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I Don’t Feel Bad About Fighting in Front of the Kids

I’m suspicious of couples that claim they never fight. These people are either a) lying, or b) unicorns. My husband and I fight. I wish we didn’t, but both of us are way too stubborn for that.

I get annoyed that he never knows where anything is.
He finds it grating when I immediately ask for help before attempting to fix my computer.
He thinks I micro-manage our kids’ wardrobes.
I think it would be nice if he put the baby in a matching pair of socks, just once.

We didn’t always fight. For almost the entire first year of our relationship, nary a terse word was exchanged. When we started to fight, I was mystified. What happened to the sweet love we shared? The love was still there but real life entered our cocoon of romance. For the first time, we had to manage decisions more difficult than where to have brunch. As a friend told me, “Of course you’re going to fight with your partner. You are two people sharing one life.”

And life is messy, especially now that we’re parents. And when we’re low on sleep, and a sea of baby dolls and puzzle pieces has turned our living room into a field of booby traps, there’s competition for resources. Translation: We don’t always use our polite flight attendant voices when we have a conflict. So yes, sometimes we fight in front of our kids. There are a lot of things I feel guilty about as a mom, but fighting with my husband isn’t one of them. Here’s why… click here to read the rest on Your Tango

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  1. I would say that we have a fairly open manner of working through conflict. To some extent, it is a sign of relational strength to work through issues in front of others. It used to make people uncomfortable to be around our processing until they figured out that there are indeed certain real tensions that we just know not to bring up since they are actually sensitive or hurtful issues. The others, those that come from the daily grind, we do try to address on the spot, regardless of those around us. That includes the kids. We too have so little time to waste in working through little annoyances come bedtime. But most importantly, I think it is crucial for the kids to learn how to care for their closest relationships, even when our model is so imperfect. It gives them space for fail at conflict too and not run from it. Let’s be honest, we all have at least one flight attendant friend and you can see the impact of not addressing conflict in freedom and openly.

    • “Little time to waste.” Yes!!! I think that’s probably one of the biggest challenges- if not THE biggest- as far as maintaining a relationship once kids enter the picture.

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