Leaning in while fighting and the urge to run away

Occasionally, when Jordan and I are fighting, I have the urge to go sleep on the living room floor.

It always happens during a fight when my ego is especially wounded, where something he said touched something really deep

And a part of me wants to win, to make him hurt too, to “show him,” and to sleep in the other room.

Or if it happens during the day, to leave the house and slam the door, not telling him where I’m going.

I have never done this.

At least, not in my relationship with Jordan.

In fact, until I mentioned it during an event we held together yesterday, he didn’t even know that part of my mind was there.

It’s an old, familiar pattern.

To want to avoid feeling the pain of the conflict, to not want to look at my role in it, and to “make” him feel how he “made” me feel.

And it’s not true.

Because even if I did sleep somewhere else – that’s not what I really want, deep down.

What I really want in those moments is to feel connected to him again.

We’ve been going to hotels every month or so for the past few months, and a question this often elicits from others is – “are you fighting?!”

Something I find curious about this question is not just the assumption that spending time alone means something is wrong – but even more so, the assumption that if we were fighting, one of us would leave.

I would never leave Jordan to go stay somewhere else if we were fighting.

He would never leave me to go stay somewhere else if we were fighting.

I actually think that even if one of us had a hotel booked, and then we had a fight, we would not go.

A decision I made at the beginning of my relationship with Jordan was that I would always lean in.

Especially during conflict.

That I would never make my ego more important than our relationship.

Of course there are times where we are both so “in it” that what feels most needed is to pause the conversation and take some space.

But that is always done in a loving way.

One of us will say something like, “I feel like I’m not in a clear place to process this and it’s best if we pause it for a little bit.”

And then we both go and journal, or sit with ourselves.

If it happens at night, we might say, “I think it will be more productive if we talk about this in the morning.”

And then we go to sleep. Often we still kiss goodnight and say I love you.

There is ALWAYS the deep knowing that our foundation is solid. And that we trust the other to come back to their center when they’ve worked their own stuff out, so we can talk about it more clearly.

What we really desire is to have deeper love and connection with each other.

So in every fight, it is not – how are we competing here? Who is winning?

It’s – how can I process and own my own shit so that I can come back to love?

And for me that means not running away.

It means meeting my own needs like a responsible adult, sleeping in the same bed, and coming back to connection – every time.


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