question: How would you define ‘fighting all the time’? My kids think me and my husband fight too much. We’re floored when they say that, and think their perspective is skewed.
We probably have a serious fight once a week. We’ve got an ill parent, we’ve just moved house, and my husband has a new job. I’ve been unwell, and we’ve just been under a lot of strain.
More often than we fight, we laugh and enjoy each other, dance when there’s music on, and make our kids yell, ‘yuck, gross!’ by being affectionate. So I’m upset that they think we fight a lot.
my honest answer: I think you are fighting too much when your kids tell you you are fighting too much.
They do not have a skewed perspective. All they have is their own perspective, and that is that you fight too much.
Having disagreements, meaningful discussions, and reaching a compromise in front of kids is, in my opinion, good. They need to see how the world works, they need to see that everyone doesn’t agree with everyone else all the time, and they need to witness people disagreeing politely, and reaching a resolution.
They do not need to see their parents fighting. Maybe you’re using that word lightly, and I’m giving it more weight than I should. But to me it implies raised voices, and some anger. It’s not just a disagreement. I don’t think they need to see that.
And, to be honest, I don’t think that’s necessary for a good marriage.
Sure, we all have times we disagree whole-heartedly. If you ever revert to name-calling, or bringing up other unrelated issues, or dragging up the past, you have crossed a line.
There will, of course, be times when you are going to have a serious disagreement. I do think that some arguments are best settled in private, behind closed doors, when the kids are not around.
I can appreciate you’ve all been under a lot of strain lately. But there are some things in life that you cannot make better, such as as ill parent. It is what it is. And I’m really sorry you’re going through it. But taking out your frustrations on one another is not the solution, it’s not good for your marriage, it’s not good for your mental health, and it’s not good for your kids.
Full-on fighting once a week, would, for me, be too much. I wouldn’t want to live with that level of disagreement in my life, I would find it tiring. Maybe it’s fine for you and your partner; we are all different. But regardless of whether you are happy with your relationship, you also took on a greater responbility by having children, to provide a safe and healthy environment for them to grow up in.
I think this is a wake-up call that, with all the stress you’ve been going through, that safe and loving home hasn’t been too high on the agenda. There’s no point beating yourself up about it, just resolve to do better in the future.
You know there is a problem, or you wouldn’t have asked the question. Don’t justify your way into ignoring it by dismissing your kids as having a childlike perspective. They are kids. It’s the only perspective they have.
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