How do you resolve an argument? - Talk About Marriage
Long Term Success in Marriage If you've been married 10+ years and consider your marriage a success, post your success story here. Help others by talking about what works for you.

User Tag List

 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 14
How do you resolve an argument?

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
Posted via Mobile Device

shane0147 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 11:40 PM
Member
 
Quigster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 56
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane0147 View Post
I'm guess this is a long, drawn out way of asking others to share how they argue and resolve.....
You've already developed a lot of good communication skills. You're making "I" statements instead of "you" statements and that's a great move.

Here are some things that really work for me. You probably do some of this stuff already. Use or dismiss these ideas at your convenience.

For one, I hate to argue late at night. I'm tired and I can't think straight or organize my thoughts. I need to be well-rested in order to carry on a proper, civilized debate.

I don't like to argue in the bedroom. I don't want my wife associating our marital bed as the place where we have disagreements. I want to save that for sleeping and romantic encounters.

When we talk, I like to repeat what she's told me in my own words, so she sees that I understand what's she's expressing to me. Sometimes she offers clarification because I've misinterpreted her. This can be a powerful tool.

Defuse her frustration. Instead of getting defensive, agree with her. Say things like, "You're right, I can see why that would upset you" and "yes, I see why you feel that way."

When you argue, your goal should never be to "beat" her in the debate or to "win" the fight. Don't make victory your objective. Try to understand why she's expressing what she's saying to you. Seek to understand. Offer solutions and ask if they are acceptable to her. If her requests are unreasonable, try to reach a compromise.

Apologize for upsetting her, even if you don't feel like you're at fault. Accept responsibility for the role you play.

Your same issues will keep coming back up until you address them effectively. You can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.

ᕴᘴᓿᘜᔙᖶᕧᖇ

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."—John Lennon

Quigster is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-05-2015, 11:48 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 1,178
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

What are the arguments about? One thing I've learned....pick your battles. If it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things let it go.

We will only ever be the architects of our own destruction.
Sbrown is offline  
 
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 12:51 AM
Forum Supporter
 
Satya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,589
How do you resolve an argument?

I find people that are childish during discussions (talk over you, "squash" you when you make a logical point, etc.) are not listening to anything you're saying, probably because they have no ability to place themselves in a humbling spot where they could be wrong or responsible for being less than perfect.

Your methods would work if she had the ability to appreciate them, but it sounds like she doesn't, so actually what I think your methods are doing is validating her even more and the purpose backfiring on you.

A personality that can never be wrong also can't be reasoned with (unless a breakthrough occurs). My ex was like this. I never knew what to do when married, but I learned by dealing with others with similar personalities later on that if you refuse to engage until they cut their selfish behavior out, and you refuse frequently enough, they will start to realize you WON'T accept that kind of behavior. It takes a lot of firmness on your part and self-respect. Don't feed her need to beat you down mentally with childish antics. You can both act like the adults you are and not accept anything less of each other during discussions.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
Satya is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 14
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbrown View Post
What are the arguments about? One thing I've learned....pick your battles. If it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things let it go.
What sorts of things do we fight about? That could take a while. Ill give a few examples.

1. Parenting. We have the occasional disagreement with how to deal with a kid. For instance, if a kid is acting up and its near bedtime, we will agree to send the kid to bed early. I will tell the kid, the kid may act out even worse, and she over rules me, despite our previous agreement. Later, i will tell her that i feel it was wrong to over ride and undermine me. She ignores, invalidates, and if i try to push the issue, it becomes an unproductive shouting match.

2. Finances. An previous example was that recently, she made a big issue of the fact that i had spent about $200 playing golf over a month and a half. She told me i was being irresponsible. That day, she used my credit card to pay for a girls cruise.... (About a grand). Another instance was how recently we went on a nice anniversary trip. She immediately came back and planned two more trips.... One a girls trip, the other with her family. I was unable to get the time off from work. I really had nonissue with her taking the trips, but she is very quick to scrutinize anything i spend, while she spends as she wants.

Again, if i try to mention this to her and tell how i feel the double standard is disrespectful, it ends the same as the other fights.

3. 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. I did take a little offense and when I reiterated what i wanted to say, she said "im not listening to your ****". We quickly had another useless shouting match, i left the bedroom and we didnt speak at all for a few days. Later, she acted like all was fine. I, on the other hand, felt like i was in the middle of a crowded room, shouting at the top of my lungs...,, but no one noticed. (Ok that was a bit overdramatic)

After all of this, it feels useless to try and that the only way to coexist is to never tell my wife how i feel, unless it is what she wants to hear.
Posted via Mobile Device
shane0147 is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 12:11 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 110
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

I understand you. Your wife is not interested in arguing at all. Or just for the sake of it. Not because she is interested in what you have to say. I suppose she can shout louder and longer. She will always be right whatever you say. You need counselling but she wont go. So what do you do. I suppose your wife wont come on here either or youre too scared to tell her youre here.
I often say on here write her a letter. Dont overdo it. The less you complain about the better. She may give you a written reply. Well that is a start.
afab is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 01:01 PM
Member
 
melw74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 757
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

This is one thing i really do not miss the arguments. Its been about 2 years since my husband and i have argued, and i know just how much stress they can put on a relationship. I used to be a real pain in the butt, I would nag, moan think i was always right. I was a right hot head i was so bad that my moaning used to get me down.

