Life Hack for Overcoming Depression: Don’t fight

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I saw a television show one time in which they interviewed a man who had been married for fifty years. They asked him what his secret was, and in the straighforward, no-nonsense way that cute old people often have, he said, “Don’t fight.”

I have never forgotten that advice.

A lot of relationship gurus will tell you that it’s important to fight.

I don’t agree.

It’s important to talk about things, especially your feelings, but it is my opinion that most of the time, if you’re fighting a lot, you’re with the wrong person.

Or, maybe, *you’re* the wrong person.

And you need to get right.

But if you are not the wrong person, and not doing something wrong, consistently, and not seeing it, and not acknowledging it, and not wanting to apologize for it, and you are constantly just trying to make things okay and aren’t even sure what you are fighting about . . . you’re probably with the wrong person.

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5 comments

  1. I think expressing anger can be important because resentment will kill a relationship like nothing else, however attitude is everything. Most often what seems like a big deal isn’t so bad the next day. So instead of fighting over the little stuff, sleeping it off is a better way to go, unless there is a deeper conflict that won’t just blow over with a little space and a little rest.

  2. Great post! I completely agree with you here. I recall the fighting in my long-ago past, with a partner who thought it was normal, common. ‘Everybody fights’. I knew deeply that was not true for me. My long wait for my right partner has me now living with a husband who is calm, zen-like, quick to laughter, slow (if ever) to anger – which shows as a furrowing of his brows! I adore this calm man and cherish his love. I am so glad I knew better and waited for the One. There is no need to fight. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Calm ourself before broaching the topic, then speak calmly and in “I” statements, of how I am feeling, how I felt, etc. No matter how big, how important the subject that needs to be discussed and understood, there is no need for a raised voice. If we feel we have to shout because we feel unheard, we need to calmly breathe, come back later, and come at the topic from another angle. Or – like you so wisely put it here – get out and find the right partner. Sorry for the long comment! I adore your post Mollie, and it has got me going! Hugs, Gina

  3. I agree with you. I believe that it is most certainly important to discuss your feelings with your partner, especially if there is something particular bothering you. The key is to be comfortable enough with each other and know each other well enough to be able to have a calm and civil conversation. Fighting is not the answer. Typically fights are full of anger, blame, or other negative emotions. It’s not constructive and it only adds to the hurt that the problem created. Nothing good can come from a fight, but a conversation can be enlightening.

  4. Mollie,
    Thanks. My marriages are mirrors of that statement (that whole post). I was not perfect, and will admit that to the world (just did!), however, I tried and tried and, finally, knew it had to stop. Now, I just want to learn to choose better (am learning) and my best choice for now is…not to choose.
    Scott

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