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How do you handle arguements with your spouse?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by kavya007, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Ladies,

    I would like to get your opinion on how you handle arguments with your spouse. Do you fight fairly? Let us brain storm some strategies for fighting fairly. I think it is extremely important to learn to fight fairly. I realized that I lack good communication skills with my husband. I do all the wrong things during an argument and end up getting the wrong result. Some of the things that I do are:
    1) Get emotional.
    2) Rack up the past
    3) Do a character assassination.
    4) Use words like "ALWAYS", "NEVER".
    5) Become verbally abusive.
    6) Blow my top 90% of the times.

    After an argument both me and my husband apologize but it leaves a sour taste. I am especially worried that I would set a wrong example to my son on how to argue effectively. I want to learn and practice some strategies to argue fairly and effectively. Ladies please share your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Kavya.
     
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  2. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Kayva,
    During initial days of marriage we over react to everything as you have mentioned in your post.
    It takes time and understanding each other.
    Its better that either one should keep quite during the arguments.
    This will really slow down your the anger. Once you have cooled down, you could talk very peacefully and clarify your issues.
    There should be forgiveness between husband and wife, then there will be healty relationship.
    When we forgive our parents, siblings and friends, why not our spouse? We are going to live our entire life with this person.
    Everybody does mistakes, everybody has some plus and minus.
    We won't get everything in this life.
    Even if we get separeted from this person, do you think that's the end of our all problems in life?? Its not.
    So we need to adjust and go, things will fall in its place automatically.
    They will start following each and everything of our words.
    Belive me, it happens.
    Everytime I think about my kids and I don't want them to see us fighting.
    We do have arguments, but I am not taking that seriously now a days.
    Just trying to forget and move on.
    If you keep everything to your heart, it will take a toll on your body.
    So please, try to be cool always.
    By this, we will be creating a healthy and happy atmosphere @ home.

    Take care,
    Punitha
     
  3. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Kavya,
    I would rate keeping ones cool as the foremost important trait in arguing effectively. In my experience if we gain control over our anger a HUGE part of the battle is already won. Once we lose our cool we lose the ability to think (let alone think reasonably). When we argue without thinking we have no control over where our mind races and what comes out of our mouth.

    Here are some thoughts that I’d like to share to make arguments effective. I try to follow most of these and I have benefited tremendously from it.

    1. Force yourself to maintain a calm but alert disposition. Don’t lose your temper. Ah, this is the toughest one! I know. But devise a strategy to keep a check on your temper. If you feel your mercury rising think of something that will calm you down. For some people it may be chanting God’s name , a mantra, or visualizing their mom, anything really. I think about the end goal I have set out to achieve and when I see it in jeopardy because of my anger, I calm down instantly J
    2. If you start getting emotional or feel like crying, postpone the argument for a later date and time. This is again a tough thing to do and could be embarrassing for you in the beginning. But it is worth the embarrassment, I think. Because once you get emotional and teary eyed the argument is going to go downhill from your standpoint.
    3. Always pin your focus on the end goal you desire out of this argument but do not expect to reach this goal in this very argument. Argue to “work towards” reaching your end goal, not to reach the goal right now.
    4. Try to remember that even though you have differences you still love this person and have chosen to live with him. This will keep you mindset considerate during the argument.
    5. Try to keep your ego aside for the time that you are arguing.
    6. Listen more than talk.
    7. Put forth your issue in a succinct manner. Don’t start with a long prelude. Get to the point as soon as possible. People lose attention if we start giving them a sermon.
    8. Stop the urge to shoot back an immediate reply to every allegation that is being made. It is ok to keep quite and listen if you don’t know what to say. Give yourself time to assimilate and understand the allegation. If you are grappling for a reply, don’t reply. Talk about it at a later date when you have thought through fully.
    9. Don’t mull over the argument for more than a few days. Get it over with and move on. Some things you will agree with each other and some you will agree to disagree. Leave the disagreements for now and be happy that you agreed on at least a few things. I think this is very important. At the end of an argument check the balance sheet and feel encouraged that you have some agreements in there.
    10. After the argument is over try to get back to normal behavior. It is just an argument after all. It is NOT a matter of life and death. I don’t expect you two to start cracking jokes or being extra romantic J but be normal and don’t carry the bad mood after the argument is over.
    11. And above all, remember that life is a challenge. So take it up with all that you have. It is natural to feel down and depressed at times but after some time get up and know that you have the control to turn the tide in your favor or against you.

    Use your intellect to pick your battles and fight them right. Not all battles are worth fighting or winning. So choose only the ones that are worthy of your attention, time and energy.

    I believe that a lot of these soft skills are “acquired skills”. We may not be born with them but we can surely acquire them with due diligence and practice. It is a constant learning and a work in progress. And it pays off big time. So don’t lose heart. All of us have areas for improvements and we all learn from each other.

