What's Your Fight Style?

Earlier this week Shawn and I had words. It wasn't a big argument, and definitely wasn't about a significant topic, it was just one of those marital spats where feelings got hurt, feelings got dismissed, and we went to bed angry. (Side note: I'm not a fan of the "don't go to bed angry!" sentiment. That's cool if it works for you but it's not my jam.)

The next morning, one of us woke up completely over it and one of us woke up feeling like a brief summary was necessary for resolution. Not to rehash the entire argument but to quickly go over why the argument happened. I'm not saying one of us fights more right than the other (who am I kidding, that's exactly what I'm saying.) I just think it's interesting that we fight, and resolve fights, so differently.

So! Help a crazy lady out! Tell me how you fight, or rather, how you come out of a fight. (To clarify: I'm talking about bickery level stuff, on the fluffier end of the fight spectrum.)

If you go to bed angry, do you wake up completely over it or do you need to talk it through to feel like the issue has been resolved?
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What's in a Name

I did not change my name when Shawn and I got married. I didn't want to give up my name. I loved my last name. I still love my last name. But my passport needs to be renewed this year and I had to decide whether to renew in my current name (and commit to 10 more years with a different last name than Shawn and Grady) or change my name now and get a passport in my new name. Passports are expensive and I'm too cheap, erm, frugal to pay $160 for a passport now and another $160 if I decide I want to change my name in a year or two.

I was adamantly against changing my last name when I got married. It upset Shawn but he accepted that it was my choice. I'm glad I wasn't swayed by anyone then because it's allowed me to make the decision for myself now. I want to change my name now. I want to have the same last name as Shawn and Grady. Part of the reason I didn't want to change my name when we got married was that it felt like I was giving up my name to take Shawn's name. I felt like I would be losing my name. I don't know if it's because we've been married for over five years, or if it's because we have a child but my intense feelings have mellowed somewhat. I don't feel like I'm losing my name. Or, rather, dropping my name feels like less of a loss.

I honestly don't have any judgment or opinions about if people should or should not change their name. I don't give a hoot if you change your name. I care that you're doing what makes you happy and feels right for you. I reject the argument that taking my husband's last name makes me a bad feminist. Feminism (to me) means being free and able to make the choice whether or not to change my last name to match my husband's (or hyphenate my last name with his last name, or change both our last names to a brand! new! last name!) This is my choice to make and I'm so grateful to be able to make it.

So! In the next month or so I will change my last name to Shawn and Grady's last name. I considered legally hyphenating our two last names but then we'll end up with a 5-syllable last name and I just cannot be arsed. What was once SO important to me is now a non-issue. I love how fluid and ever-changing life can be.

I'm curious - have you changed your name? Did you take your partner's name or did you do something else?


I was recapping 2013 (okay, fine, I was complaining about 2013) to someone recently* and they commented that when Shawn and I make it through this year we'll be unstoppable. That if we can stay laughing, and stay best friends, we can make it through anything.

I agreed.

I also had to try very hard to not snort-laugh. 

Because while it's true that our relationship is growing stronger from these challenges, it is also true that some days we want to punch each other right in the baby-maker. Some days we are not best friends. Some days we are not friends at all. Not even a little bit. 

It's normal. It's to be expected. It's boring. But that doesn't make it any easier.  

Shawn has been an amazing source of support and love throughout this cancer bullshit. He has also been an insensitive dolt at times. Because he's human. He's just a guy with a headstrong 2-year old and a demanding job and bills to pay ... and a wife with cancer. 

I forget that, sometimes. I forget that this is hard for him too. Not hard in the same way. He hasn't said goodbye to Grady (twice! In the space of 5 weeks!) and wondered if it would be the last time. (Sidenote: I know. Tomorrow we could go outside and get hit by a bus or struck by lightning or eaten by sharks. I know that our time is not guaranteed. I ... don't care. Facing major surgery brings out the fainting couch and hand-wringing in me.) But just because he's not facing the same challenge I am doesn't make his challenge less valid. I think I need to tattoo that on the inside of my arm so I see it the next time I want to dickpunch him for complaining about his sniffly nose and sore throat. 

*2013: told I didn't have cancer, told I had cancer, two surgeries, complications from second surgery which resulted in longer hospital stay than anticipated, difficulty getting hormone levels correct, ambiguity from oncologist about treatment plan, stolen motorcycle, car damaged by falling parkade gate, family-wide bronchitis / Man Cold that has lasted for three weeks now and shows no sign of disappearing, Grady's heart thing which is possibly not a thing at all but we won't know until we have the echocardiogram. 


Five years ago we said our vows on the rooftop patio of an Irish bar and then went downstairs and partied all night. We ate burgers and corn on the cob and chocolate cupcakes. We laughed. We drank. We danced. We did not think that in five short years we would have a 2-year old mini dictator and a cancer diagnosis.

So much has changed in five years and nothing has changed in five years. I took so much for granted and now I feel almost bittersweet thinking about Hillary of five years ago. Hillary of five years ago felt like a genuine smile and a dash of enthusiasm could fix anything. Hillary of five years ago was so naive.
I'm almost positive that in another five years I will shake my head and sigh and think the same about Hillary of today.