The other night I had the joys of fighting with my fiancé. No, we didn’t need emotional Band Aids or a cover story for the bruising we caused because we’ve learned how to properly share our conflicting thoughts… but it still stinks; fighting stinks. In every fight there are two sides. This doesn’t mean one of you is right and the other is wrong; it just means you both see one side being right: your side. In this fight Alyshia and I simply saw things differently. The fight started when Alyshia half jokingly said, “When you die I’m so reading your journals.” I have a strict no reading my journal policy, so I was immediately concerned. I’ve been journaling since I was an early teen because I find I’m better able to let things go when I unload them on paper. But this means a lot of what I’m writing is completely unfiltered… I say stupid things when I use a filter, so you can only imagine how not nice I can be when I’m unfiltered. I’ve told Alyshia before very firmly that she is not allowed to read my journal; it’s mine; it’s my safe place free from criticism. This is my side of the argument. In my eyes I’m right. Alyshia, on the other hand, is left… get it? Other hand is left… whatever. The problem is she doesn’t see why it’s such a big deal… you know, because she’s not brilliant like me. To Alyshia we should be able to share everything with each other, but here’s the thing, no. For me, I don’t want to know every one of her thoughts because I’m not going to like all of them. I know there are better looking guys out there, and I don’t need to hear that from her. I know she doesn’t always agree with me… like right now, but I don’t need to hear that from her. Hearing it can cause the hurt to be more real. Alyshia, however, thinks it’s scary I can’t tell her everything; it’s like I have an evil side that eats puppies. The good news is I don’t, but I think it’s safe to say we all have private thoughts we’re not proud of and should keep to ourselves. To me, not every thought is worth sharing. Thus, the two sides are a) I don’t think she should know everything and b) she doesn’t know why I can’t tell her everything. The funny thing to me is she claims that reading my journals won’t make her see me any different, but to me that’s like when a woman says: “Be honest, does this make me look fat?” Whether she truly means she wants honesty or not, she’ll be hurt if I say anything except she looks terrific. But Alyshia wholeheartedly thinks that reading my journal won’t affect her. Is she wrong? We won’t actually know unless she reads my journal… so I guess we’ll never know.
In Alyshia’s mind if I trusted her I would let her read my journal when I’m dead. For me, I don’t want the last thing she experiences of me being my private not-so-nice thoughts. Who’s right? We both are. Who will win this fight? No one. Getting our way isn’t “winning” because there’s hurt. So what do we do? We’ve actually put the issue on hold until next year closer to the wedding. Perhaps one of us will change our minds about the issue and by ‘one of us’ I mean her because I know I’m not changing my mind. If she doesn’t than I have to make a decision: do I care more about having my journals to look back at when I’m old and wanting to look back on my life to remember the journey or is my privacy more important? If the latter is then I’ll have to burn my journals to protect my privacy. Does this hurt me? Yes. Does this hurt Alyshia? Yes. Are we both right? Yes. The question is what are we going to do with this: do we hold onto this event and resent each other causing more fights, or do we accept our differences and protect ourselves, which in this case is me burning my notes? Unfortunately, sometimes you won’t agree with your partner and the only thing you can do is simply protect yourself and your relationship by sacrificing something smaller. No one really wins in a fight and typically there is hurt, but you can still feel loved and respected if you fight properly. Fighting properly means standing up for yourself with the goal of showing love to the other person. How you do this is the ultimate question.
This week may you start to better understand how to stand up for yourself and still be loving to the other person.
Rev Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learn to love dumb people