Is Fighting The Answer To Understanding?

Disagreements-perceptions-and-realities

What do you do when everything you thought you wanted is everything that you now cannot stand?  Where do you go from there?  Sure, this is why people always say ‘the grass is greener on the other side’, but if it never really is then why try anymore?  If this is as good as it gets why try?  I have thought about so much in the last year.  My brain has been in overdrive and it can be exhausting.

I used to think that I knew what I wanted from my life.  I wanted to be happily married with a beautiful woman who was strong, independent, and was irresistibly attracted to me and me irresistibly attracted to her.  I wanted to be better off than my parents (not really a stretch there), but also comfortable.  I wanted two children, one boy and one girl.  I wanted them to be happy, healthy, and popular without stepping on people to get there.  I wanted to be in a career that would make me happy.  One that I wanted to go to everyday and made me feel like I was making a difference in this crazy world.

I know all of this seems Utopian, but it doesn’t seem too unrealistic to me.  In fact, most people who know me would argue that I have all of these things.  For the most part I don’t disagree, but still I feel something is missing and I cannot put my finger on it.  There is something still missing from my life that I know should be there.  So what is missing?  What is leaving me with this feeling?  I wish I knew.

I wonder if it could be the sense of bliss I thought would come with having these things.  That by getting all these things I would somehow feel complete.  I would have a sense of peace and I could sit back and enjoy my life.  I never thought that I would have to fight and work for every tiny bit of this.  I thought I might have a feeling of accomplishment, but instead I have a sense of failure at every turn.  Instead I feel I have lost who I am (if I ever really knew).  I continually look at what I “should have” or “could have” and see these as failures.  Every failure seems like an point for the demons of my past I continually fight, yet every success seems like only a fraction of a point.  It becomes so daunting of a task to keep fighting, knowing that I can never keep up with the number of failures, that I wonder why even try.  Yet, somehow I get up every morning.

Does everyone feel like this?  Or do some people actually feel like they have made it in life?  They are happy with everything they have and know that they have achieved everything they are going to achieve.  They can just go about each day just living.  They can enjoy each day and each moment without wondering whether or not they are succeeding or failing.  They look at the sunset and see the beauty of it rather than the end of another day of mediocrity.  They feel energized and full of life each morning instead of running down the list of things to do and knowing that no matter how you do them it will not be good enough.

I know this sounds like a distorted view of life based on what we are conditioned to believe our lives should be, but is it really all that distorted.  Why do we have such high rates of mental illness?  Why do we have complete fake lives on social media?  We show the good and flaunt the great.  We make our lives look perfect in the eyes of everyone else.  Yet, all this really does is add to the problem because while you do it on your social media accounts you don’t believe that everyone else does the same thing on theirs.

It was a problem that was deeply rooted in my marriage before day one.  It is one of the things you fight by getting married at a young age.  You have to fight the perception that you are not getting married at too young of an age.  Everyone wishes you well but is also taking bets on the side wondering when it will fall apart.  I know my parents did not believe that my marriage would amount to anything.  They didn’t think it would last.  I am sure her parents had similar thoughts.  Although I do believe that they wished for the best, where as my parents wished for it demise.  I worked hard to make sure everything was good in our marriage.  All appearances showed a happy healthy couple.   Every time there is a setback it seems like you are adding credence to their opinion that we would never make it. It is a stereo type you fight when marriages seem to last months.  In fact, both my wife’s brother and my sister both were married and divorced in less than a year (separate marriages) and both married very young.

I know this has kept me from learning how to have disagreements with my wife.  I want to succeed and disagreements with my wife would be a step toward failure.  I think we both thought this up until recently, but I was by far the bigger culprit.  Why fight when I can just change my behavior slightly to avoid the conflict?  To me growing up, any disagreement led to something physical.  It may be a fight with my siblings where we physically fought each other or it may be my parents taking exception to what we are fighting about and going after us.  I  have not seen healthy arguments modeled in my life.  We never knew that the healthiest relationships have disagreements.  We each need to fight for ourselves because deep down we should know that is who our partner fell in love with, not the person morphing to their every whim.  I am not afraid of losing it and physically attacking my wife.  I know I will never go down that path because of who I am today, but how do you change over 20 years of accommodation?  How do you fight for something you want when in reality you don’t know what it is that you really want?  How do you fight when you know in the end it will not change anything?