For me, I was lacking respect, When i think back i used to be a nightmare, I really do not know how my hubby put up with me when i was such a ***** it took a few months of unhappiness to finally buck up and try to change myself into a better person, It used to take a bit of biting my lip, but i did it... I am a changed person, I like me now.

I think to resolve an argument you need to know when to back down, keep quiet for a change and be the better person.

Isn't it strange how the mistress always thinks shes smarter than the wife. If shes so smart then why is she the mistress.??
melw74 is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2015, 01:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,388
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane0147 View Post
What sorts of things do we fight about? That could take a while. Ill give a few examples.

1. Parenting. We have the occasional disagreement with how to deal with a kid. For instance, if a kid is acting up and its near bedtime, we will agree to send the kid to bed early. I will tell the kid, the kid may act out even worse, and she over rules me, despite our previous agreement. Later, i will tell her that i feel it was wrong to over ride and undermine me. She ignores, invalidates, and if i try to push the issue, it becomes an unproductive shouting match.

2. Finances. An previous example was that recently, she made a big issue of the fact that i had spent about $200 playing golf over a month and a half. She told me i was being irresponsible. That day, she used my credit card to pay for a girls cruise.... (About a grand). Another instance was how recently we went on a nice anniversary trip. She immediately came back and planned two more trips.... One a girls trip, the other with her family. I was unable to get the time off from work. I really had nonissue with her taking the trips, but she is very quick to scrutinize anything i spend, while she spends as she wants.

Again, if i try to mention this to her and tell how i feel the double standard is disrespectful, it ends the same as the other fights.

3. 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. I did take a little offense and when I reiterated what i wanted to say, she said "im not listening to your ****". We quickly had another useless shouting match, i left the bedroom and we didnt speak at all for a few days. Later, she acted like all was fine. I, on the other hand, felt like i was in the middle of a crowded room, shouting at the top of my lungs...,, but no one noticed. (Ok that was a bit overdramatic)

After all of this, it feels useless to try and that the only way to coexist is to never tell my wife how i feel, unless it is what she wants to hear.
Posted via Mobile Device
It sounds like your wife uses her anger as a way to keep you off balance so she doesn't have to deal with her own, inappropriate behavior. I disagree with those who say "pick your battles" because in her case, that's what she's counting on - that you will let it go to have peace, and she get's to do what she wants, how you feel about be damned.

I like the idea of writing her a letter. It will help you clarify your complaints, and she can sit and think with it whereas it sounds she is very defensive in any verbal confrontation.

I would also start complaining pleasantly and regularly, but with something she can't contradict. She says everything is fine because she's happy enough. But she is only half the equation. You do it like this:

I am not happy.
I am having a lot of constant, negative thoughts about our marriage.
I am not ok with things as they are.
This is not working for me.
I have been fantisizing about leaving you and it concerns me.
etc.

All statements about your feelings about the marriage. She may try to trivialize and dismiss them, but she can't say it's not true. If you're unhappy, you're unhappy. She can change or she may end up divorced, whether she thinks you have a right to be unhappy or not. When she avoids a fight by shouting you down, let her know "I'm not going to fight with you but it's important you understand that I am very unhappy and dissatisfied with our relationship."

This will take time. Don't expect an immediate turn around just keep at it.

Meanwhile -
read about Love Busters
Love Busters

and the policy of joint agreement
The Policy of Joint Agreement
(You'll probably have to start this without her which is frustrating but it will help you be better from your side which may help her feel safe enough to let her guard down to have more rational discussions with you. And it will help you be strong realizing she IS being unreasonable and you do not have to accept it.)

You are both doing "independant behavior" with your spending. Independent behavior is always infuriating to the spouse on the receiving end because you have no control over the situation and are tied to this person but not being considered. Neither of you should be golfing or planning trips without discussing it and using the policy of joint agreement to make sure it's OK first. Her little stunts with the kids at bedtime are also independent behavior and incredibly disrespectful to you. And neither of you should ever be shouting at the other. That's an angry outburst, also addressed in the love busters article.
WorkingWife is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 96
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

shane0147, your situation sounds so similar to mine that I almost can't believe it. I don't have time to really detail it ATM, but here are some things that are helping me:

The good ol' Men are from Mars book. Cheesy and ancient and overhyped as it may be, I picked it up at the thrift store. I do not know how anyone could part with this book. It is filled to the brim with things I never realized. One basic, basic thing it says: Hug your wife 3 times a day. Well, I hug my wife twice. Once when I head out in the AM, and as SOON as I get home. I track her down. She gets a hug and a kiss on the neck, and sometimes I'll blow a raspberry (that's a bonus, but effective!). She will say mmmmmm ..... and both of us are immediately at ease and on the same page. She is getting an instant shot of my caring, and I'm getting an instant shot of her approval. Caring and approval, respectively, for women and men ... HUGE love-tank fillers.

