The Hubby and I had an argument today and boy was it a doozy. I YELLED ...he didn't yell that much...I juMPED...he didn't jump at all and neither of us called each other any names. We were able to work it out after 2 1/2 hours of concentrated focus...
and be done in enough time to be able to get the rest of our workday done and pick up the kiddos with a genuine relieved smile on our faces.
W h e w... another one in the bag, another marital argument bridge crossed another roll in the pit of WTH %&#!! dug out of. E X H A L E!
The ability to argue well is one of the benchmarks of a successful relationship. Contrary to what we might think of a happy couple not arguing at all is not #goals Like seriously it's not realistic unless you have a string of 1-year relationships #honeymoonRelationships don't count. No one in a long-term relationship agrees on everything 100% of the time. It's just science. So learning how to do arguing well is kinda a relationship toolbox must-have.
Here are 5 argument tips to add to your arsenal...(no pun intended:)
#1 Get To It Already!
No one likes confrontation (okay there are a small few that love a good row) but I'm not one of them. It's like needing a deep cleaning but putting it off. If you don't make an appointment and get it done a root canal is probably in your future. Not attending to relationship issues does not make them magically go away, they just grow and it can get really smelly and ugly left unattended. In our case, the "incident" happened yesterday but we shined it on until today so as not to argue in front of the kids. We set a time to talk it out and then we limped along until the appointed time. I got our room and he got the living room as cooling off spaces. Later we mumbled good night and I love you before rolling over and going to sleep. Yep, It just is what it is sometimes.
#2 Don't argue in front of the kids ( A LOT!)
This is an oldie but goodie and I threw in the "A Lot" Because in no way am I advocating for perfect Stepford wife marriages. In fact, research shows that kids watching a healthy relationship should see disagreements get solved in order to be able to model that later on in their own lives. BUT come on we all know when it's getting to be too much and just plain ole causing unneeded stress in our kids lives. I grew up in a house where there was constant little nit-picky bickering and funky back talk all the time. UGH (just get a divorce already!) So please be a grown-up and be in control of your emotions and don't make it a habit to argue in front of your children.
#3 No name Calling!
You're not 7 yrs old. You know their government name. Use it. In fact, use all 4 of them if need be. But stick to those and those alone.
#3 Listen without interrupting and then repeat
Most of the time we are not listening we are just waiting to talk. But listening and then repeating what you hear makes sure that you are hearing the other person correctly. Not interrupting is just common courtesy and hey if nothing else it means you get the same consideration when it's your turn to talk. Add a timer to this if one or the other of you take up too much time and keeps going over the same point. 10 minutes at the most is a good chunk of listening and then switch.
#4 Change Places/ ie. Walk a few blocks in his boots
Today we did something that I thought was really cool. It took a minute for him to get the hang of but afterward, he could see the value (yay) We literally changed places with each other and told the story again from the other person's point of view. So basically after we had both gotten a chance to speak and state our case. We flipped the narrative and he became me and I became him and we walked through the whole scenario again from the other person's point of view. I truly saw it from his side and I could feel myself softening. And vice versa he could feel my point of view so we both understood where the other person was coming from.
#5 End with a summary
Make sure you wrap up an argument with some kind of bow or even a bent out of shape paperclip will do. But summarize what just happened and what you both agree to do about it going forward. " Now I get why you reacted that way and from now on we are going to make sure we both text if we are going to be late" Or " We both feel strongly and no real consensus has been reached if this energy still lingers in a week we might need to go see someone. We will check back in two weeks" And then make sure you put it on your calendar and really check back in two weeks.
Any other argument techniques that you have found really work for you and your significant other? I would love to hear about them in the comment section below.