How to fight with your spouse
I have been married for eighteen years. That's right. Let that soak in. Eighteen years.
I like to think I know a thing or two about marriage.
But, after a recent
"disagreement" (see what I did there? I reframed our WW3 into a "disagreement")
I went looking for
ammunition tools on how to better communicate my
Imagine my surprise when I read things like "never use sarcasm" and "do not bring up old arguments!"
What the what? Sarcasm and grudge holding are my two finest skills!
Everywhere I looked, crap like this was getting rave reviews.
No wonder there are so many divorces.
I did find a few tips that I agreed with, however.
1. "Use the proper place." This is so important. I like to bring up stressful topics in the narthex at church, just before we enter the house of the Lord.
2. "Take breaks." Abso-freaking-lutely! Cocktail breaks are best.
3. "Use body language to express yourself." This has served me well. I can have an entire argument using only my body language skills.
Throwing arms in the air is code for "I give up. You were clearly dropped on your head as a child."
Cocking my head to the side and making a scrunched up, confused face is code for "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, including the time someone asked how to spell R2D2!"
4. "Use I' phrases." Well, duh. I want, I need, I said, I told you, I, I, I...
5. "Know your strengths." And, we're back to sarcasm and grudge holding.
Here are a few more rules that made me chuckle:
1. "One person at a time speaks, while the other person listens respectfully." Around here, we talk loudly and at the same time until someone wears down. On the rare occasion that I am quiet, I am eye rolling and sighing heavily.
2. "Keep your disagreements private." Sometimes, when I am pretending to "listen respectfully," I am really imaging how funny it is going to be when I tell my version to my gal pals!
3. "Hold hands during the discussion." Are you effing kidding me? Someone would be shouting "Uncle!"
4. "Don't blame others." There is no problem too great or too large that cannot be blamed on someone else!
5. "Always kiss and make up." Puh-lease. It ain't a Lifetime movie, yo'.
So...after eighteen years of
marriage, I can
fight debate with the best of them.
We must be doing something right.
Because, we laugh and we tease and we fight and we move on. We bear witness for each other. Being married and raising a family is not for wussies.
Just when I think my eyes might roll out of my head, I see my husband romping with the kids, or making dinner or (holy sexy!) loading the dishwasher and it's all over.
Actions speak much louder than words.
Kerry is a recovering teacher who blogs about life shenanigans, house crashing and house stalking at her blog, HouseTalkN. Her mother threatens to read that blog so she writes about things like 69, dildos, and her moral shortcomings at In The Powder Room. Kerry likes to talk about herself in the third person. Kerry brings shame to her family on a daily basis on Facebook and Twitter @HouseTalkN.