August 11, 2017
Jess & Brandon on What We Fight About
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Jess’ husband Brandon joins her to talk about their fights — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Fighting with your partner is not a sign that your relationship is doomed. In fact, the happiest couples fight and there are benefits to fighting:
- Smaller fights may help to stave off bigger conflicts in the long run
- Fighting helps us to adjust our behaviour in order to have more productive and loving interactions moving forward
- Fighting with positive resolutions can lead to greater relationship satisfaction as you become more honest, relieve relationship tension and communicate your needs and expectation.
Healthy fighting might involve:
- Active listening and an attempt to understand your partner’s perspective; rather than waiting for them to finish so the you can respond, listen to what they’re saying and take a breath (with a “hmmm”) after everything they say.
- Positive interactions even when you disagree (e.g. letting your partner know that you love them and want to resolve the issue, physical affection, contemplation before responding, an attempt to make up after); the most important time to be loving and affectionate is when things are tense. Even when you’re mad or frustrated, if you can reach out and let them know that you care (e.g. put your hand on theirs), you’ll find that your fights are less intense and more resolvable.
- Writing down your concerns, fears and expectations and sharing them openly with your partner; some people advise against arguing via text as it lacks tone and nuance, but I see many couples who resolve issues while typing. It might be a generational issue (younger folks are more accustomed to communicating and expressing themselves via text), but I see a number of benefits including the ability to reread what you’ve written and communicate emotions using emojis.
- An opportunity for both parties to speak and listen;
- Acknowledging your role in the conflict first. We have a tendency to blame others first (it’s a near-universal defence mechanism), but those who fight fairly take a moment to reflect on what they did to contribute to the current conflict or disagreement. Mea culpa is a powerful conflict resolution approach.
- A desire to reach resolution and improve understanding as opposed to a desire to win an argument. If you want to be right, you don’t really want to resolve the conflict. There isn’t always a right and wrong and if you’re stuck in this mindset, you’ll likely find that your fights result in lingering tension as opposed to improved understanding.
- Specific action items: at the end of an argument, do you identify what you can do differently moving forward? Specific behavioural changes can improve your relationship and help you become a better person/partner.
Unhealthy fighting might involve:
- The same topics over and over with little behavioural and/or attitudinal change to follow
- Attempts to “win” an argument as opposed to bids to improve understanding
- Snide or underhanded remarks; muttering under your breath
- Conversation-killing statements like “I guess I should just leave. You’d be happier without me.” Or, “Stop acting crazy!” These types of statements don’t move the conversation along and they’re certainly not underpinned by love. Healthy fights allow you to relieve tension with the goal of improving your relationship and deepening the loving connection.
If you’re ready to improve and invest in your relationship check out our online learning courses here. You can learn to be a better communicator, get more of what you want and maintain the spark for years to come.
This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
Jess & Brandon on What We Fight About
Hello. Hello. This is Jessica O’Reilly, your friendly neighborhood sexologist. And I am here today with, I guess, my favorite, but my scariest guest quite the introduction, but my favorite nonetheless. Brandon, my husband is with me because I kind of just sprung it on him on Instagram that we’re going to do a podcast all about fighting and what we’ve been fighting about lately. So go ahead and say Hello. So I’m here to start an argument with you so everyone can listen in our techniques. Yeah, he came down and he goes, Should I start a fight with you now or once you start recording and I’m thinking neither. I hope not. I hope we don’t get into it here. But I think it’s important that we talk about fighting, because if you follow on Instagram with follow me or Brandon or both, you probably follow me. I’m sex with Dr. Jess, and he’s where in Toronto, Brandon, you see all these happy, shiny photos and we’re having a good time, and we have a pretty damn good life, and there’s no arguing with that. Life is good. But despite the good life and despite a pretty good relationship, we definitely fight, of course, and nobody puts a bunch of negative photos or photos with them arguing with their partner on Instagram or Facebook or anything for that matter. Yeah, that’s true. And I think I’m still too vulnerable putting the fight right out