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My entire marriage was contentious. In fact, my marriage was contentious before we were even married. And if I had to estimate, at least fifty percent of the time if not more, I was the initiator/instigator/enabler/sustainer/fully-engaged participator in the arguing. I hated arguing but I did it anyway. Fighting was a way of life for us, for me.

But I’m finished. I cannot stand fighting and I am emotionally exhausted from the fighting continuing, even if mostly in my own head.

And here’s what I realized. One of the things I’m looking for in the next man, if there is to be a next man, is little fighting.

No, I don’t want us both being doormats, but relational peace will be high on my priority list.

I want to fight with, not against.  Meaning, I want to be fighting for our redemption and our beauty from ashes and for light to win out over darkness.  I’d give anything for a partner to fight with.

And I want to be fought for. Don’t email me. I’m still the nazi-feminist I’ve always been. And I know I should be able to stand on my own two feet. And I know a man won’t “complete” me, Jerry Maguire. For the love. And I know that only Jesus can fill me up and heal me and make me whole.

But, and I don’t know if this is a girl thing or a Beth thing or a needy thing, but yes, I’m going to state it for the record: I want to be taken care of, and I want to be protected from evil and from the world.

I have a friend whose husband – you’re going to die – prays over her while she sleeps before he leaves for work.  Yeah, I want that.

I’m tired of needing emotional protection from my partner and needing to fight innumerable daily battles with my partner.

I want to fight with.  I want to be fought for. 

I am done fighting against.