My husband and I get into the stupidest fights. Like, really. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Oh, me and my husband/wife/fiancé/girlfriend/whatever get into stupid fights too!” I’m sure you do. But I honestly think if there was a competition for stupid fights, we would place in the top 10.
One time we argued for an hour about a muffin. I can’t even remember the details, but it was definitely about a muffin. Another time we were mad at each other for HOURS because of a misunderstanding…over a Pokémon card. I’m not even kidding. When we first got engaged, we argued about where we would put a picture frame in our non-existent dream home. I can’t make this stuff up.
Now, I will give us credit – we have significantly improved. Most of these stupid fights happened when we were dating/newly engaged. We are both stubborn and opinionated and neither of us were willing to back down. We’ve both chilled out a lot since then.
Except, last week, we got into “one of those” stupid kinds of fights. This time, it was about the online game Hearthstone. Let me give you some details.
I’ve always loved video games, but I am also lazy and get bored easily. In August 2014, a few months after Hearthstone was released to the public, my cousin told me about a cool online card game that was totally free to play and easy to learn. It was great because you play other random users and matches are over usually within 10-15 minutes. Perfect.
So I checked this game out. I downloaded it as soon as I got home from my cousin’s place, and I was INSTANTLY hooked. At this point, Jefferson (my husband) was just my boyfriend (although almost my fiancé). I told him how fun the game was and I wanted him to sign up so we could play together.
Now, this was the part where he gently reminded me of my extreme competitiveness and why we had to stop playing Pokémon cards together (and yes, we are two huge losers).
So I conceded, and played Hearthstone alone.
Fast forward to a few months ago. My husband has been watching me play Hearthstone for months, and is thoroughly enjoying it. So much so that he now wants to try playing. I gently remind him that playing Hearthstone together is probably a bad idea – as he mentioned almost two years ago. Eventually, I let him make a deck on my account and he plays.
And then HE gets obsessed. With my account. And with my cards. When he plays, I can’t. And yeah, now he’s playing a lot.
This supremely annoys me. After a few months of this, I tell him to get his own account. A new expansion has come out and it’s a great for newbies. He makes an account. He plays ALL the time. Even though he’s not using my account, I still feel angry. After a few days, we get into a fight.
“I want you to stop playing Hearthstone.”
So we duke things out. We get into another stupid fight over another stupid card game. Except, this time, I realize something.
Our stupid fights really aren’t all that stupid at all. Not at their core, at least. As we’ve grown together and learned to express ourselves in much (seriously, MUCH) better ways, I I gather my thoughts, and am able to figure out why I’m so angry.
I was not angry that he was “hogging” “my game” or playing “wrong” or any of that. I was angry because I felt like Hearthstone was my thing and he was taking it away from me. My husband and I have done almost everything together this year. Because of a variety of situations, we spent an insane amount of time together. For 3 months, we worked at the same place, we had similar school schedules, I was youth leader while he was a youth intern, and we rarely did any social things apart.
It was not the best model, but for reasons I will not get into, it’s just what happened.
Hearthstone honestly felt like MY retreat. Like the one thing I could get excited to tell Jefferson about and he would have no idea what I was talking about but pretend to sound interested anyway. It was the thing I did to relax, without worrying about competing with anyone I actually knew in real life. I also felt like Jefferson was intruding on the one thing I was able to call my own in our marriage.
I know it sounds totally ridiculous. And eventually, after I realized I had been feeling this way and we worked it all out, I told him I have no problem with him playing anymore. And I really don’t. I guess I was just holding in a lot of feelings and they needed to come out…even if they did come out over the stupidest thing.
Looking back, those old fights weren’t really about a muffin or a pokémon card or the placement of a picture frame. They were about not feeling heard. They were about feeling like we weren’t being taken seriously by each other. They were about feeling like the other person was acting selfishly.
So if you find yourself getting into “stupid” fights, maybe you should dig a little deeper. Honestly, sometimes we really do fight about stupid things because we’re tired or cranky or just in a weird mood. But sometimes, those seemingly stupid or silly or small conflicts can actually tell you a lot about how you’re truly feeling. We’ve definitely learned that the hard way.