An argument with our significant other can turn into a lot of unnecessary finger pointing, and let’s be honest, these arguments are sometimes so trivial. When you’ve been married to someone for 10 plus years, even a wrong look can cause a fight.
I’m all about being honest with myself and I know it’s impossible to never have these fights. My goodness, you are with the same person day in and day out. Remember in high school when you would need a “break” from your best friends? Too much is too much. Marriage is that on steroids.
We are blessed to marry our best friends, we are lucky to have someone waiting for us at home every night, and life is simply sweeter when you share it with another. It can also get dirty, messy, and down right rude at times.
I was watching a movie starring the great Jennifer Anniston as her character was in a marriage counseling session. (Yes, I do take notes from movies). What the therapist said to her hit me like a brick.
The therapist counseled not to say the words “you” or “I” when arguing with your spouse.
What? Seriously? That’s the base of all arguments! On the other hand, what she was saying made so much sense.
It’s wildly easy to say, “I feel like you get so defensive!” or “You're just so tense!”
By doing this, you are automatically pointing a finger at your spouse and, in some ways, putting them down. You're attacking their person and suffocating their pride.
That is not your job.
Marriage is a union, it’s the binding and blending of two souls. You become one person. There is no longer a “you” or an “I,” it’s “we.”
Changing your outlook to one of partnership as opposed to two people against one another could lessen the heat of your arguments.
Let’s say you're arguing over your spouse constantly arriving home from work late. Instead of saying, “You arriving late is putting a lot of pressure on me. I always have to feed the kids dinner and put them to bed.”
“In our house, there is a lot of pressure at night time. We need to get the kids fed, bathed, and into bed. The evenings will be a lot easier if we can both tackle these chores.”
Do you see how much nicer that sounds? All of a sudden, you guys are a team, both when you're getting along and when you’re arguing. Your “fights” have changed from straight-up fighting to a conversation. Your spouse won’t feel attacked and you have been able to express your stress and worries.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter who's really to blame. You’re married, honey. Your spouse's faults are your faults.
Name-calling is another no-no, even if you’re calling your spouse “defensive” or “uptight.” These terms are very hurtful when directed right to your spouse. Instead, try expressing them this way:
“The mood in our house feels uptight and stuffy. Let’s find a way to make our days a little more care-free and happy.”
Wow. The whole dynamic has changed.
When you said your vows, you promised to protect and honor each other. Name-calling is not protecting, pointing a finger and placing blame is not honoring.
Give it a shot, removing “I” and “you” may save hours of arguing. The two of you may even come to a reasonable and friendly resolution.