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Challenge: Open Discussion

Dear husband, what are we fighting for?

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Hey husband, I’m really sorry I got angry over your dirty laundry hanging out beside your side of the bed. But — to be fair — those yucky clothes have been in that heap for quite some time now.

Also, you keep leaving the toilet seat up, and your shoes all over the house. Oh, and you somehow never learned how to hang up towels which is totally weird because I don’t know how towels are expected to dry on the floor.

These are just a few of the things we are fighting about lately.

And there are things that I do that annoy the heck out of you as well.


I know it drives you crazy when I leave the toothpaste cap off the toothpaste. I know you get annoyed when I load the dishwasher in a non-organized manner. I know you get irritated when I steal ALL the blankets every night.

But what are we really fighting for here?

Our love for one another has become a given. Our support for one another has become a given. And that’s when we forget. We forget that to find a partner who will live a life with you, raise children with you, and be present with you in a relationship for the long haul is not something you can find every day. In fact, it took me 34 years to find you.

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In the often chaotic ebb and flow of parenting, jobs, and life, we forget that those sometimes excruciatingly annoying habits we drag along with us are not as big of a deal as they may seem in the moment.

Would it make my life easier if you just put your laundry in the laundry basket? Hell yes! Would your morning go better if you didn’t get irked by the toothpaste I leave on our bathroom counter with no lid? Definitely!

But what if you died tomorrow? Life as I know it would be over. The kids and I would probably never recover. I certainly wouldn’t be worried about clothes or towels on the floor. And I’m sure the same goes for you.

In long-term relationships we so often lose sight of what we’re really working for. We get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget how to cherish one another. We fight over ridiculous things. Things that seem so important yet lack real substance. Things that can actually be solved with a little constructive communication.

We may fight over the things that drive us bananas but what are we ultimately working for as partners?

I know what we’re working for. We’re working for our children to become independent, self-assured, and kind individuals. We’re working to maintain our relationship in the midst of never-ending responsibilities. We’re working to be good people in a world that often lets us down.

When you take a step back and realize what you already have in this life, it can really ground you into some serious gratitude. There are gifts all around us if we can stop focusing on all the little things that irritate us and take another look around.

I know we may never stop being driven crazy by one another for the weird and annoying things we both do. I know that we’re probably still going to fight over the petty stuff for years to some. And I know  — without a doubt  — that there’s no one else in this world I’d rather fight with than you.

More from Michelle: My Husband Thinks Other Women Are Attractive — And That’s OK

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