there, like, I’m willing to talk in general terms. And maybe we’ll get into some of the specifics of what we’ve been fighting about lately. And I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous. I feel a little bit weird because I’m used to talking about sex and relationships from a research perspective, digging into the data, hearing other people’s stories. But yeah, telling my own puts me obviously in a different, more vulnerable position. And then having Brandon here to call me out if I lie makes it all the more vulnerable. So I guess we’ll just jump right into it. What I was trying to say is, you see, the shiny side on Facebook, but obviously we fight. And sometimes people will say, oh, you look so happy. I can’t imagine you fighting. And I’m like, oh, my gosh, I can’t imagine us not fighting. Yeah. I was like, we’ve had some doozys. Yeah. And they’re not like yelling and screaming furniture throwing sites. No, I hope we never get there. Yes, I’m not very strong with furniture. Anyway, our furniture is very heavy. Furniture is really heavy. But what we’ve been fighting about lately, I would say the number one thing we fight about is technology. So using our phones, ipads, computers. If you look around us right now, we each have three devices. Yeah. And they’re all running. And more importantly, I think, is how often or how much we use them. It’s not even so much that we have the technology or the devices. It’s that they are the first thing. We’re checking in the morning, and they are the last thing that we’re checking before we shut down for the day. And starting usually begins between seven and eight in the morning and six. Yes, depending on what time zone you’re in, and it can run depending on what I have going or where you are. I mean, I’ve worked until twelve 100 in the morning. It doesn’t happen that often, but typically between nine and ten at night is when we’re shutting down. So technology is not the problem, the volume of technology. And again, I’m a big fan of technology. If you follow my work, you know that I believe that technology does more to enhance relationships than detract from them. But the problem with technology is how its use can make you feel. So I’ll talk from my perspective when we’re at dinner and you reach for your phone or when you bring your phone up into the bedroom, when you promised you wouldn’t or when you say, oh, I just got to return this one text. It’s not about the text. It’s not about the phone. It’s not about the bedroom. It’s about the way it makes me feel. And that’s unimportant, right? I don’t feel valued. I don’t feel like I’m enough to distract you. I feel like you’re not really with me. And I know that this definitely flows both ways. Yeah. I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way or feels. Well, what I mean is I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this constant need to be checking to see what other people are saying or doing or if I’m getting any messages. And when we’re out at dinner or if we’re having drinks or if we’re anywhere, for that matter, we both do it. It’s not like I’m the only one who does it, but I do feel this need to check my phone, and there’s always a reason or a rationale for it. I’ve got somebody I’m expecting a phone call or I’m expecting an email or a text or something. But the real question is why and I don’t have an answer. I’m putting it out there. Maybe somebody has an answer for me, but I have this incessant need to be checking all the time. Well, you know what it is? I think for me it’s making sure that everything’s okay. Yeah. I think that’s what it is. I always want to know that everything is in good order so that I can nip a problem in the bud. So it’s a fear. It’s a fear that something is going to go wrong at work because we both run businesses, something’s going to go wrong, and you’re going to miss it. Yeah. Or there’s a problem that requires my immediate attention and not responding for an hour or two is the difference between me fixing it, and it turning into some big, fiery mess, which, let’s be honest, 99% of the time isn’t going to happen. Yeah, well, I mean, so it’s an irrational thought. It’s what we call like a cognitive distortion where you’re catastrophizing something that hasn’t even happened. And I’m going to admit something that’s kind of weird. I’m kind of embarrassed not to tell all you more embarrassed to tell Brian. And sometimes we’re at dinner. So we go out for dinner, and we do. We make a commitment not to use our phones not all the time, but oftentimes the phones are in my purse or in his pocket. And so we’re not using them because we want to be present. And then when Brandon goes to the bathroom or gets up to wash his hands, hang on. It’s not just that I reach for my phone. This is messed up. You don’t even want to tell me right now. No, it’s that I feel a sense of relief that I can check my phone because you’ve gone to the bathroom. Well, you don’t have to listen to me anymore. The relief that you’re gone. No, Mike, finally, he tells me one more story about that deal. Yes. How do I say it? We’ve created a norm