Last week, I had a fight with my partner. Guess what it was about? Food. Yesso, ordinary food. But look, don’t judge me, people have quarreled over less. Anyway, we’d been planning our grocery shopping list, when, suddenly, he did the unthinkable. He said I spent too much money on food. It shocked me because I don’t eat much. I am a very picky eater. So naturally, I considered our food budget to be modest in the very least. Ah. You should have seen me, I was so angry, so mad. I even refused to speak to him for several hours. (Yes, I can be petty like that.) In my mind it was like: what right did he have to tell me that I spent too much on food? After all, it is my own money. What’s his business inside? Omo! Even as I’m writing this, I’m feeling provoked again. Lol.
Anyway, this article is not about my meal budget. After that incident, I started thinking about conflict in relationships. My partner and I quibble here and there. However, one thing I have learned is to keep quiet when I am angry because misconstrued words can destroy a relationship. Once it’s out, it’s out. You can’t take it back. Sure, you can apologize, but your partner will still remember—we are a cumulation of all the words people have said to us.
On the day of that our food fight, as I quietly sulked, I began to think: did he say that to hurt me or out of concern? Really, it is my money, so I guess he is trying to help me with spending and financial wellbeing. Surprisingly, after several hours of reflecting on the problem, I realized that he was right. As I said, I am a picky eater, and because of that, I always have to find something interesting to eat. I buy this. I buy that. After two days, I won’t feel like eating it again and so will abandon it. What we quarreled over was granola. Granola is not expensive, but how sustainable was it to buy a pack with yogurt every week? As I mulled over it, I thought, why can’t I even make my own granola? Off to YouTube, I went, and in less than two hours, I made two jars of granola. It wasn’t difficult at all, and it was ten times cheaper than buying from the store.
All I am trying to say is that sometimes, you have to be quiet to resolve conflicts. We all think that we are right, and the other person has surely done us wrong. We get indignant in our anger. We have our points and can prove that they are at fault. The irony is the other person might feel the same too. Instead of fighting and hauling harsh words at each other, why not stay quiet and reflect. You could both be wrong. If there’s one relationship advise I am happy to give anyone, including platonic friends, it is you and your partner against a problem. Fight the problem and not your partner.