Thursday, November 7, 2013

All is Not Fair in Love and War

I spent some time this weekend biking the trails of Gettsyburg National Park. It was probably the last of those warm perfect fall days and a beautiful time to peddle through a significant place of our nation's history.   As my boyfriend enjoyed the plaques explaining the significant stopping points, I focused some energy on clearing my head.  Against the backdrop of this place of battles, I realized that contrary to the popular saying...

All is actually not fair in love and war.

It isn't fair to blame your significant other for the stress of your daily life.  They should hold your hand through any rough patch and when possible go above and beyond to support you, but it isn't their fault if they don't understand and certainly should not be a whipping post.  It isn't fair to blame each other for things big and small.  It isn't fair to hurl insults, cut deep, or go for the jugular. It isn't fair to use information shared in a vulnerable and confidential moment and whip it at your partner during a fight. It isn't fair to expect perfection.  It isn't fair to expect a person to change.  Yelling isn't fair and will actually get you nowhere.  Projecting your frustration with any other situation onto your significant other is like a charge into battle.  Seriously, who wants a battle?  

What is fair?  Being awesome and appreciating the other person for their awesomeness. To build any great relationship you and your partner have a responsibility to being fair towards each other, especially if it means taking extra time to go above and beyond.  In fact, go above and beyond as much as possible.  And don't count the times if they go above and beyond.  That is keeping score and that isn't fair, at all.

Be considerate and communicate your feelings in a caring and loving way.  Show as much affection, appreciation and attention to your significant other as you possibly can.  Place value on building your relationship, just spending time together without the screens and children for a few hours can work wonders. Being together doesn't mean you have to spend a whole pile of money.  In fact, an afternoon bike ride in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania where you both complete disconnect from life is all it really takes.  

If you do not feel your partner is supporting you do not blow up. If something is upsetting you remain calm.   Ask for what you need from them to help you through.  Do not expect them to be able to read your mind and make sure to appreciate any effort they may be making big and small.  In the heat of the moment, your moment of frustration, keep a clear eye on what the core problem is and don't make it about your partner. Lastly, keep in mind how special this person is to you and how your intimate relationship should be cherished and protected, not dumped on.  

On my journey through the battlefields I realized that putting love and war in the same quote is, in fact, not something I would want to do.  Striving for fairness, no drama, and utter peace in my life will not be a battle and certainly not a war.  We all have enough to deal with in this crazy world.  In the most intimate spaces of my life I want peace. 

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