The key is empathy and understanding.  I used to think arguing and fighting were things you did to get your own way.  You fought for things that you wanted and kept fighting until you got them.  It was how I was raised.  I only got something if I fought for it and won.  I had to learn very early on which battles to choose to fight and which ones were not worth fighting.  In a relationship I think it is different, and even though I am not there yet, I think I am beginning to understand.  The disagreements are about letting the other person know how you feel about the topic.  It may not change anything but at least they will understand and can empathize with your side.  The disagreement can allow you to let out frustrations so your partner knows what you are going through.  There may not be anything you can do about them, but at least they will understand what you are going through.

I know right now I am often an enigma to my wife.  She can see something behind my eyes but not know what it means and not know how to help or even if she can help.  I don’t see a reason to tell her because there is nothing she can do, so why make her worry when I can do it by myself.  I am focused on actions and results, winning.  If I wasn’t, I might understand that she may want to just understand what I am going through, not to take up some of my burden, but to understand me as a person, a spouse, a man.  I am only beginning to recognize this and it is difficult.  It is like opening a door that should remain locked at all time or bad things will happen.  Yet, I am trying.  I have been told to stop being an island and share what is behind my eyes.  I am trying but it is difficult.  It is difficult and we have not even came across a topic to have a disagreement about.  I am not sure how that is going to go and am terrified to find out.

 

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About bac4sccr

I am just a run of the mill, ever day father/husband who is just trying to navigate my way back to where I want to be. Unfortunately there isn't an "Easy" button or a "Reset" button or I would be hitting them repeatedly. This is just my journey from my perspective.
Aside | This entry was posted in Coffee Affair, February 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Is Fighting The Answer To Understanding?

  1. Miss Evelyn says:

    I don’t think humans have any definite knowledge of how relationships work. I do think as long as both parties are willing to work towards the misunderstandings it can work. As for fighting, my parents fought all the time. So I thought to myself if they didn’t fight the relationship would be fine. So I kept quiet, did everything my husband wanted without question. I thought that was the solution to a happy relationship. And now? We have arguments and it’s only because I started thinking about myself. What does this tell me?

    Liked by 1 person

    • bac4sccr says:

      They should write a manual on marriage and the key is not losing who you are and being able to communicate your wants and needs and fight for them in your relationship. I think a lot of people end up like us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Evelyn says:

        I think finding out who you are first is the key. If you don’t know who you are how do you know what you ever want in a partner, let alone a relationship. Yes, there should be a manual but would you want to be a follower ?

        Liked by 1 person

        • bac4sccr says:

          So true. I couldn’t say I know who I am but maybe I could when I got married. I am not sure. I would read the manual and then only pick pieces I thought might be helpful and disregard everything else as fluff.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I think life is a journey of self-discovery. I don’t see you as a failure at all. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to write about your struggles as a man and husband, about your failures, and to admit that you do not have all the answers. We all have regrets, but that does not mean those things are failures. We all learn as we go. The best we can do is learn from our mistakes and move forward. Don’t beat yourself up with “could have,” “should have,” or “if only.” Learn from those things but don’t let them define you or make you think of yourself as a failure.

    Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Your marriage is worth the work it takes. I think you have learned some valuable lessons and have come to realize that understanding, compassion, and empathy are essential in a marriage. You will disagree about many things; it does not mean one of you is wrong and one of you is right. What’s important is what you said–letting your feelings and thoughts be known so that she can better understand you. She won’t be able to “fix” things, but she does want to understand you. Compassion, empathy and understanding that are demonstrated during a disagreement are signs that a marriage is healthy. Disagreements do not equal failure, unless the disagreements involve hurling insults and hurtful words at each other. Working through the inevitable disagreements with understanding and empathy is a strength of your marriage. It will actually help you have a successful and happy marriage.

    In our marriages, we live and learn. We have to learn how to communicate with our spouse and overcome what we may or may not have learned from our parents. I had to learn how to communicate with my husband and to make my feelings and needs known in way that was respectful. My parents never argued in front of us, so my sisters, brother and I were all stunned when they announced they were divorcing. My husband also comes from a broken home. We both had to unlearn negative ways of communicating.

