Disagreements are inevitable, but it’s how we react in the moment of the disagreement that determines if we’ll be able to gracefully move past it or if it’s going to linger. I remember a time that an argument over a bottle of ketchup led to my husband and I not speaking for the rest of the day, which then prompted me to bring my mom to a wedding that night, instead of my husband. (Shout out to all the ride or die Moms out there.)
Obviously, I would have preferred to take my husband as my date, and he regretted letting me go without him – a classic case of both us choosing our pride over each other. (For more about pushing your pride out of your marriage, check out this blog post.) This is just an example of a superficial argument – something that is conjured up out of nothing, but it then becomes a very real monster that neither of you know how to battle or slay. But, not all arguments emerge from thin air (or a ketchup bottle), some truly have deep ties to our feelings, our insecurities or the past. But even those aren’t worth driving a wedge between you and your S.O.
My husband and I have learned that communication is key, and we have to talk through the different elements of an argument to be able to move past it. Maybe the “talking through” part is more for me because if we don’t completely resolve it, I will continue thinking about it until it’s been squashed. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to get the feelings on the table and to talk about each one, so that eventually there’s nothing left on the table.
The next time you find yourself in the midst of an argument with your honey, rethink the approach. Find out what it was that you did or said that really upset him. Listen while he tells you why he feels that way and do your best to understand and emphasize. Then, it’s your turn. Explain to him how his words or actions made you feel, and why it struck a nerve. Figure out the root of the issue for each of you. You may feel silly, but sometimes it’s as easy as just starting with “I feel frustrated because…” and letting your heart fill in the blanks. Remember that you’re both on the same team, neither of you want this argument to be a big deal, but you each have feelings and thoughts that need to be heard and respected in order to move past the disagreement.
When you talk through the disagreement and you come out the other side, there won’t be any fireworks and probably not a dramatic declaration of love either, but you can both pat yourself on the back that you were able to dodge a miserable, tiring bullet.
Got a funny argument that probably wasn’t so funny in the moment? I’d love to hear in the comments below!