Rules of Engagement
So I mentioned in my last post that my parents didn’t always get along and the conflict between them was ongoing even after the divorce. Most happy marriages are not based on conflict. It’s no fun for the kiddies either I assure you.
So, how do you solve problems in a constructive way? How do you settle a disagreement when you think you are right or want your way? What is the key to solving differences while preserving your relationship?
I can tell you some of the things I’ve learned after years of getting it wrong.
1) You are a team. And what did we learn from the movie “The Blind Side”? Your team is your family and you always protect your family. True dat.
2) You can win every battle and still lose the war. If you think the main point of fighting with your spouse is to win, you are dead wrong and at some point you’re going to end up alone. Remember that the person you are disagreeing with is someone you love and have pledged to be a partner with until death do you part. State your point in a calm and quiet way: listen with a loving heart; if you can not reach an understanding at that time, ask to table the conversation until later on. You can revisit the topic after you’ve had a little more time to consider both sides and come up with a solution. On points of opinion that don’t directly affect your family life, it’s okay to agree to disagree. Amen.
3) Love, Honor & Cherish. Next time you feel the top of your head getting ready to fly off, just remember what you promised when you got married. When you treat your spouse with love and respect, your marriage is going to be a much happier situation for you to exist in. If you need a time out to deal with your emotions, step away, take a deep breath, then go back and talk to your sweetheart in a rational way. So mote it be.
4) Say that you’re sorry. Yes, even with all of our best intentions we can still lose it and act badly. Own up to it and apologize. There is no shame or weakness in saying you’re sorry. Actually, it takes a strong person to admit that they are wrong and it feels really good to put the bad stuff behind you and move on with all the good things that come from living a married life.
5) Let’s make this a clean fight. Obviously, if your anger is out of control, you need to leave the situation before you do anything you’ll regret. Name calling and hitting are unacceptable ways of dealing with your spouse. If you are feeling like these are issues you are having, there are many therapists available to help you deal with your feelings of anger. If someone is hitting you, you need to find a safe place to go and get help. Love shouldn’t have to hurt.
6) A little humor goes a long way. Look for something funny in your current situation. It’s amazing how laughter can defuse the tension in an argument. If you can step back from your current argument and find the humor in it, you will be amazed at how the anger evaporates almost instantly.
That’s all I could think of right now (its lunch time so I’m hungry and need to go to the bank), but I am more than happy to discuss this with anyone who happens upon my humble little blog and decides to post a comment.
Let me just close by saying that good relationships take work every single day. There is no ‘happily ever after’. Prince Charming has morning breath. He burps, farts and leaves skid marks in his bvds just like everybody else. You both have to commit to communicating and trying to work out your differences. As long as you’re committed to doing everything you can to make the relationship work you have a much better shot of having a deeply satisfying lifetime relationship.
Good luck on your journey! ~P