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Atul stormed out of the house and Paru was just left staring at the shut door.
She was so frustrated and angry - "Why can't I slam the door and just leave to 'take a walk'!? . Why do I have to be left simmering here on all the residual anger- being a grown up in front of the kids?"
She realised - so much had changed since the kids. She remembered the times when it was just them two, and before that when she was single. How carefree was the life, where she wasn't answerable to anyone. Hanging out with the friends, travel plans, shopping trips were all just a text message away. She remembered how for granted was the fact that she can simply BE.
Even later after getting married to her sweet boyfriend things were so nice and special. They would surprise each other with thoughtful gifts. Time and energy would be spent in each other. They had simple arguments and an amazing make-up routine. They would amiably tease each other with silly arguments, and make peace. Looks of understanding would be exchanged. There was no fight that was worth the peace of mind.
So, they just didn't.
After they were blessed with twins, the enormity of the responsibility of two tiny little lives loomed on every small argument and discussion. Everything got extrapolated to the rest of the life and some actions that would otherwise be a rarity, started getting projected as habits to last forever. Sleep deprived, physically, emotionally, mentally exhausted - anyone can crumble under such pressure, let alone two people who've just been handed the most important canvas of their lives.
So, they fought.
They also felt immensely guilty fighting in front of the babies. But dismissed it, naturally thinking that they don't really understand things yet. Still had some time to figure this thing out.
But now the kids were almost 2yo and they were still fighting - even more.
And here- Paru was yet again left staring at the door that was shut in her face. Yet again.
She saw some of the pictures on the mantle, and it almost showed the journey. Happy couple. Beautiful kids. She loved her kids so much. They were such joys and did the funniest of the impressions of each other (literally!). Her husband was her true love. He was also such a great father. They had distributed chores and responsibilities and he was her 50% partner in truest of all senses.
But these fights were bound to happen. They were not- 'I'm going to divorce you' fights, but certainly left a bitter feeling in the gut. The kids had also started beginning to sense their arguments and sudden change in the atmosphere.
There was no way this was going to be their last argument and yet it was her instinct and duty to not to let this affect the kids negatively any more. Never a believer in bottling up emotions there HAD to be a better way to fight in front of the kids.
So, when Atul finally came home feeling equally guilty, they got talking and listed down a few ground rules for fighting in front of the kids.
1. No name calling.
No matter how angry they got- There would be no name calling. Not for each other or for each other's friends and relatives. No one needs that. It doesn't help anyone and certainly not the person who is doing the name calling.
2. No Extrapolation.
Just talk about the event that just happened. Not about what will happen 20 years later or how this has always been happening. Try to avoid ALWAYS and NEVER in the arguments. They are NEVER true. Except for in this sentence, that is.
3. Open the senses.
They both realised that earlier, they used to understand each other and know the real intentions behind the words. Now they would simply attack on the words as they were.
But why did he even say that- used to be a common point of argument. So now- they would go back to listening with eyes and ears and context and not just words.
4. Take a break from the fight.
Taking a break is not always a bad thing. Though, it could be done in a better way- the fact that they had just taken a break from the fight gave both of them something to think about.
5. Say your piece and shut up.
Give your partner some time to absorb the information/idea/news. They realised that no one needs to make the entire case right away. People who love each other always want their partners to be happy. Give each other some time to wrap their head around the new brilliant plan.
Just the fact that there were some ground rules at all to this madness made them both feel a bit at ease. Parenting was a tough job and they needed each other and then they lived happily ever after.
Well... kind of.
(and I really need to wrap this article up before I end up writing a full novella)