It doesn’t matter who started it!...

It doesn’t matter who started it!

Relationship Tip #7

Ready for another relationship truth you need to learn?

Relationship Tip #7. It doesn’t matter who started it!

There are no winners once the “You Started It!” battle begins. 

As a matter of fact, the tattered remnants of all the couples who do not succeed can be found on the battlefield of “You Started It.” 

The truth is, who started it isn’t important. 

I KNOW it’s practically impossible to believe. In fact there are moments for me when it really does feel impossible to surrender to the truth that it doesn’t matter that my wife Teale started it! ????????

Yes! Even though I have all this relationship wisdom stuff floating around in my Shrek-sized head, I still get stuck in the seductive “You Started It” trance. And ya know what I do when that happens? I fling sh*t at my wife like a monkey in the zoo, and then I’m shocked *SHOCKED* when I end up with sh*t thrown back in my face.

Well, what did I expect? I just cued Act 1 of The Figs & Teale Sh*t Show!

Content warning … this is about to get messy.

Maybe this looks familiar:

You feel like sh*t inside and believe it’s your partner’s fault, so you react by being super sh*tty to your partner (yeah, I know you may not even believe you’re being sh*tty to your partner, but you are!!) This in turn makes your partner feel like sh*t inside and now they see you as the cause of how sh*tty they feel so they react by being damned sh*tty back to you… and then you feel even MORE like sh*t inside and on and on the Sh*t Show goes…. WHAT A STINKING MESS!!!

You wanna avoid the Sh*t Show?? Next time you find yourself in a fight or argument (or WHATEVER you call a moment of conflict in your relationship), try to see it as an US PROBLEM, as in, “Oh! Right! This is what WE DO when we’re feeling disconnected from each other. I wonder what’s really going on?” (Read: “During a Fight, What’s Really Happening?”

It’s not a question of who started it. It’s a question of how do we stop it and reconnect as quickly as possible.

  1. Try to transition from being in the fight to floating above the fight to get a bird’s-eye view. 
  2. Watch the scene play out below you instead of acting it out as the hero or victim. 
  3. Can you see that regardless of who struck the first blow, you’re both now going round and round in your Sh*t Show together?

If you want to have a successful relationship, drop the whodunit mystery ASAP. It really doesn’t matter who started it!

No one wants to be in the sh*t. It feels bad, smells bad, and takes real time and hard work to get the stink off!

Take two minutes to read your Self-Discovery Report once you have taken the Empathi Quiz— knowing and accepting your vulnerability in love is an essential step toward having a successful relationship!

Be kind to yourself and each other, 


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Figs is the creator of the Empathi method and the certification process for Empathi coaches. He’s also Chief Empathi Officer, husband, dad, wounded-healer and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a champion for healthy relationships. Figs’ life’s mission is to help couples feel more connected.

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