    You will spend the rest of your life discovering who you are and what is valuable to you. I think you are realizing what is valuable to you, or you wouldn’t be expressing yourself so honestly in this blog. I respect your willingness to ask yourself the hard questions to which there are no easy answers and to examine yourself to see how you can change and improve who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. emmagc75 says:

    This is a good thing. You’re much closer to knowing what it is you do need. My husband is same way about disagreeing n arguing. Always thought it should be avoided at all costs. So he wouldn’t tell me when he was upset, angry or even just disappointed. As you can imagine that built up a LOT of hidden anger n resentment that I knew nothing about. Now he tells me much more, even if it means a disagreement. When your wife is wondering, all you have to do is tell her while she’s not imagining it, you don’t really know what’s wrong. It’s the SECRET feelings that scare the crap out of a betrayed spouse. As long as we know we aren’t imagining things, we can breathe n wait lol. Hugs! Oh n you seem clinically depressed sometimes my friend. Might want to talk to your dr about meds k?

    Liked by 1 person

    • bac4sccr says:

      I completely get what you are saying. My wife and I have had that discussion, I need to tell her something is bothering me even if I don’t know what it is. I am trying to get off my island but it is difficult. Sometimes I don’t recognize that something is bothering me until she points it out. I just block it well enough it doesn’t register.

      As for me being depressed….I thought I was doing much better. Maybe it is me blocking it all out again or more correctly locking it deep inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marquessa says:

    Life is such a delicate balance that we spend our lives trying to conquer…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thornheart says:

    I’m reading this and all I can hear is my ex’s voice ( I was the mistress of a married man up to recently). And all I can say is don’t have to lose what you have before you appreciate it. I know it’s frustrating. Maybe you started looking to things and people for your happiness when you won’t find it unless you truly are happy by yourself. Another woman, the thrill of the 1st meeting and 1st kiss etc is just a distraction to the real problem. U do have it all. START SHARING EVERYTHING WITH YOUR WIFE! You have no idea how much it would help u not to be alone…

    Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      I don’t know if it is possible anymore. I stopped everything except marriage counseling. I stopped writing, individual counseling, talking, chatting, emailing other people.

      Why? It only leaves her as my only outlet. Unfortunately another option is to crawl inside myself and pretend it will all be okay. Guess which option I chose?

      Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      Sorry for venting at you. You are right I just need to share things with my wife. You just caught me on a bad day in a bad moment. All those thrills were just distractions, but now the problems are out in the open it seems harder because while the solution seems simple, it never really is. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thornheart says:

        I was never offended at your comment. I understand. I truly do. There was a time that you were in love with that woman. U are very capable of feeling that way again. Love is a decision, not a feeling. Decide to love her. make that choice to choose her every single day. I believe you can get back there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jay says:

    waiting on your return!!!

    Like

  7. Fighting well takes so much hard work. Such an odd thing to say, I know. In my head, I know so many of the keys to good, healthy conflict. “I feel” statements. Keeping emotions in check. Using words to communicate. Trying to understand the other person’s needs and to communicate yours. Flexibility / willingness to compromise. But it is hard, because you are not the only person in that conflict. Sometimes, you may be trying to resolve issues with an irrational partner, or one who only wants to “win,” or one who is not as well-versed in the rules of healthy conflict. Sometimes, those darned emotions that we try to hold inside creep out and muddy the waters. Sometimes we stop fighting and shut down (as I used to), lock the door, walk away. Then the Thing that caused the conflict just keeps coming back, creating more conflict. *Sigh* Too bad we can’t all receive conflict management training at school throughout our formative years. Maybe squeezed somewhere between math and history.

    Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      What you are asking is that we all be emotionally intelligent and be somewhat rational. That just seems like a bad idea. Think of what it would do to the economy. Crime would go down leading to less police needed, fewer prisons and judicial officials. We would need less counseling and the need for medication would decrease. It would start a while new great depression except we wouldn’t be depressed.

      All jokes aside, I know this is one of my biggest issues. I don’t fight, period. Which leads to unresolved issues and a build up of feelings. None of which are good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 True. Not engaging in conflict at all seems so ideal on one level, yet I know that it isn’t always the healthiest option, either. I really dislike conflict, confrontations, and dealing with heightened emotions, so my instinct is to disengage. I did that a lot with my ex, who was usually the emotional one during conflicts, often cycling through a seemingly chaotic combination of pleading, attempts to negotiate, and angry threats all in one confrontation. I just wanted to hide and wait out the storm, not fight. But disengaging, while at times useful, can mean never getting what you want or need from the situation, or unresolved issues that fester inside of us, and maybe come out in other, even less healthy ways.

        Like

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