Why me? Why us?
As most of you know, no relationship (romantic ones included and given special emphasis here) can ever go on indefinitely without disagreements. Squabbles over attending that party you're invited to (which one of you doesn't feel like attending) or upset evenings over your partner working late hours at the office and not giving you enough time. These are seen on almost a daily basis. So, if you're telling your friends that you and your boo NEVER argue about anything, you're most probably lying. And I'm pretty sure your friends are aware of it too. But if you mean it, maybe your relationship isn't what you think it is and you need to scrutinize things a bit further. However, when these fights do occur, you always go into another room, slam the door shut, slump down on the bed or on the floor as though in a movie scene and wonder, why me? why us?
I agree, a few issues are bound to pop up every now and then. After all, you are two different individuals with two different thought processes and values. And it is healthy too! If you agreed on everything, you'd might as well have stayed single!
Having two different opinions helps you grow as a person and as a couple. Maybe you are opened up to certain thoughts or ideologies you would never have thought of on your own. And that's super healthy. But if you are arguing over the same things again and again and nothing seems to change, now that's something of concern.
I would like to walk you through certain things you might want to consider when you come across such a situation. Really be honest with yourself and hopefully, by the end of this article, you should have your answer:
Is it worth it?
This is without doubt the first question you need to be asking yourself. Is what you and your partner disagree about really something that needs to be argued upon? Do you know each for that long and that well to dwell into this?
If it's a recent relationship with some issues you hadn't seen before but now do, ask yourself if you can live with them.
They leave the toilet seat up; sure. You'll probably mention it for a month or so before you just do it yourself. But if they lash out in violent ways when things don't go their way and you just cannot deal with such behavior, no amount of fights can change anything unless the person themselves is willing to. And that's a whole different story. Changing ourselves is a mammoth task. Imagine hoping for it from someone else.
So talk it out with your partner before coming to a conclusion. Are they willing to give your concern a thought? If yes, you can think of ways to do that. But if they even as much as refuse to acknowledge that there's an issue or say they'll change but only through words and no actions, I think you have your answer.
Even in case of long term relationships, there are times when you've been putting up with some things just to be in the relationship. Just the thought of being alone and the possibility of being vulnerable in a whole new relationship with a whole new person can seem scary. But give it a sincere thought. If you weren't scared to leave, is there something that bothers you? Something you've been tagging along with for too long but just don't want to anymore?
Only you can decide whether the fight seems beneficial to you in the long term or not. Also, I don't mean this at times when you are trying to coerce or manipulate your partner into doing something that only benefits you or is actually wrong! Then, maybe your partner is trying to stop you from doing something potentially harmful and you need to check in with yourself if that is the case. This could also be true the other way around.
Whatever it maybe, first figure out if the disagreement is worth it.
Who's fault is it?
Ever been friends with both the people involved in a breakup? Most of us have. When you hear both sides of the story, have you noticed something peculiar? If you haven't, make sure you do the next time you're sitting with a recently broken up friend as you comfort them while sipping margaritas in the afternoon.
You'll notice that both the people make themselves out to be the victim. "I was always nice to him! I don't know why he cheated on me!" "She never supported me. She even hated my friends!" "I wouldn't be jealous if I knew about his whereabouts all the time! why is that so difficult to understand?"
You get the picture.
Most stories are always like this, blaming each other; which ultimately results in friends and family taking sides and it ending up in a huge mess. This whole circus, while the real story is completely different.
There is just never only one person at fault. Never any victim, per se (I am in no way justifying abusive relationships. Those are a completely different ballgame and need to be dealt with sensitively). If he's been cheating on you, ever considered why? If he's a weird a** player or has emotional trauma he needs to deal with, that's on him. But sweety, why have you been letting him walk all over you? If you were aware and still continued giving second chances without seeing changes in behavior the second and third and maybe fourth time around, you are just as much at fault.