where checking our phone is the standard and not checking it is the anomaly when, in fact, socially and in an intimate environment and in an environment where we’re supposed to be connecting with one another, we need to shift that norm. So that not checking our phone is the norm. And checking it is the anomaly. And there are some ways that you and I have aimed to do this. So just to let you know, folks, I know this podcast is usually quite structured, and I try and keep it to the 18 to 20 minutes Mark, but we have no plan. We’re just going to talk about our fights technology being the first one, so we might go a bit longer. We might ramble a tiny little bit. But we do have some rules. So, for instance, one of the rules is that we do not take our phones upstairs to the third floor where our bedroom is located. And we break this rule. Sometimes I break it pretty much every single day. Do you probably. Oh, yeah, for sure, because I’m always running up there and I got my phone in my pocket. Okay, that’s a bit different. I mean, like, we’re not purposely taking it up. If it’s in your pocket, it’s in your pocket. I’m not asking you to check it at the phone. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get into the habit of checking the phone, throwing it on a table at the bottom of the stairs before we head upstairs, you get into the habit of never taking it upstairs like a classroom. So in some classrooms, they have a box where they collect the phones at the beginning of class, and then they return them at the end of class. Can you imagine they did that in business meetings? Oh, my God. Your business meetings would be so boring. Apple Watch. You can check your messages. Yeah, I hated the Apple watch. I had an Apple watch. I think drove me crazy. I had, like, 18 things ringing, and I never knew how to turn everything off. I felt like it was my fault you got rid of the Apple watch? No, it was more. I’d be in a meeting and my wrist was ringing. My pocket was ringing. My ipad was ringing after a while. Was the vibrating plug going too? Well, I actually took the watch and put it in my pocket. For that particular reason, it felt so good. I couldn’t wait to get a phone call. So we have the rules that the phone doesn’t go up to the bedroom. Brandon suggesting that maybe we have a little table at the bottom of the stairs. I just think that’s a great idea. We also have a rule that we shut down at a certain time. I’m not meaning to tell you what time it is because our business is run late into the evening, and I work overseas, so I’ve got different time zones. But here’s what I’ve got a lot of right now is excuses. Yeah, we both adhere to the time frame that we both committed to in terms of shutting off our phone or our devices, and it pisses me off. Here’s the real problem. I get so pissed off, I get so mad when I see you on your phone. But then when I’m on my phone, you’re a bit of a hypocrite. I mean, you are you’re willing to call me out on your problem or on what you perceive to be my problems? But then if I were to call you out, there’s always a rationale or excuse for it. So if I had to describe one of the things that we do fight about, technology is definitely it. Another one is the hypocrisy of what is and isn’t okay. And I know we’re not here to solve the problem on this podcast, but it is something that I think we’re both aware of, that you’re willing to call me out on it, but then you’re the one upstairs working on your business in the midst of the day when you shouldn’t be upstairs. Yes. No. And I think that’s true. I know that I’m a hypocrite. Like, if it’s 930 or ten at night and I see you on your phone, I’m like, Babe, why aren’t you with me? Why aren’t you present? Why aren’t you paying attention? Hold on. I got an Instagram message. Hold on. Someone from overseas just messaged me. Yeah. So I think I’m a hypocrite. And so I think I need to be called out a bit more and for some reason, and we can’t delve into this right now. You’re a little more reserved in calling me out where I will totally call you out. I’ll be like, Babe, tech is the number one thing we fight about, and then I want to talk about this other thing we fight about because we’ve been fighting about this for over a decade. We’ve been together. Is it 16 years? You tell me. I know exactly how long we’ve been together. He’s better at the anniversaries than me. But, yes, 16 years. And I think we’ve been fighting about this almost since the beginning of the relationship. And this is so silly. And this is evidence that oftentimes what you’re fighting about is not actually the subject at hand. It’s the underlying values, messages and feelings attached to that subject. So we fight about food. Yes. We fight very much about food, more about the getting of food. Yeah. I come from the family where food is very important, where we had our meals together almost every morning and night, especially at night. My family is really into food. We love it. We relish in it. We take pictures of it. We post it on Facebook, and then we kind of like, drool over each other’s food. And I like cereal and wonder bread. I