How to Fight Like a Grown-up

howtofightlikeanadultIn any relationship, there will be disagreements. We’ve had our fair share. The good news is that with each disagreement, we learn more, and become stronger as a team.

Neither of us likes to disagree or to have any discord. We both feel that we are beyond the drama, but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, it seems impossible to just ‘get over it’ and get back on the same page. We both pride ourselves in ripping the band-aid off quickly, but sometimes that seems impossible.

Often, the more we try to make things ok, the bigger we seem to dig the hole we are in. The more we try to say the right things, they end up being the wrong things. The more we try to respond instead of react, the harder it gets.

I personally HATE wasting time on arguments or disagreements of any kind. I have little patience when in the middle of one. I think they are totally stupid. This thinking often gets me in even more trouble. But, in my defense, it keeps me looking for a solution. And with every disagreement, I’m looking for some tidbit of information which will help me fix the next one faster.

My reflex is to just run away. Get away from the discomfort. Get away from the conflict. I learned a long time ago that that’s not the answer and it won’t solve the problem. However, there are times when it’s appropriate to run.

There have been times when I did just that and am thankful that I did. So, it has been an appropriate response for me at times. But, it shouldn’t be my first reaction. I can’t learn much if I run away every time. Besides, I’ll probably just run back into the same problem again if I don’t deal with it now. So, I look for lessons.

One of the things we’ve learned is that It’s impossible to work together successfully when we aren’t on the same page or when there are negative emotions between us. So, all the things we had planned such as videos, studying, etc. will just have to wait. Nothing good comes from trying to power through it.

We’ve also learned that there is always an underlying problem based on fear. Whatever we are disagreeing about is really not the issue. The issue is much deeper and has an underlying fear that we must reveal before we can really solve the problem. This has been a tremendous insight and has helped us get to a quicker resolution in most cases. As soon as our disagreement starts, we both start looking for the underlying fear. Once we address that, things start to get better.

Since I have so much impatience with these disagreements, I am constantly trying to figure out what I can say to end the disagreement quickly. Sometimes, everything I say ends up being the wrong thing to say. I’ve decided that sometimes any words coming out of my mouth change in mid-air and come out ALL wrong. And just before they get to her ears, they change to something that she did NOT want to hear.

Even more frustrating is that all the things she says during these times seem to get under my skin even more. Besides, anything she has to say to me when I’m feeling like that is scrutinized for the evil inside those words. I just know she hates me right now and is trying to win this argument, so how could she say anything to make it better?

What I realized this last time is that there is NO reason to try to reason things out until we are both back in alignment. I am wasting more time by trying to ‘work it out’ while we are both out of alignment. So, instead of talking, what we really need is time alone.

I’ve always been afraid that putting time in there would just allow the negative thoughts to build and make things worse. And I suppose that’s an option, but if we are both using that time to get back in alignment, it has to be a good thing.

Here’s my new theory: We wouldn’t be arguing or disagreeing in the first place unless one or both of us is out of alignment with God. So, the mere fact that we have a disagreement means that at least one of us has allowed some fear and disharmony on the inside. There is absolutely nothing gained from trying to figure out which one of us has that fear and disharmony. Both of us could always benefit from turning inside and getting back in alignment with God.

So, the next argument or disagreement that comes along we are going to take some time to get back in alignment before we try to ‘figure it out’ and ‘get over it’. If we are both in alignment with God, there can be no disagreement. When we look at things the way God sees them, we must both agree – or agree to disagree and allow the other to have their point of view or be themselves. When we turn to love, there can only be love in return.

Turning inward and creating more harmony on the inside can only help any situation. In my opinion, it’s how you fight like a grown-up. It’s the only way to have a win/win outcome. Otherwise, everybody loses.




  1. Thanks Jade! Since I wrote this, I have learned a few more lessons and had a few more insights… ready?

    1. Never, ever tell someone who is arguing with you that *they* need to take a time out and go find alignment.

    2. The solutions I come up with when I’m in alignment don’t always work so well when I’m out of alignment.

    3. When I’m out of alignment, I don’t always know that I’m out of alignment. However, I seem to know exactly when she is out of alignment.

    4. We are perfect. You just misunderstood. You must be out of alignment. Go take a time out and get in alignment. 😉

  2. Thanks Cindy. It’s great to read this. I was just journaling about relationship and what does it mean to be a partner. So often I measure my ability to partner by what my spouse is doing. If he’d just be more available, if he’d just be more interested in resolution, if he’d just soften his heart…THEN I could show up. THEN I could be the partner I want to be.
    I don’t want to be responsible for my own alignment. I just want it fixed! I just want everybody over it! I can so relate to your thoughts on that, on constantly looking for ways to avoid this in the future. Singing my song girl!
    I don’t know the answer but the questions on partnership are good ones. And maybe instead of taking space to figure out what someone else needs to do differently or even what I need to do differently, I could take space to realign. To be present with what’s here, what’s true for me now.
    Why do I wait for permission to be who I really am?
    Vulnerability is scary! Trusting myself and god takes courage. And practice.
    Thanks for the insight on your practice. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. And selfishly glad to know y’all aren’t perfect! There’s hope for the rest of us!!

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