).

I learned that in order to make our conversations go smoothly, I need to turn down my controlling nature (oopsies) and stop acting like a soap opera star with all the dramatic tantrums. When I don't do that, the fiance gets upset and frustrated at me and I get upset easily and usually break down into tears because I'm a girl. Just kidding! I usually break down into tears because I'm frustrated that I can't fix things right away.

Learning how to fight fair means learning how you fight the right way. How do you react to someone being rude to you? How do you react when your parents boss you around? How do you act when someone gives you constructive criticism? It is easier to get angry faster at the ones you love. If you can practice being nice and even-tempered with others, you will learn how to do the same with your loved one.

Or you could try fighting in whispers. I've been told it works, and usually ends up in a big, ridiculous, laughter-fest.

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