don’t know that I would go so far as to say wonder bread, but I definitely am not as focused on the pleasures associated with food and a meal and preparation even over the holidays. I know that you take a lot of pleasure out of making homemade truffles, and the painstaking process involves it blows my mind. I’m like, you spent three days making these truffles. I don’t get it. Like, just get some chocolate stick in your mouth. Yeah. So it’s not our difference in, I guess, value we place on food. That’s the problem. It’s the behaviors attached to that. So I don’t really care if he wants to eat cereal. I don’t think you care if I want to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant, and you always come with me. Of course, I’ve introduced you to a home. I very much enjoy the Michelin starred restaurants. It’s just not high on my priority list most evenings to make sure that that’s the quality or the caliber of food that we’re eating. Okay, so here’s the fight. The fight is about preparing food, making dinner or ordering dinner. I love to Cook, but I do travel about four to five days a week, so I’m not cooking as much as I used to. And so when I come home, we Uber eats a lot. We order a lot of food, and there are great restaurants around to deliver. But I get so pissed off at Brandon because I feel like he never orders food. I don’t expect him to make dinner because he doesn’t really Cook, but I feel like you never prepare food. And right now because we’re not fighting about it, we can talk about it. But when I come home, I came home from relatively long trip in Asia the other day, and I think I just wanted him to, like, came home to an empty fridge. There was some booze and probably milk, so I could make coffee. Yeah, and I just wanted him to not make dinner, but even consider ordering dinner, but he can’t order dinner. No, it’s a combination of variables as to my rationale and my justification, because I always have a reason for that. I always believe that there should be a reason for your actions or your inaction, for that matter. So when it comes to food, you are spot on. I do not order food. I rarely do I choose the restaurant. I say that I’m indifferent, but I think it’s more about I realize how much pleasure you derive from food. So I think I place that onus of responsibility on you to decide every single night what we want to eat. And it’s not as though I’m unwilling to assist with the preparation because I will not make it, because if I make it, it will be terrible unless you need me to grill something which I usually don’t mess with. But even if we grill stuff, I’ve got to go pick it. I’ve got to go buy it. So we fight about this. I mean, it’s partially a division of labor argument, although I will say overall, I don’t feel like I do more than you like. I feel like the division of labor is fairly even, and I also feel that sorry, guys, we’re just like talking to sales. I also feel as though because I travel so much that you pick up a lot of the slack. I guess. I think it’s a division of labor argument because it’s a household task, but in fact, it’s really about doing something that makes me feel important. So because food is like a way that my family shows love and care. And you’ve been to my mom’s house, and you know how much effort she puts in this woman not only cooks fabulous food, my mother, but she makes jam. She peels all of the skin off the grapefruit and puts it in containers for us. She makes soup containers. I don’t know if you know this, but my father lives with us. My parents are divorced, and my dad’s 74, and he lives in our house. But my mom even packages up a separate container of food for him, even though they’re long divorced. She’s an excellent cookie, and she’s just a really thoughtful, giving person. And some of my cousins with whom I’m the closest. We also share a lot of our love through food. And so I’ve kind of tried to explain to Brandon over the years like, this is what I want, and he gets frustrated, and I think it’s partly too. You’re afraid that you’re going to make me or order me something I don’t want? Yeah, of course it is. I mean, you can start to see how these underlying issues come forward with every topic we’re discussing here with the technology, it’s all about making. I’m not focusing just on you here. But it’s about showing you that I care and that I am willing to take time away from something else and let you know that you’re the most important person. The same thing with food. The food is not about the preparation or the cleaning up or anything. It’s again about making the effort to make you feel important, to recognize that you feel important. And I think as we’re talking this out and this is coming forward, it’s a lot easier for me to see what is important to you and how I can fix that and make that better. But we have very different kind of core values. I’m sorry. We don’t have very different core values. We have different things that are important food values that are important to us. And I guess I should also say, because I tend to be an allornothing person, and I do shut up. Really. I think