She's overly jealous you feel. But have you ever considered why? Maybe some past relationship has left her with trauma that causes her to feel like she cannot trust anybody. While she is at fault to bring things from past relationships into the new one, maybe you too are wrong if you are doing things that probably aggravate how she feels. Are you hanging out with that other girl who you clearly know is flirting with you but you do it anyway because it makes you feel validated and wanted? Then that's on you. If you aren't, are you trying to comfort your girl so she doesn't feel the need to be jealous while still helping her work through her issues?
Some things to think about.
You can never clap with one hand. Similarly, no relationship can break because of just one person. One may be slightly more responsible than the other. But both definitely are. There's no two ways to it.
So when fighting and blaming each other, look inward to find what you did that is playing part in the situation. This isn't easy. Your ego will refuse to listen to reason. You have to learn to push it aside and ask yourself honestly as to how you think you are contributing to the problem.
When both partners can do this for themselves, most issues and disagreements can be dealt with.
That brings us to the next part: Responsibility.
Now you may think, "But wait a minute, aren't fault and responsibility the exact same things? What is she even talking about?"
Let me explain.
Even though assuming fault or responsibility may seem synonymous, they actually are not. They are two very different things and I'd like to explain that a bit further.
Fault is something in the past. Something that has already occurred. You drank too much last night? Fault. You lied about working late while you partied with friends because you thought your partner wouldn't understand? Fault. You said you had a meeting so you could miss your daughter's 10th ballet recital because you thought it was boring? I want to say fault but come on, 10th recital! they aren't even doing anything different!
You get the point.
Responsibility on the other hand, is what you choose to do next. How you choose to respond to something once the fault has occurred. It's more like taking corrective measures to change what has occurred in order to make it better and preferably not repeat it again.
Next time you go drinking, maybe don't drink so much. Remind yourself how that hangover felt the other day. Have self discipline to refuse any more drinks. Don't lie to your partner the next time time you want to go out with friends. Tell your partner that you need some time with them to relax and unwind and that you will also take out time for your partner so they don't feel left behind. Better yet, take them with you. I'm sure he/she will appreciate the gesture. Maybe try and be present for your daughter for her recital, even if it seems boring to you. Do you remember how it felt when you were a child and your mom or dad didn't turn up for something you did? It hurt, right? Your daughter shouldn't have to feel the same. Be there for her. Appreciate her. She will definitely have a special corner for you in her little heart when she sees her parents beaming with pride in the audience.
Taking responsibility is accepting you may be wrong and finding ways to make it right.
It may not even be your fault at times but it is your responsibility to deal with it if that fault affects you. For instance, him/her cheating on you wasn't your fault. They probably have issues they need to deal with because cheating definitely can't be calming for one's conscience. But it is 100% your responsibility to look within to see if you drove them to cheat: Maybe you were distant? Maybe they felt unloved and unheard in the relationship? I'm in no way justifying the cheating. It is always going to be wrong. But it doesn't hurt to take initiative to find if you had a part to play in it. And if you didn't, it is still your responsibility to respect yourself enough to walk away and not accept such behavior in the future.
Taking responsibility helps you change the narrative the next time around. Helps avoid the same fights over and over again. Helps save the current relationship, or at least the new one, preventing it from turning out exactly like the one before.
All's Well That Ends Well? Not Necessarily
Throughout life, you will come across certain people and situations that will change you forever. This change is almost always for the good if you choose to learn from the problems that occurred.
However, the ones you learn from most aren't the ones that made you the happiest. It's usually the ones that made you feel the crappiest. In fact, it's those crappy conditions that, if used to most potential can help you grow phenomenally as a person and lead to the happiest moments of your life and also the lives of those who share those moments with you.
So, if you ever find yourself in a tiff of sorts, remember to consider the things in this article. Identify the fault. Do you have anything to do with it? Yes? Take responsibility and don't repeat it again. Not you fault? Maybe it's a good learning opportunity. Try and understand what the situation is trying to teach you and take responsibility to make it better.
The current condition might not end well but the ones after you chose to make changes definitely will. I hope this has been of help to you. Please do let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 poorvi