Anne Russ, a marketing consultant in Boston, and Skip Lentz, a computer software executive, never had a single fight—until, that is, they got engaged. "Our first big blow-up was about the wedding itself," Anne recalls. "I didn't want a traditional wedding, and Skip did. I would have preferred to just elope.
I didn't want a diamond ring, either." Once Anne stopped yelling, Skip explained to her that, since this was also going to be the happiest day of his life, he wanted to get married in front of his friends and family. "He said, ‘How can you not want that?'" Anne recalls.
"He also told me that part of the reason he really wanted to get me a diamond was because he was proud that he could afford it. Once I understood how important these things were to him, I had to compromise." But, she laughs, "I kept my name. That was his side of the compromise."
go with the grain
In the context of a committed relationship, fights provide a way for couples to reconnect, according to Greg Godek. "Although fighting is never fun or nice when you're in the middle of it, the outcome can be positive. In the midst of a fight you're miserable. In a way, it's like exercising. Is working out always fun?
No. But it deals with your weak spots." And in a committed relationship, he adds, weak spots are the ones we most need to concentrate on.
Well, do you ever have sex. Other than sex, no act is more natural.
- We are. Admit it.
- There is no real victor in the end.
"Don't think that just because you can't
Black and white competition. Our logical nature is a savior in many life matters but not in the realm of relationship conflict. We fighting in such a rational, logical fashion that we tend to alienate our partner. Sure, we make our point relationship may early "win" the argument. But what do fighting gain in the long run. Again, our competitive intuition is a hindrance when we disagree with a woman.
go with the grain I know of what Early speak. A relationship I was once in love with told me on more than one occasion, "you fight against me and not with me.
And that is no good. When done right, a fight is productive and even helpful to a relationship. Here is how to do it.
"Don't think that just because you can't tie up the loose ends in a half hour like the couples in TV sitcoms, you've got a problem," says Godek.
"Arguments are all about gray areas. In many cases there never will be a real answer, and that's okay." Believe it or not, according to the experts, such heated arguments can actually be a strong sign that your marriage is on the right track.
"I don't think there's really a reason to fight until you're committed," says Anne Russ today. "Once Skip and I knew we were in this forever," she explains, "fights took on new meaning; they were something we had to figure out."
go with the grain
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- -fighting early in a relationship