that’s the next thing we should talk about. But this morning, we came in from Portugal last night, so there’s no food in the house. But Britain went to my favorite coffee shop, Sumac Espresso, around the corner in Toronto. It’s my home, away from home at home. And he picked me up a sandwich. And Mike makes amazing sandwiches. And so you do these things? Yeah, that was loaded because I also went there for a morning espresso. But you still got it for me. So it’s not like you don’t do these things. And sometimes when in the moment, maybe I should mention this when I’m hungry and I get angry and I’m angry, I’m like, you’ll never do this. And that moves us to our next issue that we fight about, which is how we fight. Yeah, I would say that. And I brought this up before to you in the heat of the moment. You are very short sighted. Yes. When I love you, I love love you. And when I’m mad at you, I’m like, get out of my life. You’re the worst thing ever. The world you cannot see. What is that saying? The forest through the trees. It’s a major cognitive distortion I have, which is all or nothing thinking. So I’m either all in or I’m zero in and there’s like, no one to 99 when I’m angry. What are you doing? I’m just listening. That’s the biggest problem when we fight. Usually it’s not what you fight about. It’s how you fight. And so one of the things that I have to work on is that all or nothing thinking and simply being aware of it helps. The second thing is having Brandon be able to call me out in a supportive and caring way, not saying like, you always do this, which is what I do. So that’s my struggle when I fight, I’m really bad at seeing the bigger picture. So if you’ve done one little tiny thing to wrong me, which inevitably, in every relationship, you’re going to do you’re going to hurt each other’s feelings? You’re going to neglect one another. I’m like, oh, my gosh. The sky is falling. This relationship is a mess. What are we going to do? I’m lucky that Brandon, you have your feet on the floor and you’re like, Babe, it’s going to be okay. You’re really good at apologizing. The thing that Brandon does best when we fight is he keeps pushing through, like, there’s never a moment where he’s like, oh, I’ve had enough. He always conveys to me, even when we’re really mad at each other, that he cares about me and that this is his priority and that he’s willing to keep working to make it better. And so over the 16 years, I’ve picked up maybe 1% of those skills from him. And, yeah, I’m continuing to learn. So the third thing, as I said, we fight about is how we fight my all or nothing thinking. And I learned from him because he’s definitely the opposite. And then my problem with you when we fight? No, there’s no problem. No Mike drop. Yes. Don’t drop the mic. It’s the only one I have my problem with you. I have some notes. Would you like me to highlight what my problems are? No, it’s that you make excuses when you know you’ve done something wrong. You’re not your nice, loving, caring self. You make excuses, you throw around accusations. You get aggressive, not aggressive in a physical way, not even in terms of raising your voice or anything like that. But, yeah, you’re not the nicest person when we fight, you’re okay. But when you know you’re wrong and you haven’t been able to reconcile that yet, you’re a jerk. Angry. Brandon has a problem sometimes remembering what he’s said. So it does present some challenges. But, yeah, over the years, my fighting or arguing techniques have changed. That makes it sound like a martial art. I know that when I was younger, when we were in our early 20s, I would reach a boiling point really quickly, and I’d probably yell or just blow a gasket. And over the years, I’ve learned a bit to stay a little bit more common, collected. But I do. I have the same sort of problem where we get into an argument. I listen, I debate. We go back and forth. We go back and forth. And if the problem isn’t resolved within a timely manner, I start to get really upset. No, your apologies suck. My apologies do suck. I’m very sorry that I did that. He’s really good at saying sorry right away, but it’s not like the heartfelt. Babe, I am so sorry. I cannot believe I made you feel that way. You’re the most amazing woman ever. How can I make it up to you? Can I rub your feet? Yeah. I don’t want diamonds. I just want you sucking up, but I definitely know that I follow a pretty regimented path in most of our arguments where I am willing to talk and listen and try to resolve the problem and look for the root cause and continue to talk it out and push through and push through. And then after a set period of time and there’s no specific amount of time, if the issue hasn’t been resolved, I start getting frustrated and irritated. And that’s when I become the not so great version of myself. Yeah, easy to talk about this now because we’re in a fight. Yeah. Be kind of funny to actually hear us fight only not funny, but it would be certainly a learning opportunity for us. And I’m sure for other people to be like, wow, they are jerks. But, yeah, when you’re angry, basically, when