One of the biggest things that has transformed in our marriage over the past 17 years has been the way we FIGHT!
I remember the early years. Fights would always last so long and I would end up having an asthma attack and plugged into my breathing machine by the end. (No, I’m not exaggerating! It’s sad, but true.)
Have we ever gone to marriage therapy? No. It’s been a personal development journey. I actively seek out relationship tools.
Brené Brown’s book “Rising Strong” gave me vocabulary to explain why and how to fight more productively. She coined the term, “Confabulations.” (I LOVE this word!) It refers to the stories you make up in your head.
We’ve all been there… Something happens between the 2 of you. Then we make up a story in our head to help make sense of it. The dangerous part is….it’s usually not true! Thus, you end up fighting about bull shit. And sometimes in the middle of the fight you realize you’re fighting about bull shit, but now you cant stop. Why? Because of the confabulation and habitual patterns.
So…the trick is….to start acknowledging and owning the stories you’re making up in your head. The truth is much easier to grapple with! Then apologize….even if you think you’re right!
When you remember you’re on the same team, you let go of winning the fight. After all, maintaining a long, happy marriage IS winning…so this way, you BOTH end up on top!
PS – Brene Brown has a podcast called “Unlocking Us,” that has been crazy valuable in helping me level up my interpersonal relationship skills during our quarantine period. You can find it via any podcast platform.