Calmly Handle Arguments
Have you had any frustrating moments since getting married? Hard things to deal with? Been on opposite pages with your man on something? Oh, it’s just me?? 😉
So setting the stage…
Our youngest child is our hardest. She’s full of life, free spirited and strong willed. If you have one of these, you know their talent for turning an experience sour. If it’s not something she wants to do that strong will voices her adamant stance on the subject. From feeding her fish to going to school five days a week, her free spirit tends to give us plenty of parenting opportunities. 😉
Sometimes though, my Mr. and I are on completely different sides when it comes to dealing with her sassy little self. Do you and your hubs ever have different opinions? Oh that’s right, it’s just me. Unless you AND your spouse are both certified counselors specializing in children, you’re going to have different opinions on parenting. Remember – two imperfect people living life together…you won’t always agree on everything.
The Argument (one of them)
That’s what happened on this particular night. Middle school basketball gym. 2 hours of basketball games. Three of our favorite families totaling seven adults and nine children. We finish up, I gather bags, and our youngest while my hubs and two kids are filing their way to the foyer. She screams BLOODY MURDER in front of the entire fully packed gym when I take my phone from her. Whoa – instant blood boiling, right? So, I’m livid. Catch up to the others and realize we’re missing our ball player. Uuuuuuuughhhh. One kid and I go back, the kid finds the other kid (side note – don’t let this discourage you from having multiples 😉 ) and one of the friends catches me so I’m the last to catch back up with everyone. Hubs has little one by the arm because she won’t obey him and she’s crying. Great… Walking out and we’re both frustrated and our son starts sighing dramatically, which is a sign he’s going to start whining. He does this every night he has karate. Then he gets there and does great and is back to happy. Cue the arguement…
Hubs doesn’t want to make him go to karate. I do. He thinks it’s just because I want to work out. Really I want our son to follow through with the commitment. We’re both already at wits end with little girl and now we start to argue.
His point: We said if he didn’t want to do both basketball and karate we wouldn’t make him do both. It starts in 20 minutes and I’m going to leave my husband to take care of the kids and house. He wants to know what’s wrong with me. I’m pegged as grouchy, told I should go to the gym by myself, and leave them alone.
My point: Yes, I’m grouchy. He’s grouchy. Little girl has easily managed that. I want to follow through with the obligations we have and little boy is just fine once he gets there and gets going. I feel like hubs is jumping ME for something that’s NOT me!!
Oy. Here we are in the middle of an argument, both struggling to keep calm.
Keeping Your Cool
What do you do when you are at odds? When you are hot, ready to blow, and feel like you’re taking a beating with words…. Let’s be real. There are going to be hard times. There are going to be arguments. So, what are your rules to calmly handle arguments with your man?
#1 – well, forcing yourself to stay calm is a good start. I do a really good job of jumping into defense mode. I absolutely have to control my tone when I feel like verbal flying arrows are coming my way. Especially because after the fact, when I’m in my right mind and can remember to acknowledge my husband’s general good will, I realize that his heart wasn’t shooting flaming arrows to kill my spirit. If I let my voice get harsh and lose my calm (….or that other word….) then I’ve lost – in more ways than one. I have to take deep breathes and mentally coach myself to stay calm and control my emotions.
#2 – don’t respond. Just be quiet. If there’s a question that needs to be answered, calmly give a logical answer and use your “I” sentence tactic but for the most part, just keep your mouth shut. My mother use to teach me that it takes an idiot to argue with an idiot and while I don’t consider either of us idiots, an argument takes two people. James teaches us that he who can’t control his tongue is a fool. I keep this verse on a post it note on my computer LOL! Not to condemn me but to remind me that I need to bridle that tongue. I need quit my…well…you know.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26
#3 – give him space. He needs it. You need it. Go work out frustrations doing something else like cleaning, working out, playing a video game. Don’t chase him down like a mad woman following him around nagging. You think you’re trying to work it out. He thinks you’re a bloodhound with a bone to pick.
Take some time and space for each of you to increasingly calm down. You’ll come back to it later with a clearer mind and be able to think more logically.
Recognize You’re Both Wrong
#4 – know that he’s right and you’re right. You’re wrong and he’s wrong. No one is perfect. You’re not going to be 100% right about every single detail! Neither is he. Just recognizing and accepting that fact is SOOOOO helpful in letting go of that pride! Pride can be a major stone wall in handling arguments.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Recognizing the fact the you’re both right AND you’re both wrong is so helpful in letting go of the pride that can be a major stone wall in handling arguments. You’re both right. And you’re both wrong… ” quote=”Recognizing the fact the you’re both right AND you’re both wrong is so helpful in letting go of the pride that can be a major stone wall in handling arguments. You’re both right. And you’re both wrong… “]
Truly knowing in your head and accepting in your heart that neither of you are completely and utterly right about something completely opens up your perspective. Then you’re able to listen with the intent of solving the issue. Which leads to the final tip.
Stephen Covey’s Habit
#5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood. One of Stephen Covey’s habits of highly effective people, this is a major tactic in arguing with your husband. It’s really beneficial in any communication.
Do I reeeeeally understand what he’s saying? Am I listening with a clear mind in order to understand his point or am I mentally building my reply while he’s still talking? Once you really understand the other person (whether it’s your hubs, another relative, friend, or professional contact) it’s much easier to open your mind to a solution that wins for BOTH of you. This is called “Think win, win”, also one of his habits. 😉 Seriously, these habits have improved every area of my life – my interactions with my Mr., my parenting, relationships with coworkers and extended family. Read this book (or listen to the AB like I did LOL!)!!
Don’t Think for a Second You’re Alone
Hey, don’t beat yourself up because you’ve had an argument. Women don’t post their marital spats on Facebook but trust me, everyone has them. From me to you to the couple in their 70s married more than 50 years, it’s just a part of life. These tips can help you hone your “fighting” skills though and help you stay calm and cool during an argument with your man. Tell your hubs you need to practice – ha!
Used some of them? Which ones?! Practice other methods? Help a girl out! Leave me a comment so I can continue to grow as a wife. What’s an argument that went smoother when you practiced one of these? Again, comment below if you’re up for sharing.
P.S. – we worked everything out, we still love each other, and neither karate kid or little sass are scarred for life. 😉
Much love friend!