How do you resolve an argument? - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 05:55 PM
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Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Write a letter using these techniques. You can even put a copy in front of each other while you go over your letter.
Fair Fighting Rules.
using these techniques. using feeling statements like, when this happens I feel ambushed and then I...
Fighting Fair to Resolve Conflict

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 04:20 PM
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Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane0147 View Post
Ok, this could create a good discussion. I often think about how to improve my marriage. Long story short, married 20 years (38 years old), 3 kids.... 19, 10, and 8.

Essentially our marriage is in trouble. At the core of our problems is communication. We argue a lot and i have a lot of resentment that i find it hard to let go of.

In years past, we would argue.... Ignore each other for a while.... Kiss and make up. Basically in that order. The problem is that the underlying issue gets kicked down the road. As we have gotten older, I have tried to change the way i argue. I try more often to tell her how i feel or how a problem makes me feel. I try to avoid "you do this" or "you are wrong" statements. Sometimes that may be the case, sometimes it isnt. I feel like my wife refuses to adopt that sort of approach and she basically sees it as an opportunity to squash me when we fight. Often, i think she escalates to shouting more as a way to avoid the issue, as opposed to the actual fight itself.

I have suggested mc multiple times but she is hell bent against that. If i had to describe my wifes personality, i would say she is very guarded and a bit of a narcissist. Not in the snobby, " prettier than you l" sense, but more that she has to be right and she is very quick to tell me what is wrong with me. When i try to share my feelings with her, she is very dismissive and invalidating. I just feel pretty hopeless.
this is a very difficult dynamic... I am one who feels how you argue is far less important over whether it gets resolved.. some people think that if you raise your voices while arguing -that's unacceptable.. while others feel any form of passive aggressive behavior or ignoring each other is unacceptable..

I would prefer having a brawl over a silent treatment.. but that's just me !! The more effective the communication.. the less likely either of those will happen though..... and sometimes we will need to agree to disagree..



This is a fine article on communication:

Quote:
Imagine Hope Counseling Group - Our Resources - PLANTING THE SEED OF INTERDEPENDENCE

1. Interdependent couples accept the need for them to change and take ownership of their own issues.

They do not blame their partner or others for their problems, nor do they assume the role of a victim. Interdependent couples are able to realize what their issues are on an individual level, and are dedicated and motivated to working through their issues, regardless of what their partner has chosen to do. They recognize when their issues are being brought into the marriage, and are dedicated to their own growth and recovery.

2. Interdependent couples don’t give up their own identity.

They recognize the importance of having and maintaining their own identity outside of the marriage, in addition to their identity as a couple. I view interdependent relationships as having a “me”, “you”, and “us”. I like to think of interdependence like the concept of fire. In order for fire to burn, it must have the right amount of oxygen to survive. Without oxygen, the fire will burn out. Much the same in relationships, when one person “becomes” the other person, the relationship does not get the oxygen it needs in order to survive and the fire will go out. We call this term enmeshment.

On the same note, with too much oxygen, the fire will burn out of control. In relationships, when people become disconnected emotionally and there is too much distance between them, we term this “cut-off”. Interdependent couples are able to celebrate their individuality and uniqueness, without “becoming” the other person, or taking on the other person’s feelings. They feel confident to express their own opinions, without sacrificing their own sense of self for another person. At the same time, however, they are able to compromise in the relationship and are sensitive to the other person’s needs without compromising their own values and self-worth.

3. Interdependent couples are able to confront and criticize their partner in a non-judgmental, healthy, and non-blaming manner, without rage and without shaming.

They also step up to the plate in accepting their own role in the marital conflict, accepting constructive criticism without becoming defensive or reactive. Because they are able to accept their own flaws, their own need for change, and work on their own issues, interdependent couples are fully accepting of each other, including their flaws! It is much like each partner is holding up a mirror to the other. This mirror allows the partner to see both strengths and weaknesses, which can be seen as an opportunity for growth as opposed to a passive-aggressive way of hurting the other person.

4. Interdependent couples are not enablers, and set good boundaries and limits in their relationships.

They do not enable nor do they invite hurtful, dysfunctional, and unhealthy behavior to continue in their partner or relationship. Through the continual process of recognizing and working on their own issues, as well as having a voice in their relationships, they share mutual respect with each other. When they do not feel respected, they are able to voice their feelings in a genuine manner. By setting good boundaries and limits with others, interdependent individuals hold others accountable for their actions.

