Fighting, but not.

El Chupacabra and I are in this place where we’re fighting but we’re not really fighting.

This usually happens when we’re tired. Or stressed out. Or sick. Or overwhelmed. Or culture shocked. Or bored. Or irritated. Or hungry. Or depressed… Oh. And sometimes it happens when I sneak up on him and poke him in his nipple while saying “Poke!” repeatedly over the course of a whole day… It always happens when things seem to be going well on the surface, but one of the aforementioned irritants (or any of the 30 I didn’t mention) is lingering just below - creating tension, inducing eye rolls, seeping all kinds of dissatisfaction into our marriage.

I know it’s happening when “Hey, you doing ok?” turns into “What’s your problem.", and when the goodnight kiss turns into back to back silence. And we're definitely in a non-fight-fight when things that I actually really like about my husband make me want to shoot him in the kneecaps. Like how he always knows how to fix junk – seriously, he can fix anything - which is something I generally appreciate about him. But when we’re in a fight that’s not really a fight, I just want to pop a cap in his know-it-all ass.

Crazy. I know.

But sometimes we just don’t like each other very much. And it sucks when it’s like that.

The thing is, it’s not really because we don’t like each other, cause we do. We like each other, like, a lot. We like the crap out of each other. We were made to like each other. But we don’t always treat each other as well as we could. And over time, multiplied by circumstance, we end up treating each other kinda badly… Actually? We end up not treating each other at all. By prioritizing our own needs and hopes and desires over those of the other, we end up basically cutting each other off. Trust me when I say that that’s no treat.

It would almost be better to have a nice big fight, get it all out, and move on. We’re good at that. And it would be better than lingering in this weird, tense non-fighting fight. Maybe. But then we’d miss out on this chance to do some long term readjusting of our priorities.

I know – 100% know - that the very first thing I need to change is the way I’ve been praying for El Chupacabra. See, I have this habit of praying that God would open his eyes to my plight. I pray that God would show him he’s wrong, or that he’s being stupid, or that he’s an arrogant know-it-all, or that I can hear his teeth making the worst noise when he eats cheese and I’m right to want to put a pillow over his face. But I rarely pray that God would open my eyes, show me my failures, point out my flaws. Ew. No thanks. I really don’t want God taking El Chupacabra’s side on the whole nipple poke thing. I think it’s funny. End of story, right?...

So anyway.

That’s where I’m gonna start. New prayers for my husband, new prayers for myself. And yeah, after that there are a few other areas I need to be working on, too. I can be selfish. And lazy. And a little inflexible. But mostly, I just want to be a really cool wife. I want my husband to be extremely happy to walk through the door after a long, busy day.

But I’m probably not gonna stop poking his nips any time soon…

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Have you experienced the non-fighting fight, where someone close to you just bugs the hell out of you? What do you do to lift the black cloud off the relationship? Oh, P.S.- You know I was totally kidding about shooting my husband, right? I would never do that. Guns scare me.