Fight Fair: When the Love is Gone

When the Love is Gone…


What’s Left?

Most of us have been there– a relationship that just didn’t work out.  Not just someone you dated once or twice, but a relationship that actually took off, but then for some reason, began to lose steam.  Or worse– crash and burn in a fiery conflagration of suspicion and hostility after some transgression or betrayal on the part of one or both parties.

And then what’s left?  Broken hearts, bitterness, tears… and an apparent disregard for the feelings of someone we once claimed to love.

When I went through this myself, back at then end of high school, beginning of college, I simply couldn’t fathom why I was being treated so badly.  The answer soon became apparent;  the lying, the flagrant disrespect for me, disregard for my feelings, and blatant hostility, even in the face of my tears.    This was the “man” who had once begged me in tears to come back to him.  Now he was threatening to cut his wrists in front of me.  The narcissism.  The manipulation.  The threats and name-calling.  I’m pretty sure my ex had sociopathic tendencies…

Obviously, not all exes are “psychos” (incidentally one of his favorite insults to hurl at me,) however, even perfectly normal people have the capacity to be emotionally brutal to their partners.  Something I used to say often, and which I believe is true for a great many people (but at least I was upfront about it) is that when I get hurt, I get angry.

It’s a defense mechanism.  However, often, the person on the receiving end of  verbal darts carelessly slung around in an argument are often innocent (subjectively speaking) of any wrong-doing—  at least, the type of wrong doing that would warrant such emotional warfare.

You’re such a psycho…

No one will ever put up with you…

Where has [it] gotten you? You have nothing going for you…

I understand striking out when you’re hurt.  I’ve even been known to throw a punch or two, back in my younger days.  But I learned a lot from my ex.  I hate to say it, but it’s true.

I learned how I never wanted to be treated again.  I learned what I wouldn’t put up with from someone.  I learned not to fight back using name-calling or worse…giving a liar a black eye.  I also learned that I didn’t like the person I had become as a result of being with my ex…  Insecure, and abusive in my own right.couples-fighting

But this post isn’t really about me or my ex.  It’s about how people treat one another.  Relationships are complicated, and blame goes both ways.  Maybe your partner has hurt you.  Maybe you are in the midst of a break-up, with no foreseeable hope of reconciliation.  But do you really want to hurt this person you once loved, or maybe even still love?  Silence can be a very damaging and passive-aggressive form of fighting…

But sometimes silence is your friend.  If you are losing control, and you know you might say something you can’t take back, keep your mouth shut.  Don’t just walk away, but tell your partner you need a few minutes to yourself and then walk away.  And if your partner tells you they need a moment, let them walk away.  You can save yourself and your partner a lot of hurt.  Even if you see no future with them, do you really need the stress of fighting with them?

Sometimes the problem is even more basic.  Some people just don’t care if they hurt someone else’s feelings.

I can’t stress it enough– when this is a repeated pattern, especially if it’s not in the heat of the moment (and thus not an issue of self control) this is a very clear sign.  I learned it myself, after too long being mistreated, waiting for apologies that never came.  When your partner no longer cares if they hurt you, it’s time to move on.

To everyone else…   fight fair.  If not for your partner’s sake, for your own.  Being nasty to your partner is not conducive to mending a relationship.  Don’t take the bait and give into trading insults.  Even if  things don’t work out, you will know you did the best you could and stood on higher ground.  Not to be better than them, but to be a better you.



12 responses to “Fight Fair: When the Love is Gone

  1. Wow. Great post.
    It’s so true–no one deserves to be in an abusive relationship (I don’t just mean physically), and people should try to check their own behavior for abuse.

    I’ve never been in a “bad” relationship (which is not to say I haven’t been in relationships that ended; to date, they all have ended except one!), but I know that there were certain aspects of my first serious relationship that were unhealthy (and ultimately contributed to its demise). I certainly wouldn’t call it abusive, but my then-girlfriend and I developed several manipulative and resentful behaviors. It was largely unconscious on my part, and I think on hers, too.

    I didn’t even realize I that I had developed these habits until my next serious gf came along. She wouldn’t put up with that shit and it was like a revelation. Maybe your jerkwad ex-boyfriend learned from his mistakes.

    • You know, I think some of these things are learned in hindsight. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. As to my ex, I don’t think he learned much, because it seems that there are always girls who WILL put up with that shit. Plus, I am friends with another of his exes and he trash-talked me to her so much, she was like, “Dude, I’m glad I finally met you. He always called you a psycho bitch, but after I was with him, I was like, anyone that can put up with him for that long must be [insert complimentary adjective.]” We bonded over what a douche he was. LOL. Plus I heard he turned into a big man-whore, which is funny considering I was his first…
      To top it off, I tried to contact him ONCE recently, when I learned he had a kid. I was frankly a little worried for his family and that poor kid, so I messaged him on FB telling him I hope he was a good husband and father for the baby’s sake. No more,, no less… and no response. Oh, well. There’s only one other thing I’d like him to know now… If I could tell him, I’d say…

      “It makes me sad when I think of all the people I could have been fucking while I wasted my time with you…” LMAO

  2. This goes way beyond man/woman. I think you could apply this to any relationship –work friendships, personal friendships, family, and even perfect strangers.
    Good post as always \M/

  3. I love this post, I really do!
    I’m not much of a fighter, physical or with words. I’m one to stay silence when I am angry and completely ignore the other. My boyfriend is the same way, tho he’s very calm and barely gets angry. We barely have fights, we sometimes have arguments, but it’s nothing serious. We are together for more than 4 years now, I refuse to let that tear apart by a simple fight.

    When we don’t talk to each other for a few days, or a day when we are angry at each other, one of us usually makes the first move to make it up. I usually do it with making him a cup of tea, and it’s just a matter of a few seconds before he’ll get to me. Or he will come to me. But we’re both closed books, I hate talking about my feelings.

    But I’m the one who is the most upset when we having our deadly silence moments. Cause I’m afraid it will lead to a break up. Which it never does…

    Tho, communication in a relationship is important. Talk about what you want and what you don’t want. If you don’t like something, it’s best to say it right away then let it bottle up.

    • It can be hard to know the difference between when to be silent, and when silence is used as a weapon. Silent treatment, generally not so good. But sometimes you need the silence to keep from saying something you’d regret or to think things over. Communication is SO important. It’s something Hubs and I still work on…

      • Yea. I’m still working on the communication thing too. While my boyfriend always asks me what’s going on, I just hate it when people push me to talk what’s going on. My mother always used to do it, and I’ll only close myself out more.

  4. I have a low flash point and get REALLY MAD and lose control. What is the worst is when I feel it coming and I need to walk away and I’m not allowed to do so. I can ask and ask and then shout and shout for the argument to stop- just no more, I can’t hold on to myself any longer- but if I’m kept there and my buttons are being deliberately pushed, I finally snap and ‘believe’ that the other person is getting what they deserve – me in a full-on rage isn’t pretty and can be dangerous.

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