They do not assume responsibility for, rescue, or make excuses for the other person’s unhealthy behavior. As they continue to work on their own growth and recovery, they are confident in letting go of unhealthy and destructive behaviors in their life.

5. Interdependent couples fight!

They fight in a healthy way and do not fear or avoid healthy conflict and uncomfortable feelings in their marriage. Because they are able to express their genuine feelings when they occur, they are able to show anger in a healthy way, without rage. When they do show their feelings in an unhealthy manner, they are able to recognize their relapse, realize what deeper issues have been touched, and forgive themselves without spiraling in shame.

They are also able to forgive their partners for their mistakes. Interdependent couples recognize that to deny feelings is to deny who we truly are. They accept that the full range of emotion is to be real. They know that without expressing genuine emotion, the feelings will run their lives and take over in the form of addictions or other counterproductive and unhealthy behaviors.

6. Interdependent couples have healthy communication, with deep connection and intimate sharing. Because they are consistently working on healing their emotional wounds and confronting their emotional pain, they feel free to communicate and show others their real self. Commitment to working on their relationship is a priority.

They commit to therapy and individual growth in their recovery. They trust the process of healing, trusting their ability to feel their pain, work through their issues, and follow through with their individual and marriage counseling appointments.
Quote:
I really dont want to be a "me" person, but she really slams me when i try to share my feelings and problems. I may see a problem with our M, but if she doesnt see it, she refuses to hear anything i might say.
this is asking your partner to STUFF IT... it's completely counterproductive..

Can you share WHAT you are bringing to her -that causes her to shut you out...refusing to listen ??

Quote:
I'm guess this is a long, drawn out way of asking others to share how they argue and resolve..... Or just tell me if i am being a wimp.
Please see this thread >> The CONFLICT thread...4 types...the 5 to 1 ratio in Marriage Conflicts...
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 05:15 PM
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My husband used to be so much like what you're describing with your wife and we've gotten MUCH better but it wasn't easy to make that shift. I built up resentment with him for three years (you've been married waaay longer than that so I can't imagine how much resentment you have) but after being married three years I said enough is enough. I told him I needed him to treat me with more respect, stop being the only right one all the time, and actually apologize if he hurt my feelings even if he didn't think he did anything wrong. It was like the summer from hell because he was happy with the way things were and didn't want anything to change. I thought we might get divorced and suddenly we were fighting nonstop. I ended up writing him a lot of letters which really helped because when we talked we just fought. After a while he started to treat me much better actually.
My husband will always have a strong personality and strong opinions, plus he has a short fuse, and sometimes I still think he acts like a jerk. However it really is waay better. I don't resent him at all because we usually work out our issues. He doesn't invalidate my feelings like he used to and he apologizes if I'm upset.

Don't accept the disrespect and if she really loves you she'll treat you better because she won't want to lose you and will realize that she has to change the way she treats you if she wants you to stay.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 01:08 AM
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Re: How do you resolve an argument?

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Originally Posted by shane0147 View Post
Finally, i recently made a decision that i wanted to speak to her and try to work it out and find ways to improve our marriage. I had a narrative planned and wanted to ask her to go to marriage counseling. As soon as i started talking to her....

Attempt #1: this was near bedtime(bad timing), but we work odd schedules so i have to try when i can. I had just come off a week of night shifts, and she said she wasnt talking to me as i am too grouchy when i work nights. Totally brushed me off, but i chose to wait, said we didnt have to start the weekend off fighting.

Attempt #2: fast forward a few days past attempt 1. I told her i wanted to talk. I had gotten the kids in bed early, dinner, cleaned, etc. when i told her i wanted to speak, and why, she quickly said "what now" in a tone that made it clear she didnt want to hear me...
My suggestion is to try scheduling a meeting with her out of the house. Let her know there are some things you really want to talk about, but also that you know she must want to talk about some issues she has too, and maybe you can work together to make your lives run better. Set a meeting at a Starbucks or some other neutral ground.

When you go, make a list together of some things that are bugging you. Then, work together to come up with solutions for all the problems, treating them all as shared problems rather than each other's problems.

