Every man I have ever dated has called me robotic. I don't disagree. When it comes to being vulnerable, I'm a hard no. My communication style was mostly "hold in all my feelings, become super passive aggressive, withdraw, close off, break up." Instead of communicating about an issue, I would just end a relationship instead. In my bizarre, messed up brain, it seemed a lot easier than actually having feelings, right? If you never actually open up, you never really get hurt.
That is until I got into a relationship with someone I actually liked. I was thrown off guard, I had no idea what to do, and closing off when I felt hurt just didn't work because he wouldn't react- he'd just pull away too. When I'd try to break up with him he wouldn't let me. He knew that's not what I wanted. He didn't give into my immature way of dealing with my emotions, but he didn't let me run away from the relationship either.
He just waited.
And then one day I exploded in a fit of rage, and it ended up saving my relationship.
Finally, I said all the things that I had wanted to say to my partner. I let down my guard, and for the first time I got emotionally vulnerable. I yelled out secrets to him. I cried. I was human, and I stopped trying to be perfect. I stopped distancing myself from him. My anger showed that I cared. And at the end of the day, our fight brought us closer.
Relationships aren't perfect, so if you're pretending yours is: something is wrong. Relationships are hard work. You are two strangers growing together as two separate people. So the issue isn't if you fight, because you're going to. It's all about HOW.
According to The Good Men Project, appropriate, respectful fighting can improve your relationship in several different ways.
- It Increases Trust
The ability to fight productively, get over it, and then move on increases the trust you have in your relationship.
- You feel better afterwards
Emotions are energy in motion. You have to get it out in order to feel better. Fighting (and sometimes yelling) is a stress reliever.
- Your partner knows where you're at emotionally
When you fight, your partner knows where you two stand in your relationship.
- Intimacy increases
Fighting helps you understand yourself, your partner, and your relationship better. And since relationships are all about growth, productive and responsible arguments are important every once and while.
- You seem more human
People might admire strength, but they connect and fall in love with vulnerability. So fight, because it's the best way for your partner to see the real you.
So next time you want to get closer with your partner and improve your relationship, why don't you give fighting a try?
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