Definition of a fight

What do you consider a fight, when I mention a marital spat? Do you consider any difference of opinion a fight or do things have to be thrown? Do you fight fair, or do you dredge up past misdeeds in order to underline your point? Do you name call? Do you ignore the other party for days until someone apologizes, preferably not you because you were never wrong in the first place?

I bring this up because the KoD and I cannot agree on what constitutes a fight in our marriage. I maintain we have had two. He says they weren’t fights because we talked it through, were not rude nor bitchy, didn’t throw things (hard to throw things when you are hundreds of miles away) and we didn’t ignore each other for days on end. I maintain that as soon as one party is pissed off at the other and has his/her hackles rise, that’s a fight right there. Raised voices, difference of opinion, seeing red, tears – that all means FIGHT to me.

What say you?

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  1. tikunolam says:

    If I use KoD’s definition, I have never had a “fight” in my life. I think he is right in technical definition and we often use the words “fight” and disagreement or argument as synonyms. I think what you are saying is you’ve had arguments and he is using to word fight to signify something beyond disagreeing, even heatedly, but something that crosses the line to disrespect and violence. And if arguments go that route, time to learn to “argue” by the HSM definition of “fight”

  2. lily says:

    Be happy: he seems to have a higher tolerance level than you. That*s perfect. So I would just say: yes, dear, you are right, we never had a fight, and that´s it…

  3. batya from NJ says:

    I consider a fight to be a strong disagreement between my husband & myself that turns emotional/teary (usually on my part). Not every small difference of opinion that we have will be considered a fight but when feelings are hurt or overlooked, that usually feels like a “fight” to me. TG our fights don’t get physical with items being flung across the room (at least so far they have not!) b/c that strikes me as infantile tantrum behavior which is really not what should be modeled for the kids to emulate. & yes, sometimes past misdeeds are dredged up during fights with what my husband calls “the hefty bag syndrome” where a hefty bag gets filled (emotionally) but when the hefty bag breaks (during a fight) then all the (emotional) garbage comes tumbling out of that bag which can be problematic. i think it’s normal for 2 ppl. who come from different backgrounds & family dynamics to have occasional spats & serious differences of opinions. if 1 party always seems to be agreeing with their spouse (to keep the peace) but secretely harbors many feelings of resentment that is very unhealthy as well. part of life, i think, is having disagreements & differences of opinions with our loved ones but the important thing is to fight fairly & to try & work things out in a timely manner rather than allowing fights to fester by giving each other the immature silent treatment or doing some other passive aggressive behavior with ones spouse. frustrating though it may be, our spouses may not always see things our way, try as we might to convince them that we are right & they are wrong-lol :)!

  4. Do you consider any difference of opinion a fight or do things have to be thrown?

    Definitely not the first, because we have differences of opinions and passionate debates about all kinds of stuff pretty much every day, and neither of us considers that to be a fight (in fact, both of us loves to argue, so I think having these ‘debates’ all the time is a major thing that attracted us to each other).

    Things don’t HAVE to be thrown to be a fight either, and in fact after one or two fights where things were thrown (by me, I’m ashamed to admit), we have a “no throwing things during fights” rule that we(/I) try to keep to.

    We consider it a fight if it’s something we are genuinely angry about, and usually it has to directly affect our lives in an immediate way- so if we are arguing about politics, that’s never a ‘fight’ because that’s a bit more distant, so we never really get angry about it, if that makes sense. Fights are more over the way we are treating each other. I don’t know. It’s been a while since we’ve had a bad fight so I can’t really remember precisely the details of any of them.

    Do you fight fair, or do you dredge up past misdeeds in order to underline your point?

    It depends on if the past misdeeds are directly related to the fight or not. :) If we’re fighting about something that we’ve argued about before, then yes, those past fights are going to come up too, usually because it’s a pattern of behavior. If it’s completely unrelated, then no.

    Do you name call?

    Oh yes, ha. We have fights that would probably be really scary from an outsiders perspective where we call each other every horrible name, scream at the top of our lungs, etc. :) But we only have a big blowout once every few months or so, and after we are done hating on each other for a while, we always sit down and calmly discuss why we got so angry- which has always led to changes in our relationship, for the better. So I don’t mind the fights, cause they lead to great discussions with great honesty. Plus the longer we’ve been together, the less frequently we fight (maybe because we’ve already worked out a lot of our major issues).

    Do you ignore the other party for days until someone apologizes, preferably not you because you were never wrong in the first place?

    definitely not for days, and ignoring your spouse days (also known as “stonewalling”) is one of the methods of fighting that is associated with divorce (according to a bunch of research on fighting in marriage and divorce that I’ve read for school purposes- having a lot of fights, or bad fights, is not associated with divorce, but ‘stonewalling’ and not letting something drop after the other party has apologized, is). I’ve asked B to leave me alone for a couple of hours so I could calm down before we begin phase 2 of our fights (the deconstructing and learning from it phase), and there’s been times where I didn’t talk to him for a few hours because he was pissing me off and I thought he should apologize and he hadn’t, but i can’t imagine not talking to him for DAYS.

  5. I think it’s really important that each spouse understand what the other thinks of as a ‘fight.’ My husband and I had the same problem early on in our relationship. Half the time, I didn’t even realize we were in a fight but he very much so felt we were in one.

  6. sheldan says:

    As far as I can guess, fighting may not always be negative. There are certain ground rules (which I remember in an article about intimacy which stated “I will fight for intimacy”). The main ideas were that certain things were “below the belt” and prohibited and (probably the main point here) the goal was to move to a point where the relationship could grow even with the fight. I suppose that the parties would know when they were going out of bounds and could return to fighting fair–again, not a problem necessarily, but if it is to one party it should be ironed out.

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