It may be a good idea to not overload right away with ALL the things that are bothering you. Stick with some concrete things, like money for example, and try and get to the core issue. The issue is not "you spend money then get mad at me for doing the same" - the issue is "we need to both know what's going on with our accounting and discuss our purchases together so we're both comfortable with it." And then you can talk together about a budget for personal spending or for things like trips and golfing. If she brings up issues in. A way that blames you, just nod and rephrase them as a general issue. For example, "you're always yelling at me" could be "anger levels in the house" - and then suddenly it's her responsibility to help come up with solutions, because it's a shared problem when it doesn't have your name on it.

My husband and I (together 15+ years now) meet every other week or so (well, we try and sometimes keep it that frequent) and we've achieved a lot together using this approach. We've never spent much time arguing so I can't really say this solved an arguing issue, but it definitely keeps us both involved in and responsible for each other's wellbeing. We talk about everything from finances to hygiene... Diet and exercise, chores, things that need fixing or reorganizing, pet peeves. At the end we always set some concrete goals like "I'm going to reorganize the baking cupboard on Tuesday" and "we are not going to eat out for the next two weeks except Friday because it's my sister's birthday dinner." "I'm going to schedule my dentist appointment." And so on. We don't always manage to achieve everything, but when we check back at the next meeting, we can decide to either try harder, or decide it would be better to prioritize something else next instead.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 01:17 AM
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Re: How do you resolve an argument?

One of us usually wins, sometimes even the right one, or we have really hot sex and everything is straightened out.

Probably not helpful but sex is an amazing negotiator.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 12:11 PM
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Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane0147 View Post
Ok, this could create a good discussion. I often think about how to improve my marriage. Long story short, married 20 years (38 years old), 3 kids.... 19, 10, and 8.

Essentially our marriage is in trouble. At the core of our problems is communication. We argue a lot and i have a lot of resentment that i find it hard to let go of.

In years past, we would argue.... Ignore each other for a while.... Kiss and make up. Basically in that order. The problem is that the underlying issue gets kicked down the road. As we have gotten older, I have tried to change the way i argue. I try more often to tell her how i feel or how a problem makes me feel. I try to avoid "you do this" or "you are wrong" statements. Sometimes that may be the case, sometimes it isnt. I feel like my wife refuses to adopt that sort of approach and she basically sees it as an opportunity to squash me when we fight. Often, i think she escalates to shouting more as a way to avoid the issue, as opposed to the actual fight itself.

I have suggested mc multiple times but she is hell bent against that. If i had to describe my wifes personality, i would say she is very guarded and a bit of a narcissist. Not in the snobby, " prettier than you l" sense, but more that she has to be right and she is very quick to tell me what is wrong with me. When i try to share my feelings with her, she is very dismissive and invalidating. I just feel pretty hopeless.

I really dont want to be a "me" person, but she really slams me when i try to share my feelings and problems. I may see a problem with our M, but if she doesnt see it, she refuses to hear anything i might say.

I'm guess this is a long, drawn out way of asking others to share how they argue and resolve..... Or just tell me if i am being a wimp.

Thanks in advance
This was basically the problem my wife and I had. I thought it was sex but really we couldn't communicate or know how to fight fairly. For me it came down to an ultimatum: go to counseling or I am out. She choose counseling. It helped us with the communication part. I learned how to be a better communicator. I learned how to control my own emotions when I would get upset and listen to her in the heat of the argument. That's hard to do but possible.

There is hope if both of you are listening and willing to change. Use this as an opportunity, like I did, to become a better person. Realize that you may be wrong in some areas and need to change. Confess what you can, change and prove that to her. Then if you are doing the better thing than tell her to get her crap together or else you will be out the door. There should be a great many opportunities for her to want to mend before you leave though. That is, after you've already admitted your wrong doing and tried your best to clean up your side of the street.

For me and my wife, when we argue I try to remain as calm as possible. I try to listen to what she is saying and not make it personally against her as a person. Sometimes she is right, I am being a jerk and I need to apologize for that. Sometimes she is rubbing against something raw in me and I need to time-out before continuing. I tell her: "i love you and want to resolve this but I need a time out. lets get together within the next couple days to resolve this". I grew up in an emotionally abusive family, so did my wife, so sometimes she pushes the right buttons which triggers that fight or flight response--That's when I call for the time out. That said, the issue needs to be resolved when cooler heads prevail.

There is no use fighting to be right, only to make the relationship better. If that can't be done then seek out help to learn how to do that. An ultimatum may be necessary for the sake of your sanity. Again, no easy task, and many steps along the way to attempt reconciliation. God speed my friend.
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