He loved me with a fierceness that made me know he always had my back.
Most people would agree that disagreements are bound to happen in healthy relationships and that fights can be a natural outcropping of big disagreements. It's even been said that a relationship without fights can't be that healthy.
There can come a point in a relationship, though, where the fighting becomes too much.
In our busy lives, it's difficult for many couples to have the kind of available together time that is needed to keep a relationship 100 percent conflict-free. There's always going to be something that comes up between two people who live together and spend a great portion of their lives together. No couple can be expected to agree on everything.
Fights usually pop up after days, weeks or even months of little hurts not being dealt with. They build up when they don't get talked about until the last straw pushes the couple's issues to the forefront, and then they must be dealt with immediately.
It's wise to air out smaller grievances before they spiral into huge issues. But once a relationship has become only day-in, day-out fighting, is there anything left to salvage?
It's no wonder you would get to a point where you feel like things have gone too far and you're ready to give up. This isn't the kind of fighting you want in your life.
And it's not like you're saying that you want to be fought over — you don't want men pummeling each other on the sidewalk or dueling with their swords. What you are longing for is to be worth fighting for.
In one of my early relationships, every week we'd end up in horrible fights because there were major issues we didn't want to look at. We kept fighting over petty things while the real problems festered underneath and kept cropping up again and again. Things got so bad that I was sick every day from the worry and constant stress.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that I became attracted to a different kind of man — a man who was willing to fight for me, not against me.
He didn't fly in like a superhero by any means. There was more of a sliding-in realization on my part that there was somebody else in my life who actually listened to me, wanted to be with me and wanted to help me work through my problems.
Instead of always questioning me and challenging me on my basic beliefs, this man (even while we were just getting to know each other as friends) made me feel like what I said mattered and really listened when I spoke.
I was overwhelmed with my own issues at the time and my boyfriend didn't want to address the problems or deal with them. I struggled with depression and an eating disorder, but he didn't have time to help me with those problems. He didn't make me feel like he wanted to help me through my troubles or that they were worth him fighting for.
The new guy challenged me on issues that mattered in a caring way, questioned me when I wouldn't eat, and reassured me I was strong enough to fight through. He was there for me when I needed someone to reassure me and bolster my confidence.
Meanwhile, the fights continued with the boyfriend. The arguments about the clothes I wore, the friends I chose, and my dreams for the future got to the point where I was screaming like a lunatic every weekend at him to just listen.
The breaking point for me was when I no longer felt any joy seeing him. We were constantly yelling. My head was spinning, my ears ringing. Life was just fighting with him. There was no “us” left in the relationship; there was no sense of him fighting for us or for me.
I left and never looked back. I started dating the man who believed in me and in what I dreamed for. He supported me through my struggle to understand myself.
Once we were together as a couple, he continued to fight for me. He continued to be my biggest advocate, my strongest support. He loved me with a fierceness that made me know he always had my back.
I was lucky to find a love like that early in my life, to have that experience of being fought for and cared for.
Don't wait for the point of illness. Don't wait for the point of giving up and believing you are worthless. If your relationship is all fighting, all the time, and your partner is not willing to work out the real issues, you need to reflect on what you want.
Don't continue to just sweep big problems under the rug. Maybe it's time to start pulling back. Consider yourself, what it is that you believe in and what in yourself is worth fighting for.
There's someone out there willing to fight for you, too. Someone willing to fight for your beliefs and love.
Don't lose faith. Walk away from the endless fighting and walk into finding your own strength, your own will to fight for what matters, and someone who will be your biggest cheerleader — a guy who's willing to lay his heart on the line and risk everything to uphold you and your love.