Post # 1
So, now that I have your attention, I just wanted to start a chat about how to fight well. I don’t mean how to win an argument, but how to go through the inevitable dumb fight without doing any actual damage.
Last night Fiance and I had a dumb fight, not important about what, just a really unimportant fight that we are still sore about this morning (OK, so if you HAVE to know, it was about the environmental consequences of vegetarianism. Yeah, we are big nerds).
This morning I am thinking about what I could do better next time we have a dumb fight. In my particular case, Fiance is one of those guys who gets really defensive and will not apologize or admit another point of view in the heat of the argument, no matter how much I know he knows he should. UGH! That drives me crazy!
Anyways, so lets talk about how to fight so that no body gets hurt.
(NOTE: I am not talking about the real, actually important fights. I am thinking this is a convo more about the “do the dishes” or “how can you say that about my casserole” fight)
Post # 3
hmmm.. we only really have the stupid fights when i’m pmsing! and he’s learned, if i’m picking a stupid fight, it’s most definitely because i’m pmsing. of course he’s not allowed to say it then, but he’s smart enough to just back off, let me win, and i’ll appologize later.
i think everyone developes their own fighting style that works for them.
Post # 4
when we fight, we don’t yell, and if we do (rare), we break it up and come back to it. We usually fight in a kind way, not personally attacking the other. Staying on topic is good! To be honest, our biggest fights are always the most calm, b/c you have to really have a clear head to settle big problems. When we are talking about something stupid, that’s when we get all fired up. Though we don’t really fight very much, let me throw that out there. The only time i yell is when i am too lazy to walk downstairs to talk to him haha.
Post # 5
I (try) to keep an open mind and listen to his perspective to figure out what the argument is really about – easier said than done.
And sometimes, if it’s really stupid, before it escalates too much (i.e. name calling) I just say “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” and leave the room.
One of my friends sounds like your Fiance – and I just refuse to argue with him. Might now work in your case though.
Or, maybe when you see this going down a bad path just say “I don’t feel as if you are respecting my opinion. Therefore I am not doing to discuss this with you because I feel as if what I think isn’t as important as your perspective.” Puts a lot of the onus on you to recognize a bad path, but one of you needs to stop it before it goes bad!
Post # 6
Hmmmm, we seem to have similar dumb fights. The last “discussion” my husband and I had was about the definitions of conservativism versus liberalism and how they related to traditional American values… 🙂 I think the most important part is just not to let it get into the fight stage. If one of our discussions is becoming too heated, I try to difuse the situation by making jokes or directing our conservation to a less heated topic. Sometimes it helps to just stop the conversation completely and say, “Are we really fighting about this? We are such nerds!”
The important thing to remember is that these discussions are rarely important in the long run. If I get upset, I just try to remember that “winning” this type of fight does nothing. I don’t get a prize, I’m not going to change my husband’s mind about the topic, and it’s honestly not important if he agrees with me on that subject. If I let go of trying to win, he usually will, too, and we can go back to our lovey-dovey selves. We normally end our discussion by agreeing that we’re both right. Just because one person is right doesn’t mean the other person’s wrong; you can both be right even if you have totally different views on something. 🙂
Post # 7
Melissabegins has a really good point about fighting nice. It’s important to not call each other names or belittle each other during a fight, that’s where resentment and hurt can really damage your relationship.
Everyone tells you that the number one rule to fighting is to not go to bed mad, I realized that if we are fighting about something stupid and we do go to bed mad at each other, the next morning we’re able to laugh about it.
So really, you have to find a fighting style that works for you. My husband doesn’t like to fight or have confrontation so he generally shuts down, while I storm around slamming doors and huffing and puffing before I can calm down. When it’s something serious we’re able to come together and deal with it after all the anger subsides.
