The Good Fight

6.26.00 - 7.2.00

What of the time when you experience misunderstandings, miscommunications and general relationship mayhem? Those moments when you and your partner miss the mark on melding your thoughts, emotions and desires? How do you make the fighting stand for something, while keeping your relationship intact? Learning to fight the good fight is an art; an act of will and discipline and even love.

The value of fighting within a relationship is under-rated. Many people prefer to keep the peace. But in modern partnerships, pushing down your honest feelings and opinions can lead to a cancerous situation between lovers. There is just too much individual freedom for this type of strategy to work over time. When someone in a relationship believes that their opinion isnt valued or welcome, or that the relationship is too volatile for them to be able to express themselves freely, oftentimes that person begins to seek out supportive, emotional relationships beyond their primary union, which can be far more disastrous than a good fight. Weve all heard some experts and veterans of marriage state that lying in marriage can be a positive thing, because you just dont need to tell your spouse the whole truth. Well, the whole truth is one thing, but being honest is a must.

Simply stated, the truth is often comprised of the raw, base and ugly bones that make up our innermost thoughts and feelings about a certain topic. Sometimes we cannot even face this truth because of its searing invigoration that can result in the dislocation of our concocted reality. The truth lacks compromise. Honesty, however, is more circumspect, cautious and compassionate with regard to disclosure. For instance, a man can see a beautifully sensual woman, looking at her with wonder and lust. If his girlfriend or wife asks about his wandering eye, the man might say that he only has eyes for his mate, because he knows the full value of his partnership. He is being honest. But the truth might be that if he was offered ten minutes with the beautiful stranger, with the guarantee that no one would ever find out about his unfaithfulness, he would jump at the chance to experience this forbidden, unbounded pleasure. Likewise, if a gal is out with the girls one night and she is confronted with a moneyed man who starts flirting with her, wanting to buy her a drink or dinner, she will likely state that she has a boyfriend or is married, and that shed better pass. When her guy asks about her evening, the gal might whisper in his ear that no one could possibly turn her head but him, which is honest. But truthfully, if the woman were given the opportunity to experience a night of romantic splendor and splurge, with the guarantee of it always remaining a secret, she would likely take up this offer. The movie Indecent Proposal, starring Robert Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson, was a dishonest movie, in my opinion, because besides the millions being waved under Ms. Moores nose, there was also tremendous chemistry between her and Mr. Redford. It is likely that the resolution of this triad would not have come so smoothly or sentimentally, perhaps lingering for months or years before Ms. Moore could make a final decision. This type of

honesty would certainly have made for a better movie! Regardless, this movie flirts with the very issues I am talking about, truth versus honesty, and what can lie in the balance.

Truth is often something that we must each keep to ourselves. It is a mysterious adventure through subjects that often mean a great deal to our soul journey. It also unfolds, unveils and unleashes struggles of character, ego and integrity that separate childhood behavior from adult responsibility. Honesty is what we can share, while the truth is often an aspect of reality that we cannot. The reason it is so crucial to appreciate at least some of the possible differences between truth and honesty is because it is often when in the heat of an argument that the truth comes spewing out to strike our partner in their most vulnerable places. We must respect the weight and privacy of truth before we get in one of these situations, because once weve dropped the veil on such intimacies, we can never cover them again.

Fighting can be very healthy for two people, but only if each person allows their lover to walk away from a fight unscathed. Vengeful truths masquerading as honesty will eventually spell the demise of any relationship to which it is applied. Some suggestions to consider before fighting the good fight:

Never, ever, ever fight in bed or in the bedroomnot ever.

Dont begin an I need to talk with you discussion directly after work.

When in a bad mood, keep your distance from any serious topics or discussions. Silence is golden in these moments.

Gals, if you know your guy is going through difficult times at work, financially or in other parts of his life, and you find him quiet one night, dont ask him what he is thinking! Have the inner confidence to support him in silence, leaving him alone, though a good oral rousing is always appreciated at times like these.

Guys, dont kid about her moods during those times of the month when you know she is volatile and vulnerable.

Drinking and partying nights are never good evenings for heart-to-hearts, unless youve set it up before the cocktails start rolling.

You know what pushes your partners button, so dont egg them on if you arent prepared for what youll get.

Never, ever, ever kid about leaving, breaking up or dissolving the partnership. Dont threaten unless its real.

Realize that sometimes you dont need to fight, you need to fuck!

When fighting is whats required, first you must decide what is worth fighting about. Some things we must learn to let slide, especially in a relationship that is in long-term territory. Sometimes taking a walk, a drive or working out is the best solution. But once youve decided that a topic is worth fighting about, you must proceed with the objective of getting your mate to hear your complaints. This will not be possible if youre screaming, whining or being callous with regard to their feelings, emotions and pride. That last item is big. If you dont give your partner respect, also allowing for him/her to leave the discussion with their pride intact, you will cause eventual and irreparable damage to your relationship. It doesnt matter that youve made your point, if you do it at the expense of your lovers dignity and emotional ego. This can often hinge on the difference between you being brutally truthful or compassionately honest. Its a fine line. Thats why you must pick your fights sparingly and only push in those instances where it is vitally important.

All couples benefit from good fighting. A person who is willing to stand up for what they personally believe in, as well as what is important to them within their relationship, is a more valued and respected partner within a modern, liberated alliance. Sometimes struggles of will, ego and purpose can be tremendously daunting, but these inspired battles often inflame passion, desire and the energy each person has for one another and the relationship. The important thing is to understand yourself fully and know when you must make your partner see your point of view, or when its just about you being mad at someone or something else and youre using your mate as the target at which to fire your verbal salvos. Fighting is also about knowing the worth of your relationship and the person with whom you are in love, so that you always consider how important it is for them to feel respected and cherished, even in the most confrontational moments. For if you ever get to the point where your fights demoralize or demolish your partners self-esteem, Id say that your relationship will eventually, at some point in time, dissolve into the mist. Going the way of the words that linger in the memory of your departing lover.

Copyright 2000 Taylor Marsh

All Rights Reserved

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