your fight or flight response is enacted and your cortisol levels spike and you are physiologically flooded, so your heart rate increases to over 100 beats per minute. You lose the ability to be empathetic, you lose the ability to be rational and that’s human only 100 beats per minute, because I’m pretty sure my threshold is, like, 85. That’s because you have a resting heart rate. It’s like, 50. No, I do not. I think we’re human, and this is a universal human experience. So, yeah, we fight and we’re jerks, and then we have the ability to move on. Another thing Brandon does. That’s really amazing. And God, I cannot, like, physically bring myself to do this is you’re affectionate, even when you’re pissed off. So even if he’s mad, he’ll kiss me good night or he’ll kiss me goodbye. If he has to go and me, I will pout and I will keep my head down, and I will build a wall. I will put the laundry in between us so that he can’t get to me and the physical affection. And I always tell people this because I learned a lot from you. Babe. I feel like what makes our relationship work is I have the theory. I share the theory. You put it into practice or I tried to, and then I actually learned from you. But I tell people that the most important time to be affectionate is when you don’t want to be affectionate, when you really don’t feel it because we know the health, financial benefits, all these benefits associated with physical affection. Like we’ve seen studies where men who kiss their partners could buy half a 50% reduced risk of getting in a car accident. They live five years longer. They can earn 20% to 30% more than those who are not affectionate with their partners. We know that it lowers your blood pressure, it lowers stress. It improves recovery from heart attacks, from cancer, from other illness and disease. We know that being physically affectionate is important, and we’re not. So now I’m holding your hands for once, but, yeah, I think that’s another thing that you do really well when we fight, but you can see, even in having this conversation, some of these rude issues are coming to the surface. I mean, any psychologists out there listening or anybody who’s done any research in the area would see that I’m affectionate with you, even when I don’t want to be, because I have a fear. I have a fear of something ever happening and not kissing you goodbye or kissing you good morning or touching you one last time. And it probably is a silly way to go through your life. But it is something that I do think about, or I try to think about in the heat of the moment. I don’t think it’s a silly way where I do. I always want you to know that if something were to happen to me or something, whatever be my last, it would be something caring that can’t be your last. And I’m catastrophizing. But at the end of the day, I like where I come from in that respect, when we are fighting, because I want you to know that this is the most important thing to me, and it is something that I value more than anything else that I have. Thank you. Yeah, I know you do convey that. Not at every moment. Trust me. There are moments where I don’t feel important, and I think that’s something to maybe wrap on, which is fear. And one thing we’ve discovered over 16 years of fighting, and especially last week, we had a big fight in Portugal. And the other struggle we have is that I travel often, so we are apart half of the time. And when we’re apart, things are amazing. Man, I love this guy from like, a miles away. But when we come back together, there is inevitably, without fail, a period of adjustment where we get back into our groove together and we start getting used to going to bed together, waking up together only to last three days, and I’m back off again. You’re gone. So we struggle when there’s a period of time where we’re actually coming back together. So in Portugal, we had ten days together, which may not sound like a long time for many of you, but for us being in a part time, long distance relationship, it’s a long time. So we had a big fight the second day and what I got out of it, it was a big fight was that it’s fear. Ultimately, whenever we have a fight, whether it’s about food or technology or how we fight or our families or any sort of values may be related to some of our differences with financial values. It really is about fear and my fear. And your fear seems to be the same. We’re really afraid of losing one another, of losing what we have. And when you get down to that, I call it like emotional vulnerability. Or we were talking about this concept of emotional humility. Being able to say like, this isn’t about winning the argument. This isn’t about being right. This is about me being able to say, like, yeah, I’m acting this way because I don’t feel loved or because I’m afraid you don’t love me as much as you used to. Or I’m afraid I’m not as exciting as I used to be when we can get down to our core fears. Then I find when you express that to me, I’m so much more open to hearing what you have to say. I just want to love you. I want to take care of you. I move from that all or nothing