    Good luck. You CAN DO IT! J

    SS



     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  4. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Kavya,
    Good Topic for a Brain Storming session(posts).For the first year ,after marriage, i was over- reacting as Puni has pointed out.
    One Fine day, i made a self analysis, and this is what i found:
    1.Just because i shout back and argue, i was the only person at fault though it wasnt like that actually.
    2.The words spoken and hearts broken - never can be repaired!!
    3.I was an evil spirit in the eyes of everyone, be it with In- Laws or any other relatives.

    So, This is what i follow now a days to hubby and to others too..

    1.When people argue or shout at me for any reason, i simply dunt give them an answer to that.I maintain silence.The life of any arguement however powerful it is can last only to a max of 15 mins as per my observation.People cant talk alone right!!!


    2.After about 1/2 day i just talk to my hubby regarding what happened that morning and justify if i can what i did was right.If i had been wrong, i simply admit.

    3.To handle relatives,i dunt talk over the subject at all.I react as though nothing of such sort happened and continue to be normal.This has helped me a lot because they feel ashamed !!They feel bad for there own actions. I dunt go way out to help them though.I do maintain my limits and restrict my talking and the way of talking to them.

    This is it...Edhuvum kadandhu pogum....Remember, every relationship has an expiry date!

    Puni & SS,
    Your Posts were very good and practical suggestions too..
     
  5. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    hi Gals,

    Great suggestion ladies. I also realize that when we talk to someone in a calm voice and question them in a soft manner they open up more easily. When I speak to my husband angrily or emotionally he reacts the same way. Now the most difficult thing is controlling the anger. I am thinking that these might be some of the good ways to control anger and remain cool.

    1) Be aware of your body sensations.When you are angry a biochemical reaction goes in your body. So if you are angry back off. You are going to lose out.
    2) My written skills are better than my spoken skills. So maybe it is a good idea to discuss things in an email. My husband tells me that email is not a good medium of communication because it is one way and you cannot judge the mood of the person reading the email. What do you think gals?
    3) Focus on the issue at hand and never bring up the past.


    Any more suggestions gals. Please chime in.

    Kavya
     
  6. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    I tend to agree with your husband about communicating via email. It is a very impersonal way of communicating something that is deeply personal and so important. Emails can easily be misinterpreted because they cannot reflect the tone or the feelings of the person who is writing the email.

    Instead, if writing down is something that works for you then write it down but don't send it to him. Read it yourself. Save it and read it as many times and as many days as it takes you to calm down. Then talk about the issue to your husband.

    I think it is always better to "talk" sensitive matters. Just my 2c..

    SS

     
  7. sashie

    sashie New IL'ite

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    Hi Kavya, i believe that cooling down is the most important thing that one can do also. I completely agree, that Talking it out at a later time, once both husb/wife have cooled down is the BEST way to get your point across. I went to a seminar on communication, and the biggest thing i learned is that once we start shouting, we have lost control, the other person stops listening to us. ALso we can only change ourselves, so we can only change our reaction to hurt/pain, we can not change our husb/il's or whoever we want to. And its true, if we stay quiet, who will your husb/il's argue with?? KEEPING quiet is the best defense, i have too many times tried to solve my problems by telling everyone exactly what i think when i am mad, now,i only talk to my husb about these issues, when the both of us are calm. This is very hard to do, when we are provoked its a natural human reaction to fight back, but when dealing with these men, their parents, and even the culture we must consider what is best for us and our children.
    hope this helps!
    sash:cheers
     
  8. Rogo

    Rogo New IL'ite

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    This is a great discussion ...
    But I have a question always in my mind ...we ladies put in so much thought and effort into our marraige ..we ask our friends ,relatives, read books ,go for meditation etc ..etc ...to improve our realtionship
    Do you all think guys do the same ? I know there might be some exceptions ...but I am sure many men dont think abt all this ...all they want is to have a wife who will keep him happy ,respects him ,repects his family ...forgets her house but at the same time shouldnt expect too much from them or their family.
    They feel meditation and taking efforts to control anger has waste of time ....
    How do you deal with this kind of persons ?...
    if you try to tell them patiently after they have finished shouting and subsided ...it goes in through one ear and comes through the other .....

    How do you handle arguments with this kind of person.....
     
  9. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,

    I would disagree here. My hubby is not of that type. It is all about communication skills. You need good communication skills wherever you are, be it office or home.

    But in general I have noticed that men and women are wired differently and they have a totally different way of solving problems. Women get more emotional and men are more solution oriented.

    Thanks,
    Kavya.


     
  10. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Rogo,
    Don't feel bad for your husband's behaviour.
    All men are like that, they don't think like females, they are not of soft hearted.
    It takes time for them to understand their wives too.
    Keep doing what you are doing, he will change.
    It doesn't mean that you have to bear everything.
    WHen he is wrong, you have to point it out.
    First comes, yourself and later everything.
    Keep your hopes high, if you are happy, you let things go.
    Everybody around you will be happy.

    Take care,
    Punitha

     

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