Arguments are less, and when they happen, they don't have much steam, because hurtful feelings are now diffused, through caring and approval ... all from simple hugs. They are like a whack-a-mole rubber mallet (bonk!) of feelings.

More to come!
Average Joe is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:15 PM
Member
 
happy as a clam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Midwest
Posts: 5,455
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Two words:

Marriage. Counseling.

Even if you have to drag her kicking and screaming. She will never see things from your perspective until she learns to communicate effectively and maturely. She is very self-centered and it will take a neutral third party to help her see that.

I would tell her you have no intentions of living with this dynamic any longer. So she either agrees to go to counseling, or you will have to part ways.


"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
~ Sandfly
happy as a clam is offline  
post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 03:13 PM
Member
 
fallen22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 56
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by afab View Post
I understand you. Your wife is not interested in arguing at all. Or just for the sake of it. Not because she is interested in what you have to say. I suppose she can shout louder and longer. She will always be right whatever you say. You need counselling but she wont go. So what do you do. I suppose your wife wont come on here either or youre too scared to tell her youre here.
I often say on here write her a letter. Dont overdo it. The less you complain about the better. She may give you a written reply. Well that is a start.
I used to be this person. My husband tried for years to explain to me that I was pushing him away. I never really understood why he thought that, and anytime he'd confront me I'd get angry and defensive.

Now we are at rock bottom. I've eaten a big piece of humble pie. He has moved out of our room. I've listened to everything he's told me, and I've told him I understand why you feel that way. I know I was wrong for so many years.

It wasn't easy for me to tell him that I had been selfish and took him for granted. I mistreated him and our marriage, but I've come to terms with that. Now, the way you are describing your wife is exactly how my husband is acting. He is very angry, and he will say damn near anything. He threatened me with divorce twice last night. The first time I was angry and just blurted out fine then leave. I never meant it, I want it to work out. The second time it about killed because he said, "why don't you go back to your ex boyfriends, see how they treat you".

He doesn't fight fair, not in any sense of the word. He knows he's partly to blame for our downfall, it's 50/50. But he cannot or will not admit it and truly believe it. To me, I think your wife will not change her way of thinking until she is pushed right to her breaking point. That's what happened to me and I wish it hadn't.

I chose to believe that things would just get better if I ignored them, and I was so wrong. I think this is what she is doing. She needs to truly listen to you, and not get defensive. Just sit and listen, and if she understands something then she needs to say so. Or repeat something you've said to her in her own words so then you both know she understands where you're coming from.

This is my current battle and I'm hoping my advice will help. I know just how badly I hurt my husband, and I want to show him I can be better, do better. He isn't going to let me in or trust me for a long time, I know that. But I'm hoping my effort will make him believe in me again. Chin up, it's hard. I know.
fallen22 is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 07:42 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,006
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

OP, I feel for you. You have my deepest sympathies but I've got nothing to offer in the way of advice. I do look forward to hearing more though.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
Ynot is online now  
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 12:15 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 1,178
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

It sounds like you might be a door mat. Stand up for yourself.

Scott

We will only ever be the architects of our own destruction.
Sbrown is offline  
post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 09:28 AM
Member
 
happy2gether's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 188
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

it sounds like you are doing your part. SHE is not, and you can't make her change her ways. She has to decide to do it.

As far as the kids go, if she overrules you then man up and over rule her again. make the kid do what the original plan was but don't argue with her about it in front of the kids. Simply tell her we will discuss this later but this kid is doing it now.

finance, not a lot you can do there unless you are willing to divide your accounts and remove each other from any joint cards. let her spend her money and you spend yours. I don't believe in doing this most of the time, but sometimes it is an easy way to stop the fights. just don't bail the other out if they go over budget, let them learn the hard way to stick within their means.

lastly, you can only do so much to improve the marriage. be nice, thoughtful and concerned. If she wants to stay bitter then nothing you do or say will change that. it will be up to you how to proceed from there. But maybe if she realizes how much your marriage means to you she will come around.
happy2gether is offline  
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 08:55 PM
Member
 
OldWolf57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: So. Fl.
Posts: 1,558
Re: How do you resolve an argument?

She sound like BPD crack addict,, know some, that's their MO
OldWolf57 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Having resolve... d1221 Coping with Infidelity 3 05-11-2011 08:49 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome