The Non-Fight Fight

I was in the middle of a post tonight when Mi.Vida and I got into a… fight? I’m not even sure what it was. Voices were not raised. Anger was not expressed. And yet I walked away from it emotionally exhausted. Of course I was already exhausted to begin with, which is probably why it never evolved into a real fight.

Sometimes we’re too tired even to fight. And those are the times I really worry about.

Our little… discussion, was about television. Such a dumb thing to “fight” over and yet, it’s basically the only thing we share outside of our children anymore. As such, it’s actually really important. So when we’re feeling like we can’t find any common ground when it comes to TV/movie watching, (and my inability to sit still and watch a whole movie starts pushing a wedge between us), it’s actually big, important stuff. I mean, if we can’t hang out in front of the TV effectively, we’re pretty much fucked.

This weekend was hard. Monito isn’t sleeping well because he has cold. Osita has the same cold and is an emotional mess because of it. Mi.Vida and I are exhausted from the lack of sleep and the constant attention our kids require. We muddled through the weekend, and did a pretty decent job of it. I even patted us on the back during dinner Sunday night for not going after each other despite so many opportunities to do so.

Maybe that is why we imploded over television, because we couldn’t keep all that tension bottled up any longer.

I don’t know. It just sucked. Sometimes I hate those cold, rational fights more than the big blow ups. There is something in the deliberate, calculated nature of them that makes me feel hopeless. If we can’t even conjure the energy to get passionate about the things that are important to us, is there anything left between us?

Or maybe we’re just better at fighting, and so we don’t lose control. On the one hand, I appreciate not regretting anything I said or did, the tone in my voice, etc. On the other hand, I feel more depressed after the cold fights than I do the firery ones. Maybe they just take some getting used to.

One thing I was proud of was recognizing when my own shame was rising up, making me want to say things I would have regretted. The fact that I can’t sit still for an entire movie, and that I struggle to follow even one hours TV programs that I want to be watching, is definitely a cause of shame for me. But I recognized that even before Mi.Vida brought it up (I knew he’d mention it, he always does) and I kept myself from jumping on him in an attempt to hide my shame. I guess in that way, the fight was a success.

Anyway, I’m sure we’re just tired, and eventually it will be okay. Life with two kids can be really hard, and some days are more challenging than others.

I just hope we get some decent sleep tonight. It’s going to be a long week at work, I don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

Do you find you and your partner having “cold” fights? Do you prefer them to the more heated blow ups?

6 responses

  1. My husband and I don’t really fight. We have what I call discussions. I don’t think we’ve ever had what most would call a blow up. I chalk it up to us meeting and starting our relationship in our mid thirties and that we both have calm personalities.
    It doesn’t really worry me though, I guess because we’ve never argued any other way.

  2. I hear you. I also can’t sit through much tv and hate most of my husbands shows. It bums him out, because there goes some together time. However, shows today are ridiculous – all an hour long, needing debriefs and re watching to figure out what happened. A show we have settled on is Modern Family. Hilarious, half an hour long and I can skip weeks and still know what’s going on. Beyond that he just has to accept tv is not my thing. Good luck!

  3. We have heated arguments. He picks a fight. I do the same. It’s better for our marriage to just throw it out there (no mean fighting) and see what happens. If not, I’ve learned if I bottle it up, I’m such a horrid bitch. And him…well he just has this resentment…which turns out to be bad for both of us. Better to just open our mouths.

    Look, I don’t like watching The History Channel (him) and he loathes me watching HGTV for hours upon end…so we compromise. I watch a little, say 30 minutes…him the same…and then we chat about it later. It helps us b/c we’re not ALWAYS talking about the kids or the house or what needs to be done. And seriously, I can’t take watching shows on Conspiracy Theories…but if I’m there, with a book or iPad, I’m OK. Good luck!

  4. I always feel like the cold fights will eventually lead to a big blow up so I’m generally filled with anxiety about when/where/why that will happen.

    As for tv, I can’t sit still for an entire movie either. I feel like there’s a hundred other things I should be doing and I get antsy. Have you tried something that keeps you busy but doesn’t completely distract you? Crocheting helps me greatly. Otherwise I’m jacking around on my phone the whole time. I hate tv.

  5. So my spouse doesn’t know how to have a loud fight at all which led to these really weird half-fights where I would want to shout and argue back and forth and my spouse shuts down and is all “I’m sorry I’m so terrible.” Since then we’ve moved on to where rarely we can have a two-sided argument or even a discussion about something we have different opinions about but not every time.
    Our TV solution is that one of us actually sits and watches and the other has given up on caring about the sitting and watching because there are some things that aren’t worth being fussed about. I knit and my spouse wanders and life happens. We have opted to pick our battles carefully and to let go of things we settled on before (either as areas to be changed or as areas where it isn’t worth trying to change). It sure isn’t easy to let go of things that bug us but we decided on it together so I make the effort to just let go if at all possible.

  6. I hope you get some more sleep soon.
    There is a kind of emotional release from the heated ones that you don’t get when your metacognitive about being rational and calm. I agree, is there something you can do with your hands while watching so you feel somewhat productive? Fold laundry? Actually my husband would say why can’t you just relax and do nothing but I think a lot of us identify with not being able to do that, unfortunately.

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