Advice for young couples (and old)
Have your fights in front of others when you are newly married (or even better: when you are engaged).
Why? Because the damage is extremely hard to undo. Trust me, it sucks.
Here’s just a few things that fighting badly does:
It trains you to trust each other less.
It erodes goodwill, kindness, empathy and generosity.
It reinforces bitterness and hopelessness.
(With hope, a couple can just about work anything, they can regain trust, rekindle feelings of love. Without it, they say things like I love and care for her/him but…)
It brings out your worst and turns you into someone you despise.
You feel out of control.
You become more vulnerable to addictions and sinful choices.
It steals away your fun, your best friend.
It gives you an excuse to focus all your attention on your baby/kids, which has negative connotations for *their* lives.
It makes sexual intimacy (if it is still going down, which when you’re young, a lot of you can still override your feelings to make it work), less about emotional intimacy and more just about drive and just something physical. Which ends up making one or both of you feeling used.
It brings up all your baggage and trauma from your family of origins and puts in a chaotic blender so that it seems like you’ll never get a grip on life or that any growth, healing or progress you’ve made in that area instantly becomes undone whenever you try to JUST HAVE A FREAKING CONVERSATION!
Bottom line: it makes you feel unloved, unwanted, uncared for, unimportant and alone.
I could go on. I’m sure you could add more.
Have your fights in front of others. Don’t just get advice. (Yes, I know this advice).
Don’t just retreat to your respective corners, to your respective cornermen/support people at coffee or online.
Fight to resolutions.
Fight through to agreements.
Let the real-time support of others observing and coaching you, train you that fighting is not bad.
This can transform your experience that every time you try to talk IT DOESN’T WORK! to WE CAN DO THIS!
The more agreements you work through together, the more success you experience, provides tremendous safety and security.
You learn this early on and it will provide a lot of protection and joy in your marriage.