Edited to add: This is NOT about abusive fighting – that type of fighting is NOT OK! No one should have to deal with that, no one should be abused. I am talking about fighting between spouses where there is a loving relationship, NOT a control issue with in a relationship.
A friend of mine shared this article today on her facebook page, it is about couples who fight and how there are 3 different ways that people fights. One of them being the couple that wants to figure it out and get back to being normal. They mention that while in this group there are screaming matches and then the couple is back to being “normal again” because they have resolved the issue.
I whole heartily agree with this and on top of it I firmly believe in fighting in front of your children. I know some of you may be thinking “Oh my gosh did she really just say that” and yes I did.
Fighting in front of your children helps them to learn how to fight, how to resolve conflict and how even though you fight with someone doesn’t mean you do not love them.
Now I am not saying that an all out brawl, arms swinging and name calling and belittling is ok. That is NOT fighting. That is being mean and not listening to the other party, that is not taking their feelings into account. Fighting is getting the conflict resolved and yes that sometimes means voices raised, and people getting mad. But at the end of the fight, everyone has reached a resolution, they have been heard AND they can go on their merry way of being back to normal. Sooo much better then harboring anger inside and letting it boil up and then nothing getting resolved.
Tom and I have been married for 11 years – in those 11 years we have had MANY fights, there have been fights when one of us has left the house, there have been fights that we went to bed angry only to wake up the next day and keep the fighting going, there have been text wars when one of us has left the house in the middle of a fight (for us leaving the house doesn’t mean the fight stops, it means we both know its best for us to not be right next to each other during the fight), there have been fights where our neighbors thought we had both lost our minds. But we don’t fight because we don’t love each other – We fight BECAUSE we love each other. We are both strong, stubborn and opinionated people, who fight because we are both fighting for the same thing – What is BEST for our family (or what we think is best for our family).
We learned a few years into our marriage that while what we have to say might piss the other one off and it might not be something they want to hear that it is best just to say it, have the fight, and figure it out.
Originally we had said we didn’t want to have our kids hear us fight, however as the kids got older we realized that having them believe that marriage is all lovey dovey is not a good way to go. So now if tom and i disagree and argue and the kids see it we don’t worry about it. They are seeing us fight, stand up for what we believe in, and then come to a resolution. They are learning that we do not always agree and that in life you are not going to agree with your spouse or anyone for that matter. They are seeing that in a relationship there is fighting and loving and that a marriage is not always going to be 100% mush gushy lovey dovey and always agreeing with each other.
My kids have seen us fight enough times to know that during a fight I can call Tom a selfish jerk and it means nothing other then me venting frustration. My kids comments are along the lines of “Really Mom? You are calling him a jerk now and tomorrow you will kiss him”. They know that just because you fight with someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them and they carry that into their relationship with each other. They also know that while in a fight it is not the right way to fight by calling someone a name, that sometimes when you are fighting you say things like “selfish jerk” that you don’t mean and doesn’t accurately describe the person as a whole, but that is how you feel at the moment you are fighting.
When my kids get into a screaming match with each other about what they want to play with and I hear them yelling I let them go. I let them figure it out on their own – obviously if one of them was to hit the other I would step in but because they know HOW to fight and HOW to resolve a conflict violence is not something we have to deal with.
Fighting in front of them is TEACHING them!
Fighting with Tom is because we love each other!
Fighting is because someone is passionate about what they are fighting for!
Fighting is NOT trying to get the other person to give up their beliefs, fighting is NOT making someone feel less of themselves, fighting is NOT ignoring an issue and it IS finding a resolution.
So I will continue to fight with Tom and YES I will fight in front of my kids. I am teaching them in the process while at the same time resolving our conflict.
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