We had a wicked fight

-- Question for John --

I met my soulmate. We have been together nearly three years and have a baby boy. We have had several issues and we are finally stable in our new home. She wanted to be married from the start especially after the baby. We planned several times but timing and finances has not allowed us a level of comfort to be married. She currently is packing from a wicked fight.

I am extremely committed, am in love her deeply and tell her we will be married, just waiting for a more appropriate time (resolve finances, stability etc.). Additionally, she is fixated on me getting back with my ex which after many arguments is getting tiresome and I am resenting the accusation. She gave me an ultimatum as I still believe that later this year would be better.

-- Answer from John --

It would be sad to lose your soulmate due to fights.

Soulmates are grown — not merely found.

In other words, you can meet someone who has incredible soulmate potential. They feel like a soulmate. That IS their potential for you. But to turn that potential into a lasting reality, you will have to develop ways to overcome the inevitable challenges that arise (even in the best relationships). Otherwise, your love will be thrown off track and you can end up on the rocks.

Fights and conflictual issues can be looked at in two ways:

(1) A sign that the relationship is not workable, after all.

(2) A sign that both partners have an incredibly important opportunity to grow personally and learn new strategies to overcome conflict.

Research has shown that the most important difference between couples that split up, and those who stay together in love, is NOT the absence of conflictual issues. All couples have about the same amount of issues to deal with. The difference is in the skills that a couple is willing and able to develop in order to resolve their issues. It’s more about HOW you fight than what you fight about.

Note the word “wicked” in your last sentence. That’s what I’m talking about.

It sounds to me like you really have a choice. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer to your when to get married issue. This is a rather common issue about timing, which is being re-interpreted by each of you as something else. For example, some couples re-interpret it as a conflict over commitment vs. being entrapped. You have whatever your re-interpretations are. But that is not really the point. Get married now? Wait until later? Hmmmm… that’s not the real problem here that needs to be faced immediately.

The real problem here that needs to be faced immediately is how the two of you are currently engaging in the attempt to resolve the issue. If you continue to do it the way you are doing it now (“wicked”), you will continue to get the same results (“wicked”). Those results will more and more through time make it seem like (1) above is a true assessment of your relationship. IT ISN’T. It is rather a true assessment of the specific strategies you are each using to attempt to resolve the issue, i.e. they are not workable.

Change your strategies and you can change the entire look and feel of how you resolve challenges. The road to “Happily Ever After” includes many challenges, bumps and rocks. It’s not a fairy tale. Each of you is old enough to know this by now.

How you approach each challenge determines whether you can build rock-solid trust or end up on the rocks.

That’s the part you are looking at developing: a way to enable your challenges to strengthen (not weaken) your love. That’s why we put that as a subtitle, right out there. You gotta know how to master the challenges if you want the relationship to prosper (or possibly even survive).

I would suggest that you sit down with her and clarify the importance of (2) above and attempt to get her to join you in an attempt to grow some new strategies for resolving this issue. This is an incredibly important opportunity to develop new skills in dealing with conflict.

Do that, and you dramatically increase your chances to beat the odds and have a love that lasts.