The dishes were piled high in the sink. I was pissed. I huffed and puffed as I cleaned the dishes I needed to make food for my boyfriend and me. As I rev’d up for an argument, I coached myself and experienced what I really wanted: Cooperation and love.
We’ve had less than 10 fights in our 9+ years together. Ready to learn something that could help you stop fighting with your boyfriend?
The dishes were piled high in the sink. I was pissed. I huffed and puffed as I cleaned the dishes I needed to make food for my boyfriend and me.
I thought, Why didn’t I do the dishes last night? But also, why doesn’t he just see they need to be done and do them for me? Doesn’t he know how happy and grateful I would be if he did that without me needing to ask? WHY do I need to fucking ask?
Not that I always do all the things that need doing around here, but I always SEE the things super clearly. You know. The dishes need to be done. The stove needs a DEEP clean. The stainless steel appliances are somehow, magically, stained. There’s a perpetual pile of dirty laundry. You know. ALL the damn things.
And I observed myself letting the frustration and anger build. I wanted to roar at my man for not doing the dishes, for “NEVER” helping around here. That’s never worked well before… And so I centered myself enough to calmly say, “Hey, babe. It would make me feel like a super grateful Queen if you would do these dishes before I come back later tonight. Can you do that before I get back?” (Emphasis on before I come home!)
He said he would.
And get this: I found myself back at the office (yeah, I have a day job) wondering if he would actually do it. Or if I’d come home to the dirty dishes still piled high. And part of me started to build momentum behind the idea he didn’t. I felt myself starting to grow CERTAIN that he wouldn’t do it and I’d come home to feel angry and resentful.
It dawned on me… I think just on the brief walk home… that I was leaning toward — choosing — to not have my desires honored, and more awfully, I was WANTING the FIGHT.
*As I write this, I realize, it was probably because I’m so used to having that fight over “you don’t do anything around here,” that my body craved the chemical brew it makes when we have that fight….*
Want to stop fighting with your boyfriend? Make peace with the parts of you that crave the fight and its effects, including on your hormones!
And so, as I walked from the elevator to our apartment door, I thought firmly and clearly, “I want to open the door and find that he’s done the dishes. I don’t want the fight. I want to feel happy and be grateful to him.”
To stop fighting, decide you get to have what you want more than the fight: Love.
After I opened the door, I heard the dishwasher. He must have put the dishes in just 10-15 minutes before I came home.
And I thanked him before I even got my coat off.
So if you catch yourself building for a fight, it’s time to ask: DO I WANT A FIGHT MORE THAN I WANT COOPERATION?
You get to choose different any moment of any day.
Share in the comments: What do you think? Can you try this?