Petty Things We’ve All Done Mid-Fight
When backed into a corner, we’re all capable of doing some pretty ridiculous things. Usually, when we know we are wrong in the fight, or we are simply struggling to formulate a clear and convincing argument, we start grasping at whatever ammunition we have. And sometimes, we grab for stuff that’s rather unfair. It’s probably safe to say that nobody is her best self in the middle of a fight. Whether pride is hurt, flaws are being pointed out, triggers are being triggered, or the past is being dredged up, nobody responds with total grace and patience during a relationship fight. Thank goodness most couples have an understanding that what happens in a fight stays in a fight (hopefully), but we can’t shake the embarrassing memory of some of the ways we try to win or get out of fights. Here are petty things we all do mid-fight in relationships.
Bring up his similar mistake
As if this fixes anything, you just point out the time your partner did something very similar to what he’s accusing you of. It doesn’t undo what you’ve done, nor make what you’ve done right. You’re just trying to gain some leverage.
List the good things we’ve done
Rather than apologize for the bad thing you’ve done, you just start listing all the good things you’ve done. “I took you to the airport, drove your mom to her doctor’s appointment, and threw you that surprise birthday party—doesn’t that earn me some credit?”
Mention an ex who never did this
Under your breath you mention that a certain ex of yours never behaved the way your partner is behaving right now. Ouch.
Say, “Let’s see what my friends think of this”
You just leave the threat dangling out there—the threat that you’re going to bring this fight up at the next girls’ night and get everyone’s input on it. Of course, you’ll only be telling your side of the story.
Threaten to just leave
“If you really think I’m that bad then I guess we just shouldn’t be together!” Yup. That seems reasonable. Just light the whole thing on fire over one little fight.
Look at our texts and smirk
To plant a little doubt in your partner’s mind—maybe you’re texting that male coworker of whom he’s jealous—you look at your phone, mid-fight, and smirk a little.
Threaten to cancel the vacation
“Well maybe we should just cancel our vacation on the cruise with your family if we can’t come to an agreement on this.” What does the impending vacation have to do with this fight about the dog-walking schedule?
“Everyone said you’d do this”
Ah but of course—bring in the ghost jury that apparently, somewhere, at some point, took your side on this issue. How is your partner supposed to defend himself against them?
Look up a new apartment
Rather than address the issue at hand, you just pull up Craigslist or a local real estate site and begin looking for a new place to live.
Criticize yourself before he can
You beat your partner to the punch. Rather than allowing him to vent and get his feelings off his chest about what you’ve done, you are a martyr. You just start bashing yourself worse than he ever would have.
List every problem you’ve held onto
He may be upset about this one thing, but he doesn’t know about the long list of issues you’ve been sitting on—a list you planned on throwing into this fight like a grenade next time you were in trouble.
Threaten to withhold sex
Oh no, the pettiest one of all—withholding sex. Your partner doesn’t want to negotiate with a sex terrorist, which is what you’re being, but he also does want to have sex again…
Claim the pet
“And I’m taking the dog!” Oh no! Don’t bring Fido into this! You promised you’d never use the fact that it’s your name on the adoption papers to your advantage.
Banish yourself to the couch
“I’ll just sleep on the couch!” He didn’t ask you to sleep on the couch, but you’re already collecting your pillow and eye mask.
Suggest emotional cheating
“Is it that woman Laura at your work who has you all worked up like this? She’s been putting ideas in your head about me, turning you against me, hasn’t she!”