We've been together for over 11 years and we just had our first fight yesterday.
And I'm so happy and proud!
Until I started going through these reflections and changes, whenever I had any negative feelings about anything happening between the two of us, I'd go into silent polite wronged martyred victim mode, which made him feel accused of being a horrible abuser for things like raising his voice or saying a relatively generic swearword in a moment of irritation or just feeling irritated or less than perfectly happy, or anything, really, because I used to interpret anything less than perfect happiness on his part as a veiled attack on myself.
He'd react by asking me to just openly tell him off if I felt wronged, instead of playing poor silent polite indignant wronged martyr, and I thought he was asking me to be a scolding witch! I didn't want to "fight".
Yesterday I said some things openly in a raised voice. For the first time in my life, I think. Things I didn't dare really think, because they sounded narcissistic in my head. Things like wanting to feel more appreciated for everything I did for our family and wanting more support in it and more help. He said all I needed to do was tell him - not even "ask" - because he's not a mind reader. I, already calmly, said I felt guilty about leaving home to do my translation work and leaving him alone with the kids and then feeling the obligation to simultaneously feed them and hold them and do everything when I get back, and feeling overwhelmed and resentful. He said the guilt was really only my thing, as everything really was fine while I was away, and all I had to do was tell him what I wanted him to do when I got back.
I said something hurtful after he made a negative comment about our (very challenging) one-year-old. I apologized. He said "I had it coming. You were right to say it." Then we laughed. Then we had the best sex ever that night.
So we had the first fight ever. Yay!