Post # 8
That’s funny because me & my Fiance got into a stupid argument last night! I won’t go over any details, but it was totally dumb. I don’t even really know how to explain how or why we got into this argument, but it dragged on ALL night long to the point where I even got some tears & we didn’t talk for the rest of the night. I have specific things about myself I know I need to get better on, & Fiance does too – he just doesn’t realize it. We talk about my problems all the time & how I’m aware of them, and that they need to be fixed but last night helped me to realize that I’M not the only one who does sh*t wrong! So, me & him will be discussing his issues later 🙂
The only advice I can give you is maybe you guys just need to have a serious talk talk when yall are doing PEFECT. One thing I’ve always done to talk with my Fiance is to criticize myself while criticizing him, also. This makes it a lot easier for him to listen and open up because then it’s not like “YOU DID THIS & YOU NEED TO STOP, IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!” Talking through your problems and admitting it’s BOTH of you and not just one will help. & like I said, it always helps when we are in a lovey dovey mood 🙂 I don’t do it to ruin the special time, but to help our hard times. I’ve never once started a fight talking to Fiance about what we need to work through when we are both in good moods.
Or, another thing you can do is just look at each other & make goofy faces till one laughs 🙂 Haha, we do that a lot too!
Post # 9
This reminds me of a class I took in college entitled “Sex and Relationships” in which we covered fair fighting. We’ve used some of the techniques on the rare occasions that we fight, and they seem to work pretty well.
1. Don’t get personal (no personal attacks, no name calling ever). Stick to the matter at hand.
2. Set aside a specific time to fight if now isn’t convenient and stick to that time. It’ll give both parties a chance to cool off and allow the opportunity to focus on other things that need to get done first i.e: taking a test, or a project at work, etc.
3. Don’t bring up stuff from the past. The here and the now and the future is what you’re discussing.
4. Don’t yell.
That’s pretty much all that I remember. What we’ve learned just from working with each other to solve disagreements is:
– Don’t leave each other angry. We learned this one after I thought I’d killed him. Long story.
– Don’t go to bed angry (though this can be very hard).
– Listen to what the other person needs in terms of fighting. i.e: I get really quiet because I don’t want to say anything I’ll regret or I won’t know exactly why I’m angry and need to think it over and talk about it later. This drives Fiance crazy and he wants me to try to voice what’s going on in the present. I think I can do this, so I’m working on it.
Post # 10
Our big rules involve avoiding sarcasm and not using “always” or “never.” Corny as it sounds, we’ve also had a lot of success with “mirroring” – repeating in our own words what the other person has just said to ensure that we’re on the same page.
Post # 11
Yeah I think youll learn to fight over time. And you will learn to choose your battles. And also to be able to stop fighting instead of continuing it and making things worse.
Post # 12
@tea – i like the mirroring thing – if you can talk through what the other said, and they can let you know if you interpreted it differently than they meant it. I’ll try that next time we get in an argument (hopefully NEVER! haha)
Post # 13
Well, in the kinds of fights that you described happened to you last night, you HAVE to be objective. Honor the other persons point of view, even if you don’t agree with it. I know it’s easier to get heated with Fiance b/c, well, you can! But you still have to listen to what he’s saying and look at what you are saying through his eyes. 99.9% of the time, he will then do the same for you. If he doesn’t the argument is just boring then.
For the knock-down-dragouts (which also don’t happen often for us), you sometimes have to break it up for an hour or so to calm down. We always do this. Even in a small apartment, one of us will go in the other room, or one will be on the comp and the other watching TV. EVERY time, we come back to each other shame-faced and apologize for getting fired up. Then it doesn’t even matter what you were fighting about.
Post # 14
I believe that what people most want when they are talking/arguing a point, etc. is to feel listened to and validated. Much like *teaadntoast* I find that if Darling Husband hears me re-state what he is saying, and then state that I understand what he has said and acknowledge that it has merit – this is mostly all that he needs. Then, I feel free to tell him that although I understand and acknowledge his point of view, I believe ___x_____. This has worked wonders in our relationship.
Post # 15
I think it is important that you learn each other’s fighting style. Miss Snapdragon wrote a blog on that. When you know how the other one is likely to respond, you might be able to avoid having a fight in the first place.
Also, try to remember that a fight usually starts with a discussion in which you try to change someone else’s mind. If you just realize that he is entitled to have a different opinion too, you can avoid a lot of fights. You don’t always have to agree just because you’re married!