Andrew and I rarely fight. Sure, we bicker, disagree, annoy, nag (well, i do) and some days I am pretty sure he wants to return me right back where he found me. Luckily, most of our disagreements last less than 10 minutes…but when we do decide to fight, we really fight.

Andrew and I’s fighting styles are outrageously different.

I have a large arsenal of vocabulary words at my disposal and I tend to pull out the sharpest I can find. I string together arguments and rants so impeccably delivered that Andrew usually stands there with a slightly stunned expression on his face. Partly because I just made my side of the argument sound like the “right side” but mostly because what I just said was really, really mean. These rants are usually followed by some dramatic exit from the room including stair stomping and door slamming before I collapse on the bed in exaggerated tears.

Andrew’s approach is much different. He is the most even keeled, patient person on this planet. When things begin to escalate he likes to remove himself from the situation and he becomes very, very quiet. There is no discussing the problem, there is no expressing emotion; its like watching television try to find its cable signal. This approach…absolutely infuriates me. Fury really isn’t a strong enough word. While he goes to another room to watch TV I am still sobbing on the bed; pissed and feeling guilty about what I have already said.

So I do what any other reasonably sane young woman would do…I barge into whatever room he has taken his retreat and begin another rant. It isn’t until I have him yelling back (when he yells I know I have really really pissed him off) that I am satisfied. This satisfaction is usually short-lived because I am irrationally outraged that he would even consider raising his voice at me. Repeat dramatic exit.

Are you exhausted yet?

…at this point the post-tears headache has set in, my eye make-up is nestling comfortably on my pillow and I have officially lost all of my fight; this is usually the moment in which Andrew opens the bedroom door slowly…comes to the bed and kisses my forehead. Sometimes he says sorry first, but most of the time I do. We play the “next time game”, i.e. “I think we could avoid this fight if next time you just did this…” And then we forgive each other and eat something (fighting makes me hungry!!)

I know what you are all thinking…”how dysfunctional.” Some of you are probably wondering if I have ever heard the quote “forgiven but not forgotten” and thinking I should keep my sharp tongue under control. You’re probably right. But are any couple’s fights functional? No, they’re not. That’s why its called a fight.

When Andrew and I finish a fight of this magnitude (just to be clear this might happen twice in an entire year) we feel embarrassed & exhausted…but mostly relieved. A good fight once in a while is much like undergoing a rapid juice cleanse. It is painful, uncomfortable and leaves you with several awful memories…but at the end, once you’ve put your digestive system back together…you have to admit, you feel refreshed!