This is How We Fight

Karen has some great advice on fighting (the right way to have a dialogue, how to communicate, etc.), which I will definitely share, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how Alek and I “fight” and how much I appreciate the 5 Ground Rules for Fighting that we set up when we first met.

I vividly remember when we created these Ground Rules. It was the first night that I was officially living in the Chocolate Loft. We had just left Sunday dinner with my family and we were driving downtown. And I don’t know how the conversation started, but we started telling our sordid tales of fights past.

And at the time the conversation was pretty light hearted, like “Oh yeah? Well, get a load of THIS ONE.” We thought it was funny. Sad, but funny. At the same time, we had just barely met and I think we were both a little hesitant like “Well, you SEEM cool right now, but you could still turn out to be a total whack job.”

And we both seemed to be thinking the same thing…. so we decided right then and there, whether we turned out to be total whack jobs or not, that we

Ten minutes later we had established the 5 Rules of Fighting and we’ve never looked back.

Rule 1
You have 24 hours to bring up something otherwise you are not allowed to be mad about it. Ever.
Rule 2
Once the issue has been resolved, you are not allowed to bring it up again, unless it keeps occurring. No harboring. No surprises. No randomly bringing up shit that happened six months or six years ago. Bring it up now, when it’s small, and let it go. (Karen always says: “Let them know, then let it go.”)
Rule 3
If you are bringing up an issue in the moment that it’s happening and other people are around, you are not allowed to make a “scene.” It should be handled appropriately so as not to totally embarrass the other person. Because that’s just mean.
Rule 4
No screaming. Ever.
Rule 5
No silent treatment*. Ever. 
*This rule also covers walking out the door without saying where you’re going or when you’re going to be back, which is essentially the silent treatment. And the silent treatment is pure evil. Really.

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