catastrophizing thinking of. I hate this guy. Why is he such a jerk to me to. Oh, I get it. This is why you’re acting this way. And I don’t know if I’m providing enough context to really clarify what I’m trying to say. But ultimately, all of our fights come down to some sort of a fear that you don’t care enough about each other, that you don’t prioritize. Like I said to you when you’re on your phone, I feel like I’m not enough for you. Like what you see right here isn’t enough. So you’re on Instagram or you’re on something. And I don’t think that that is the case. Oftentimes with most people in relationships, it’s a fleeting moment where you’re distracted by something else and your partner is the most important person to you, and you just don’t convey it in that moment. And it’s easy how a quick, ten second or 22nd action can convey something that you don’t mean to the person that you’re with. But these are all deep rooted issues that we can have long conversations with. But I think the biggest thing for us if I were to give one last little piece of advice, or I guess commentary on our sites is that we push through, and sometimes we’re pushing through and pushing through. At least I am, especially when I don’t want to be. And then all of a sudden there’s this moment where you understand the other person and you have this moment of clarity and you’re empathetic and you’re sympathetic towards the other person’s position, and things start moving back towards good. But getting to that point sometimes takes hours to get to. And but once you’re there, both people have a willingness, or at least we have a willingness to push through, and the argument is resolved, and we take the time to fight, too. But it’s getting to that point. Yeah. We’ve had some sleepless nights, man. We take the time, and I see people who just walk away and let things go. And I always think sometimes I’m a little jealous. I’m like, why can’t we just walk away and let things go? But then they come back, and this is the thing. We fight to relieve stress. We fight because we know that sometimes smaller fights about lighter issues can help reduce the likelihood of more explosive, damaging fights. We fight to improve understanding. And again, I really want to emphasize fights don’t always mean big, huge arguments. Sometimes it’s just a high tension conversation. And we also have these fights and conversations to convey our needs to delineate what behavioral adjustments we want from our partner because it is okay to make behavioral adjustments for your partner. I’ve heard people say like, oh, he wants me to change. Change what? Change the way you say thank you. Change your manners at the table. Those are things that are perfectly okay to change. You’re going to change over your lifetime. So we have these fights, and all couples have these fights with good reason. So if you are fighting, I encourage you just to make the most of your fights. In our case, when we look at tech, we need to set I think more rigid rules. Take it a day at a time and call each other out. And when it comes to food, I guess that’s more on my side. I need to be more understanding that food is not necessarily the way you communicate love. And I think you need to be understanding and say, this is a very easy way to show love. And then in terms of how we fight, I know I need to work on my all or nothing thinking that cognitive distortion. And I know you can call me out on that. And I can learn from you. I mentioned some of the things Brandon does well, which is at no point does he give up. He keeps saying, I’m willing to work on this. And as soon as he says that I’m like, I let a little tiny piece of my anger go, you show affection. You do call me out, which I need some of. And so I encourage you that I encourage all of you to kind of lean into your fights. Not fighting, in fact, can be problematic, because oftentimes it’s a sign that one person is capitulating more often than not. If not all the time, I could give you some data and some info on what the research says about fighting. Maybe I’ll put that down below and some text, but this is just our tiny little, is it? Yeah. Kind of very weird for me to just talk about my relationship in an unscripted way. But thanks, Babe. Doing it. I’m glad that I didn’t start a fight. Yeah, that too. We might have right before. Almost had a little. Yeah, maybe a little disagreement. Yeah. It’s hard when you’re going to just get together and talk about your relationship for other people. It’s always one of my fears, wondering how much information I should put out there and how much I shouldn’t. Only because as much as I like all of you, all my priority is preserving this relationship above all else. Agree. Yeah, I’m going to stop there. Thanks so much for listening to this very personal episode. Follow along at Sex with Dr. Jess. And if you want to find my pretty partner, here Brandon. Where he is. Where? In Toronto? Brandon. And where is his last name? W-A-R-E. Have a great week, folks. If you do get in the fight, don’t be too hard on yourself. But be kind to each other. And we will talk again soon.