How To Argue Productively With Your Husband
Remember that butterfly-in-your-stomach kind of feeling whenever we would meet up with our ex-boyfriends, now husband-slash-lover-slash-driv...
Remember that butterfly-in-your-stomach kind of feeling whenever we would meet up with our ex-boyfriends, now husband-slash-lover-slash-driver-slash-mechanic-slash-dancer-slash-cook-slash-carpenter-and-all-the-slashes-you-could-think-of? Well, it should still feel like that even after having one, two or more kids. But how now brown cow, with all the many things occupying our schedule and our thoughts from work, from the children's demands, and other activities eating up time? You just have to be creative and commit to setting aside quality time with your partner. I've written a post before about 10 Bonding Ideas with Your Spouse/Partner which I look back to and check if we still get to do them.
What if you get into an argument or a fight? How do you manage to get back on track to that loving-romantic-feeling? Life couldn't get more stressful when you're not okay with your husband or partner. I've been there and still fall into that path every now and then. Fighting or arguing is healthy for the relationship as long as you don't do it everyday or on purpose. But you have to fight healthily and fairly to make sure things you don't agree on will be sorted out still lovingly and with respect, not just because you have to end it.
Just recently hubby and I were in an argument but I'm happy to say that we're now okay. We're like any couples you know, we fight too. Here's how we fought (without going into details of course) productively:
- Keep It Private - You don't want the whole world to know what you and your husband is fighting or arguing about. It's acceptable to tell very few trusted friends (those whom you know will not judge you nor your husband) but still try to select which to disclose, definitely not everything. Remember this is just temporary. By telling all, you might be creating a wrong impression of your husband to your friends. Also, this item means, not to argue in public. Learn the art of self-control, it will never fail you.
- Communicate Your Issues Right Away Using Feeling Words. - If you have issues, problems, if you're hurt, if you don't agree with something he says or does, if you're deeply affected in any way by his actions, if you feel taken for granted, tell right away. Our husbands are not psychics nor analysts by nature. Don't harbor your pain or disappointments, it's dangerous. The small things when ignored become huge. When it's huge, it becomes harder to dissect and fix, it will also take longer to do so. Use feeling words when communicating your problems like: "I feel bad when you do this.. or I am hurt when you say that or I am saddened that you did this." When he hears the feeling words, he will not think you are attacking him hence he won't be defensive right away.
- Don't Raise Your Voice - We usually tend to raise our voices when our emotions are heightened. It's best to keep your cool first before speaking. Breathing deeply helps lose the tension. If you want a productive and meaningful argument, raising your voice is not the key to achieving that. It may only provoke your partner to answer back in the same manner.
- Repeat What Your Partner Said Before Replying - When Ms. Universe candidates answer their final questions from the judges, they repeat the question right? It buys them time to think of what to reply before actually answering the question. Just like when arguing with our husbands, we should first listen to what they said, repeat what they said for validation before reacting. We tend to say better and more correct things when we think first before talking.
- Stick To The Issue, No Diversions - Don't bring up old issues and add it to your current issue. That will not lead you both to a healthy discussion. If you keep on digging deep to your past, you will never arrive at your destination to reconciliation, but just trap yourselves in a pit hole which will make it harder for you both to move on.
- No Name-Calling. Your husband/partner has a name registered in NSO, he doesn't need another name. Don't add insult to injury.
- Avoid Blaming and being Self-Righteous. Of course, WE ARE ALWAYS RIGHT! But we don't need to tell our husbands anymore the obvious. Kidding aside, even when we are the ones who brought up an issue, it doesn't necessarily mean that we are right. We may think that we were hurt first so we have the right to be mad. Who knows, maybe it was his non-verbal way to communicate that he was hurt or he has issues he just cannot explain. Stop proving you are right and stop blaming him for everything. It always takes two to tango, as the cliche goes.
- Give Space - I learned this the hard way loves. I used to force Macky to talk to me right away and settle my issues with him right then and there. I always end up more frustrated because he didn't want to talk yet. He said he wasn't ready. If you are freaking mad, SPACE is needed, it lets you cool down first and avoid saying things you would regret. If the other one says he needs time alone, then give him space. Space allows each of you to think and process the situation so you will arrive at a healthier discussion and a solution to your problem.
- Don't Let Arguments Linger - Although you need item #8, don't let it take longer than a week if it's just a minor issue. Any argument is like a wound. Treat it while it's fresh to heal faster. If you don't give it attention and just let it be, it will become infected and aggravated. Issues and arguments don't just die if you ignore it. You will end up bringing the same issue on your next argument. Discuss the matter at once with your husband when you are ready.
- Getting Even Will Make It Worse - As much as we don't want it, we live in a double standard world. Even if you were hurt with what your husband said or did, you shouldn't ever think of doing the same thing just to get even. One mistake will never be corrected by another mistake. Revenge will just hurt not just your husband, your partner, your relationship and even yourself. Focus on fixing the problem, not making it worse.
- Compromise - When arguing or talking the issues out with your lovey, make it a point that you end it productively. Sort out your problems, enumerate some dos and don'ts if needed, meet in between, compromise. Make sure you both commit to what you agreed on. When you reach this stage, most likely you are about to end the argument and you're on your way to the most exciting part of your argument which is #12.
- Forgive and Make Love. This is the most exciting part. It's actually self-explanatory. You're already at the reconciliation part when both your emotions of love for each other are realized and heightened, so you know what's about to happen next! Boom boom pow! :)