All is fair in love and war. Famous words to live and die by. Love can be war and sometimes all you can hope to do is survive with a tie. Unless you are a male, then just expect that you will probably lose even though you are so sure that you have it won.
Technically, our brains are the same in that we all have one but our chemical make-up determines if we operate logistically or like a lunatic. When in the fight or flight mode of a good fight, common sense and rationale typically do not prevail. Our mouths spit fire and venom before our processing center even has a chance to catch up and like my father-in-law always says, “Words are like bullets and you can’t un-fire a gun.”
Sometimes the arguing is calculating and we re-release past transgressions in order to try to hurt the other person to make them feel small. Double Jeopardy states that you cannot be tried for the same charges in the same case. So if you have paid your dues for any violation, it becomes irrelevant. In fighting however, something you did four years ago somehow becomes valid to a completely contradictory set of circumstances. But is that really fair?
Unless two people are stubborn as can be, someone will usually cave and apologize, agree to disagree or just throw up the white flag and say, “You were right”. No one likes to lose a fight, no matter how big or insignificant it may be. Admitting that you were at fault for starting said fight or just plain wrong is a blow to anyone’s ego. Secretly we all tally our wins and losses even though we like to think we don’t keep track and then reassure our significant other once it’s done, it’s done. But is it?
Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you inferior without your consent. While that is certainly true if you are innocent, it is easier said than done to not internalize or take offense to what is being said towards us. Conversely, why is it that we have an opportunity to choose our words carefully, those words are chosen with the end result being a direct hit?
The only real fair fight is the one where the facts of what is current are being discussed. If you made a wrong turn that caused you to be late, that is the only thing that is of concern. If your partner added fuel to the fire by attacking your character, that should be thrown out immediately. That is not fair and is uncalled for. If you responded to your wrong turn by insulting your partner, that too is out of line. Stick to the here and now. Remember, you may win or lose a fight but you never want to do it at the cost of someone else’s respect.
She Said (Originally Written July 19th – Accountability)
We are all responsible for our own behavior. No matter how much we want how we act, to be someone else’s fault. No one can make us do anything. We are in control of ourselves; or are we? If I make you happy, you respond with kindness right? If I make you mad, you respond with anger right? Are your reactions on me or on you? When you are angry does that mean you no longer love someone? How many times do you need to feel happy in order to act happy around a certain person? Can we change someone who responds with the exact opposite of the elicited response we are looking for? Probably not. Know why? Cause we are all in charge of ourselves it seems until we do something that makes us feel totally vulnerable whether it’s good or bad and then we want to place blame elsewhere.
What ever happened to accountability? When you hit a kid on the playground, your mother would punish you, make you go and apologize and you felt like crap. Now a day’s, you can kill people and blame it on something or someone else and it’s socially acceptable. What ever happened to stripping yourself down to the barebones and just admitting you screwed up? I do it all the time; screw up that it. Life isn’t perfect and neither are any of us, but it doesn’t mean you give up on life. Why is it we are so quick to give up on people? Relationships, although there are a ton of books out there, really come with no instructions. Everyone is making the best of their own fucked up situation and what works for some, surely is not going to work for all, but Jesus stop being a quitter!
Yes, there is a time to draw the hard line in the sand. Maybe your significant other cheats, lies, gambles, stays out all night, is verbally abusive all of which are things that may bring you to a point where quitting is your best option for self preservation. But what about when you are the one with the issues? What if you can’t control your temper, or you’re controlling or jealous or immature? What if you can’t keep it in your pants or you swoon for every guy that buys you a drink? Maybe then it could also be time to throw in the towel.
But what if you just love someone, love them so much and have zero ability to express it. The words come out wrong, the niceties get all jumbled up and the romantic gestures are fumbled due to your own lack of self esteem. Is that grounds for giving up? For quitting? What if all the things you are experiencing that keep turning things upside down for you are all manageable? What if it took just a little self reflection or looking inward? Would you do it? You might question if your partner if worth that, the bigger question is: do you think you’re worth that? You very well may be with someone who isn’t suited for you. You may love them deeply, but you are always on separate pages. Maybe you just don’t work, but maybe you’re so quick to give up, to run and hide, to protect yourself for fear of being hurt or hurting the one you love that you shut down, then you’ll never really know if you work or not.
Hold yourself accountable. For how you act, how you treat others, how you express yourself. If you’ve wronged someone, own it and not just in an empty apology, but really own it. “The best apology is changed behavior.” That takes guts and hard work. I know because I try very hard to be self aware. I have wronged many people with my snake tongue. I have hurt people, left people, cut people off without explanation. I have broken hearts and shattered dreams and I don’t like any of it. I feel horrible for all of it. I feel downright rotten sometimes, but I try my best to learn from my mistakes and not make excuses for them. Did I have reasons? Of course. Does that matter? Not really. Hurting people you love sucks, no matter which way you slice it. Being hurt by someone you love can almost rip the breath right out of you. All of us are flawed, all of us are responsible for someone’s smile and someone’s tears.
Congratulate yourself on those you make smile Apologize wholeheartedly to those you have hurt. In the end, what matters is the type of human being you want to be, not your fear or your pride or your ego. Be accountable to yourself and for yourself. Because as I’ve said many times; Love is worth it. You are worth it.
Fighting fair…is there such a thing? You tell us!!
2 thoughts on “He Said / She Said – Fighting Fair”
Very well written. I had some severe issues that I had to tackle head on in my early to late twenties, like you say, no reason to give up and accept failure! 🙂
Like Liked by 1 person
Here’s the thing: the examined life is hard. It’s very hard. Few people have the stomach for it and even fewer guys will do it.
Like Liked by 1 person