~Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Post-kickball, post-bar beers Abraham and I were tucked in his couch watching New Girl. Despite it being April, I draped a blanket over me and shivered. The show's current storyline revolves around Mr. Fancyman, played by Dermot Mulroney, who I've had a crush on since 1993 when he was in The Thing Called Love. I love these episodes.

In the current one Mr. (Sexy) Fancyman and Zoey Deschanel have their first fight. She'd been holding back since Mr. Fancyman said that's all he did with his ex-wife. But they finally fought and made up quickly and declared their relationship "real" because they were able to fight.

The whole scenario made me uneasy. It's an idea that had been rolling around in my head for the past couple of weeks. Abraham and I don't fight. We've never really come close. He's the world's most easygoing person, and his actions make me feel secure so I don't freak out on him.

But still. We don't fight. I tried to think back to what we talk about. Is it all superficial? I don’t think so.

I looked up at Abraham and asked him why we didn’t fight. “Do you think our relationship isn’t real?” I asked, referencing the episode.

He looked at me strangely, like this was the most ridiculous thing I've ever said. “You’re listening to TV. Stop listening to TV.”

I think it was more than that though. Someone once told me, “You equate tearing you down with love. If it's not a battle, you don't think it's real because it's too easy.” And I think I still have a flicker of that mentality. At least I realize it’s there and it’s unhealthy.

He offered to fight with me if it would make me feel better.

I imagined fighting with Abraham, and it was like all my previous fights: yelling, the tension, not speaking to each other, not knowing where we stood. I didn’t like it. Just the idea made me sick with anxiety.

“I don’t want to fight,” I announced to him. I shrank into the curve of his body.

Abraham dismissively laughed at me.

“We went seven months without one. Do you think we can go seven more?”

Abraham shrugged. To go 14 months without a fight would be nothing short of historic in my world. The only other boyfriend I went this long without fighting was my first love, and I think it was the fact we were protected in the college bubble and he drove up to see me on the weekends that kept us worry-free.

I have to trust that when we do inevitably fight, Abraham won’t back me up against the wall and physically intimidate me, like S. He won’t be incredibly immature and call me a bitch and declare “I don’t love girls; girls are stupid,” like Christopher. I doubt Abe would even raise his voice (I do. You aren’t listening to me so I am going to TALK LOUDER.) I have to trust Abraham and trust that we are healthy enough to work things out without escalation.

But I can still cross my fingers for seven more uninterrupted months, right?


Abbi said...

I think it really shows your compatibility. If you have been intentionally holding something back that truly bothered you because you were concerned it would cause a fight, THAT is unhealthy. But if you have nothing to fight about, why make it more complicated?

Sandra said...

For what it's worth, I have been with my boyfriend (who is wonderful, and who I moved in with a few months ago) for...I guess it's 15 months now(!)...and we haven't had a fight yet. There have been a few times where things came up that brought up some of my crap from the past, which prompted hard (for me -- he was great about them) conversations -- but those weren't fights. Just talks about things that popped up, which resulted in better understanding, etc.

Anyway. I don't think it means your relationship isn't real at all; I think it means that both of you aren't going to fight over stuff that just doesn't mattet.

Dawn said...

The important part of having a fight, from what I've learned, is the art (and it is an art, I've also learned) of fighting fair.

You will eventually have a fight. That's inevitable, at some point, and as long as you both fight fair, you'll resolve your differences and carry on.

What's NOT fighting fair? Bringing up old issues, for one. Argue the fight, not everything else that's ever bugged you.

PS. "He's the world's most easygoing person" -- is this old married broad allowed to be jealous? Too bad -- I am.

Bathwater said...

You've been together for seven months, THAT is the part I can't believe.. where has the time gone. I don't find it hard to believe you haven't fought.

Angela said...

I must admit that I was wondering if you ever fought, but I didn't want to ask. Not that there's anything wrong, it just sounds so nice - I know of a few couples who don't fight much at all, and one couple who were disturbed because they found themselves snipping at each other (only to realize that they were about to be separated - they were from different countries - and that was behind the upset, not each other).

I'm envious, but in a good way. :) It's just nice to hear that you're so happy.

Msh3ll said...

I've been with my boyfriend for almost 5.5 years and we've fought, of course there will be things to fight about.. the fights have NEVER been yelling back and forth if they were, I'd end it right there.
I also know that if the fight turns personal or insulting, then it's time to go.

However, I always keep an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S in mind, I think it was Monica and Chandler who had their first fight and Chandler thought they were breaking up, Monica explained to him that if they gave up after every fight, nobody would be in a relationship (there was an "AH-HA" moment for both of them there).

Make-up sex is the best, too. :)

Brooke @ RuralGoneUrban.com said...

I thought the exact same thing while watching this episode! I think your'e compatabilitiy and the timing of your relationship plays an important role.

The, uhm, man in my life and I haven't fought either yet. Previous relationships would say this isn't "real" either; however, this version of real is so much better.

Sarah said...

You know, I have been with my guy 4 and a half years and we dont fight... doesnt mean we always agree - but we have this balance where we are able to talk it out instead of yelling. Fighting isnt what all people do - particularly laid back ones.

Mommy! said...

I think it's also good to point out that you can have disagreements with each other without "fighting." There's a big difference between the two. My husband and I rarely "fight," but we disagree a fair amount of time. Also, when we do fight, it's usually over stuff we've let build up, rather than disagreeing about and discussing at the time. Just don't be afraid to share how you truly feel about something just to avoid the confrontation because I think that's where a lot of "fights" begin.


Later Loser said...

Thing called love is one of my favorite movies and no one has ever seen it! Further, i watched that same episode and similarly freaked out because the guy im dating and i (5 months) never fight and everything is just so easy and quiet and nice- i started worrying that we had no passion since all of my past relationships are full of turmoil and tension and well, passion. That said, a friend of mine once said that the dif btwn her husband and all of her other bfs was that he never intentionally made her cry- one of the most valuable tidbits ive heard!

Lilly said...

"He offered to fight with me if it would make me feel better."
Omg, Sarah, that was hilarious.

Love what the above commenter said about her friend, he never intentionally made her cry.

I would think one of the hardest things to be able to do, now, would be to bring something up that you're afraid could rock the boat. That's where trust in him is going to come in and from what I've read, he's earned that trust. Trust in the communication process with him, he seems to be good at it. :)

Unknown said...

My husband of 7 years, who I've been with for 10...we've had maybe 3 fights. It is about fighting fair, and explaining yourself without getting overly emotional.

Brittany said...

Totally related to your post here. About equating love with being torn down, about relationships with men being full of intense, dramatic, emotionally draining fights. I know I personally catch myself just waiting for the shoe to drop now, waiting for that moment where the relationship turns and becomes just like every other one. I don't want to fight either, so why does something feel off when we aren't fighting?

Sarah said...

These are probably my favorite comments ever. Such valuable perspective! I wish I had something wise to contribute.

The Mad Inscriber said...

Fighting is overrated. Honesty, communication, compromise - there are couples who accomplish all these good things with very few actual fights. (Not, as it happens, the Mrs and me, but I don't think we are more "real" because of that particular detail. We're just cantankerous. And of course - we fight fair.)


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