Hey y'all! I'm back this week to talk about how to fight fair with your partner. Remember last week how I talked about Romance and basically made my husband sound like the most loving, and thoughtful husband in the history of husbands? (Wow. I used husband a lot in that sentence...) Well I'm here to tell you that he isn't. Don't get me wrong, he's pretty awesome, and I wouldn't have married or pro-created with him if he wasn't, but... There are times when I could seriously ring his neck. For reals y'all. There are days when I'm seriously not above violent screaming outbursts. But there are healthy ways to lose your ish and unhealthy ways to lose your ish.
For one, yelling is fine, perfectly acceptable. When is it not ok? When you're shrieking like a banshee at your man. Here's the thing, I'm a yeller. I get loud when I'm trying to make a point. This is something I'm not even aware I'm doing until my husband tells me to take a deep breath. This is how we make it "fair" and not abusive: he lets me yell until I get out of control. Yelling is part of my coping mechanism when I'm mad, and he's ok with that until he's not. If you're a crazy-cakes holler-er like I am, make sure you have a talk with your person and let them know it's part of how you deal, and to say something when they feel you've gone too far.
|The beginning. When we still thought the other was perfect ;)|
Don't say things to intentionally hurt your spouse, or things you'll regret later. There is nothing ever fair or right about intentionally trying to destroy someone's self-esteem. I can't even come up with an example b/c I've never personally done it, but I know people who have and their relationships didn't survive. So take that for what it's worth.
Don't involve other people! For the love of all that's good and right, don't be a drama queen and involve other people. Not your sister, moma, best friend, anybody! It won't help you prove any points, make your man see your side, or make anyone's opinion of your spouse a positive one. Venting is totally fine! I totally vent to my moma and sister. Things like "Ugh! He left the toilet seat up. AGAIN!" or "He always keeps his nasty PT socks wadded up in a ball, and they're wet and disgusting when I go to wash them!" (True story. Ew.) But say you and your spouse are having money problems? You have a shopping addiction. Or you think he goes to the bar too often? That is between the two of you, and you alone. Involving others brings in irrelevant opinions, and can make the other feel ganged up on. This is never a good thing. So don't do it.
Don't bring up past hurts. Say you're fighting about the household chores. You want him to help out more, but he says he helps just enough on top of going to work everyday. Bringing up the fact that he lied about where he was one guy's weekend, 3 years ago, before you got married, is completely irrelevant. If you're still pissy about it, that's another topic for another day. It has nothing to do with chores. I know this is something that I struggle with. I can still be fuming or my feelings can be hurt about something, which usually comes to a head when I get upset about something else. I have to remember to stay focused about what I'm currently upset about, and not let my head get clouded with other things.
Pick and choose your battles. Do you always have to remind him to put the trash cans out on trash day? Wanna scream when you have to do it for the bazillionth time? Take a deep breath, and then think about the bigger picture. Does he take the trash out without being asked? Sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches and accept that he has a crap memory and will always need a reminder. Here's a perfect example. (I got permission to tell this story btw.) My husband NEVER EVER remembers to put the lid back on something. I mean ever. Pickles? Left overs? Milk? Never. He never had to as a kid. My MIL spent a ton of time in the kitchen, still does, and since the lid is always back on things, I can only assume that it was just easier for her to just go behind him and fix it. Nothing wrong with that. Except, I'm not gonna do that. I always would gently remind him, until one day I finally had enough. I went to go feed the baby and myself lunch, and he had gotten up in the middle of the night for a snack, and had not only eaten most of our lunch, but didn't put the lid back on it so we couldn't even eat what was left. Frustrated doesn't even cover what I was. So I just left it. I was too irked to deal with it at the time, and then forgot all about it. Well he came home from work, opened the fridge, and wanted to know how the left overs had gone bad. He was hungry and wanted a snack before dinner. That's when my head exploded. I started yelling, he got defensive, the baby and dog just sat there and looked at us like we were nuts. This was one fight that needed to be picked. He does this so often, that I've gotten sick before from eating food that he has left uncovered. Had the baby? It might've killed her b/c well she's a baby and her body isn't as strong as an adult's yet. When I finally calmed down enough to explain this, and just talk to him, he finally understood that this wasn't ok. He had never realized what a big deal it was before b/c he never had to. Sorry for the rambling. Haha. The point is, some things are worth fighting over, and other's, well, you'll just have to get over it.
|Don't let this sweet picture fool you. We argued the whole way to this photo session, and he "joked" he wanted to drop me while we were taking this picture.|
Make sure you hear each other out. You may be right, but he's never going to listen to you if you don't listen to him in return. This is going to sound so cliche, but if you catch yourself wanting to interrupt or cut him off, take a deep breath and count to ten. You may need to ask him to repeat himself, but that's ok b/c you'll be better equipped to hear him the second time around if you're calm.