Choosing to Fight

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Written by: Stacey Micklevitz
Choose to FightMy husband Bryan is a faithful follower of the UFC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fast-growing sport, UFC is Ultimate Fighting Championship. When I witnessed my first fight on TV, I was nearly horrified. How can this be a sport? How can two men enter a locked octagon and be allowed to pummel each other, until one of them submits or is knocked out either literally or technically? Worse, if neither fighter submits or is knocked out, the fighting is continued for three rounds of three minutes and the winner is decided by a panel of judges. The sport is in a word—brutal.
Bryan and I have opportunities to fight in our home. Yep! Even our marriage gets messy occasionally. Due to passionate personalities, we end up going head-to-head, or toe-to-toe, over some silly issues. Very often, my wonderfully level-headed, laid-back husband will ask in an exasperated tone, . .

“Do you want to fight over this? THIS???”

Of course, I don’t.

Most of the time, the issue isn’t worth the fight, as much as our egos desire the battle. After all, we’re on the same team. We must remember to attack the ISSUE and not the person. (In interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I occasionally leap into battle, dukes up and ready to rumble for three rounds or MORE. Poor Bryan!)

Over the years Bryan has watched the UFC fights on pay-per-view television.I endured the gore and began to gain knowledge of the sport.I became familiar with the individual fighters, learned their stories, and watched as they trained.I realized that there is WAY more to UFC fighting than I first thought.A fighter must master technique (wrestling, boxing, ju-jitsu), train by practicing their technique and endurance exercises, and study their opponent to know what to anticipate.

Unlike Roman Gladiators, UFC fighters CHOOSE to fight. And in order to protect my marriage and prevent foreseen messes, I must often CHOOSE to fight as well. I don’t mean that I should fight against my spouse, but fight WITH him. Together we have established boundaries and work hard to protect them. Satan is subtle. He finds seemingly harmless ways into a marriage and makes himself comfortable, settling in right between husband and wife.

Do you need to establish boundaries? Do you need to protect the ones you’ve already established? Study your enemy. KNOW him, for he is studying you. Be conscious about your decisions and your relationships. Treat your relationship with your spouse as though it is sacred – because it IS!

One way Bryan and I protect our marriage is by limiting our Facebook friends. We must have had a previously spouse-approved relationship with someone, if they are of the opposite sex, before “friending them.” We also allow each other full access to our FB accounts and hide nothing from each other. This agreement has caused me to pass on the opportunity for some additional FB friends, but I have never regretted the decision and have always felt as though I’m never making the wrong choice when my marriage wins.

Talk with your spouse.Decide where and how boundaries need to be established, and then be consistent and persistent. Keep going toe-to-toe with the enemy, and you will find that Marriage will be declared winner by decision!You might also find yourself liking UFC, too!

Stacey is a writer and frequent contributor to Messy Marriage.


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