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Fighting to Lose

No one wins when you fight to win.

I shared this post on my personal Facebook page this week, which was attributed to someone named Nicole Hart, but had been shared via so many of my friends that it’s unclear where it came from, with this sentiment:

The worst fight I ever mutually lost, because we were both fighting to win, ended with some of the best and worst results of my life. It was the fight with my ex-husband that ended in our divorce - and it was the fight about whether we were going to have a child. So, gentle readers, since I’ve been transparent that I have a child, and that I have a child with not-my-exhusband in other posts, you have the end of the story already in its totality. So, I’m telling the story of the worst fight I ever fought to win and mutually lost backwards.

I don’t want to - and honestly, can’t, because it was long enough ago that any fight would be a composite - recreate any of the pieces of two and a half months of argument. Constant battleground when we were alone and smile with underlying tension when other people - family, friends, other partners- were around, because both of us thought we would win; at least, neither of us would admit otherwise until it was over. Because we’re both too smart, and were both too entangled, and both too aware of each others’ weaknesses, and fears, and concerns about the issue, it slowly went from a conversation, to a fight, to low blows and ultimatums.

In the end, it was an incompatibility that could only be addressed as any fundamental incompatibility that devolves that way can - with an end to a relationship of many years that neither of us had foreseen ending, with anger and sadness and memory and bittersweetness left behind. Even with the support of friends and another partner, I cried every day for over a year. And technically, I won. I got what I wanted. I have the kids who I wanted and was afraid I’d never have, who I jumped at the chance of and fought to win for.

But when you fight to win, everyone loses.

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