Yeah, you heard me right. And no, I’m not kidding.
I think there are some similarities between healthy poop and healthy fights:
It’s intact. The ‘mushier’ the poop the less healthy it is. A healthy fight is also intact. It’s about one topic. A ‘mushy’ fight is when you start off fighting about chores and end up fighting about that time 3 years ago when she forgot to pick up your dry cleaning. Keep your fights focused on what topic at a time.
It’s regular. Regular bowel movements are a great sign things are going well. Same thing with fights. It’s not a great idea to let things build up. It doesn’t make fighting or pooping easier. Are you regularly letting each other know what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling? Or are you opting to hold it just a little bit longer? Much like pooping, fighting is good for you.
It doesn’t hurt. This is really important. Pooping shouldn’t hurt. Fighting shouldn’t hurt. But since most of us don’t get to see great examples of healthy fighting many of us are terrified that it won’t feel good. We hide from it because we can’t imagine being in conflict with a person you love to ultimately end in feeling closer. We imagine the only thing that comes from fighting is hurt, so we avoid it. This doesn’t mean painless fighting is natural, I think it’s a learned skill. But, like pooping, if it hurts it’s not healthy.