When my husband and I were newly married, I had the highest level of sophistication when it came to our fights.
Seriously, are you ready for this?
Each and every time we would fight, to ensure that I would get my point across effectively and as lovingly as possible (to protect our fragile new marriage, of course), I would do one of two things:
1) Simmer silently until I would explode into one giant, incoherent, babbling and furious mess that would make exactly zero sense and accomplish exactly nothing towards a solution
2) Shut down completely and sulk for days, burying the problem or pretending it didn’t exist. Which, of course, as you can imagine, usually led back to scenario #1.
For whatever reason, I was a complete and total disaster as a newlywed trying to learn the ropes of honest, adult communication in a relationship. Luckily for me, my husband happened to be a much better “fighter” than I was (yes, I think that’s a real word, ok?) and taught me–patiently–that we could actually get to the point in our relationship where we could (gasp!) have dialogue openly without killing each other or sulking away forever.
Also, luckily for me, I know that I’m not alone in my failures as a fighter. As I recently found out in an interview with psychologist Dr. Carla, there are several different fighting styles that she sees among couples–myself included.