Calm down. I don't hate you. I don't even know you. Or maybe I do. But still. I don't hate you. I don't think I even know what it means to hate something. So. No. I don't hate you. So. Yes. The title of this post was a bit of a cheap trick to provoke you into reading my prose. Did it work? Yes? Good. Don't hate me.
Do you ever utter these words, I hate you? And if so, how often? In what context?
I promise I am headed somewhere with this.
Yesterday, I published a thoughtful little piece on my passion problem, on the collision of creative and personal passions in my current life. I talked about my difficult discussion with Husband about my perceived problem. I mentioned as an aside that Husband and I never fight. This is true. We don't. And some of you are baffled by this. Some of you think this can't possibly be true.
But it is true.
We never yell. We never swear. We never wield threats.
There are never slammed doors. There are never clenched fists. There are never tears.
There are no I hate yous.
I remember talking once with a friend. We had both just married our respective husbands and she said something to me about fighting right. She said, No matter how heated it gets, never mention the D word. Divorce! She said that she and her husband vowed never to talk about divorce when they were arguing. And this seemed like a good approach, but utterly alien. Because I couldn't then (and can't now) envision a fight where the D word would even come to mind. I can't imagine needing to fashion battle rules with my betrothed.
Last night, Husband and I sat around a tiny cocktail table at a Preschool holiday party. In between bites, I said to him, "People don't believe that we don't fight, but we don't, right?"
"No" he said and smiled. "We don't, but I think it probably comes down to how different people define fighting. It probably means different things to different people."
"You are totally right," I said. "That would make for an interesting post. What it means to fight..."(Told you the line between blog and life is getting increasingly blurry.)
Genius. Maybe Husband and I do fight after all. We do discuss difficult things, impossible things. We do disagree. Each of us gets upset from time to time. It's just that when we address things and we do, it is without fail in a civilized and decidedly non-aggressive manner. I am not sure one can call this fighting.
Sometimes, I worry a little that by not fighting, by not throwing down from time to time, by not channeling that soap opera melodrama we must have within us, we are missing something. Pulse. Passion. Fire. Sometimes, I worry that not fighting is tantamount to another passion problem.
But as quickly as those worries come, they scatter. At least about this. I have been in more tumultuous relationships. I have been in fights. I know how to fight. (I am quite feisty actually.) But now? I am married to a man whom I love. Yes, passionately. I am married to a man who knows how to communicate and listen. And, yes, now I sound sappy, but sappy is not illegal in New York State or in the blogosphere. I checked. I feel lucky that we have good conversations all the time, complicated ones, but that we do not fight in the quintessential sense of that word.
Do you fight with people in your life? How do you define fighting? Do you think it is possible to have a passionate relationship without fighting?