My boyfriend and I fight. We actually argue quite a lot. What do we fight about? Everything from David’s obsession with time (The guy counts every minute and I like to think of time as negotiable.) to my over-sensitivity (or David’s guy insensitivity) to future plans, to different view points, and a combination of big and small things that trigger two very debate ready people.

I remember one conversation we had several months ago that went…

Yasmin: How do you feel about us and the progress of our relationship?
David: (silence)
Yasmin: (glances at David in anticipation)
David: (silence)
Yasmin: Can you answer my question?
David: (silence, staring blankly ahead as if he just hit something with his car)
Yasmin: Are you okay? Did I say something wrong?
David: I like to think things through before I answer to avoid saying something wrong
Yasmin: Well maybe you could tell me your thinking so I don’t assume I said something wrong!

Before you know it, we were arguing! It was a simple conversation that led to much more. We’ve had more serious discussions of course, but I just wanted to show how me asking and David not saying anything can lead to a fight simply because we have different approaches. Truth is, we all do things differently. I mean girls compared to guys are so different already. Us girls are way more emotional, and do things with a lot of feelings involved, where as with guys it’s a bit more black and white. David needs to get used to the fact that I am a little emotional and sensitive, and want everything to be good all the time and everyone to be happy and talk through things, and I need to get used to the fact that David is very organized and structured with his thoughts, which may make him seem a little cold towards me at times, but in fact he is absorbing the information and planning how he will address this question properly, then I must prepare myself for a blunt and honest answer (no sugar coating there).

But the reality is All couples fight. Sometimes we see a couple that seem cute together or the perfect combination and we think everything about them is perfect. Nothing can be further from the truth. We often find an ideal couple that we admire and would like to emulate, only to be surprised to learn about their own challenges. This actually shouldn’t be the case. All relationships have challenges, and the simple reason is because it’s made up of two people with egos, differences, and shortcomings. A good article to read about how everything is flawed is by David’s brother Joseph.

Given that everyone fights, and David and I seem to have a lot of experience here in the months we’ve been going out, I’m writing a helpful guide on how you, should you get into a fight with your partner, fight properly.

To fight properly simply means to fight in a way that brings you closer to what’s most important instead of further away because of pride and hurt. To win after all means to end up with something better. Are we really better off if we end up proving our side but losing each other?

Here are 3 simple points to remember when fighting:
1. Fight for each other more than you fight against each other
2. Don’t Do Anything While You’re Angry That You’ll Regret When You’re Calm (Part 2)
3. Get Good at Forgiving Not Fighting (Part 3)

Let’s start with number 1: Fight for each other more than you fight against each other.

Do you ever get asked why or how you had started an argument, and then you can’t remember!?

This happens to David and I, and I’m quite confident it happens to many others.

Or…

Do you get into serious arguments that seem to unearth a haunted house of ghosts popping up from the past, unexpected attacks that come from nowhere, as we fire past actions at each other for guilt trips, or fire feeling based emotional words at each other that may have nothing to do with the topic at all? These moments are what get us confused and wondering what we were even talking about before the argument begun.

This is why it’s really important to stick to the topic, and address the true issue properly to avoid this. I have to admit this is hard for me because my mind journey’s on its own towards all sorts of conclusions. This is also why it’s important to remember this first point:

Fight for each other more than you fight against each other.

Since you’ll be fighting anyway, fight your pride, fight your hurt, fight your need to be right, and let love win. This is much easier said than done. It’s super hard for me being very sensitive and David who is the most intense person I’ve ever met.  Fight those worldly habits that make us selfish, prideful and unwilling to learn. Focus on God and his teachings…

If we spend more time fighting to understand each other our relationship will get stronger. If we fight our accusations and encourage, we will build each other up instead of tear down. Battling each other to prove who is right and who is wrong can be counterproductive at some point, especially when the reason of the fight in the first place has been muddied.

I came across this verse and really want to make it real in my life:

“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”- Ephesians 4:2-3

Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Sometimes to have peace, we need to fight the elements that hurt that peace. In our relationships, pride is usually the culprit and we need to make every effort to win against it.

Part 2 coming soon!