Most of us men have a tendency to accumulate build-up of anger and emotions. It’s easy for us to lose our temper and let a discussion turn into an argument. When we are angry, we can’t think logically. This is when we’re endanger of saying things or behaving in ways we regret towards our partner. Today, Peter Sacco is back on the show to tell you how to argue with your spouse without drama, anger, and resentment.
The most common problems with anger and fighting
It may sound cliche, but most anger problems arise from lack of communication, or poor quality communication. When a couple first meets, the guy tends to be the pursuer, and will tell the woman everything and anything to get her attention. A new couple can’t make enough time to spend together and they talk about everything.
Months, years, decades later, the conversation becomes mundane and repetitive. They think they have nothing to learn about each other anymore. They stop asking questions. It’s not just communication, it’s the quality of it. Simply put, anger and fighting result from procrastination, laziness, redundancy, complacency. It’s important to have the skills to bring up difficult subjects before they fester and blow up or silently destroy the relationship.
Getting out of the rut
How can we be more comfortable with being proactive and less complacent when it comes to things that are hard for us to talk about? At the beginning, when we’re intimate with somebody, we maintain boundaries. We hide a lot. As the relationship progresses, we start to release more and more stuff. We may not have farted or swore in front of our spouse at first, then we gradually let it go. We stretch those boundaries, and a couple must be willing to accept new things learned about each other and adapt.
Part of love is unconditional. People change and evolve. One partner may have grown, while the other one has remained the same. Two people have to refind each other.
How to argue without anger
What are the rules and boundaries for a disagreement between a couple? First of all, don’t have a meaningful or deep discussion if you’re angry. It won’t go anywhere or make it worse. Go away and cool off before talking about what’s upsetting you.
Power plays that will kill your communication, and ultimately, your marriage.
There are two ways couples use to overpower or manipulate each other.
Gunny sacking – Gunny sacking is the storing up of grievances and using them at a later date to try to get even. It’s a passive aggressive type of anger, and a way of reaching in and tearing out someone’s heart strings. Rather than address it rationally when you not so angry, you waiting for it to let it go, like a bomb.
Belt lining– Belt lining is trying to gain power over the argument by being louder or physically intimidating. This can be done by raising the voice, screaming, yelling, or pounding fists. On the other end of the spectrum, crying or threatening self-harm can be used to manipulate the other person.
How to Walk Away from the Anger
How do we walk away saying, “I’m not going to talk about this right now,” without pissing someone off? You have to assume responsibility for your thoughts feelings and reactions. You can’t control how the other person is going to react. But you can be more detrimental by walking away. If someone storms off without a word, they are shutting down the argument and assuming control. This might leave the other person more hurt and angry.
Peter Sacco says that if you feel the anger welling up, say something like, “Right now I’m angry and I’m not thinking straight. I may say things I don’t mean, and you deserve better. I’m just going to go away and cool off.” In this way, you’ve assumed responsibility for your feelings, you’ve said it with integrity and dignity, and that’s the best you can do. Most people will say thank you in this case, and you’ll avoid a destructive blowout.
What about couples who have a long history of name-calling or hitting below the belt? In a perfect world, both individuals would agree to fix the problem and get counseling. They would make sure they did not fight in front of the kids.
What do you do when you’re being verbally abused by your spouse? Look at the person who is calling you names. Turn it around and say, Thank you. That’s different. Are you talking dirty to me? Are you flirting? The person is going to be thrown from their axis. Their conditioned response will not be able to happen. They have to rethink what they’re saying. You shut down triggers for both of you.
Are Couples Supposed to Communicate Everything?
Two people who’ve been together for a long time will inevitably get on each other’s nerves. Are we really supposed to confront our partner about all the little things that drive us crazy?
Peter Sacco says that before broaching any touchy subject, take your emotions into account. Ask yourself, am I in a good place to have this discussion? Can my partner handle this right now? Don’t bring up a difficult conversation this before bed when you’re both tired. Don’t try it first thing in the morning before work. It could derail the whole day. Timing is everything.
Are there relationships and marriages that are beyond help? Peter Sacco says that if both people in the relationship are in denial that there is a problem and think there isn’t anything to be fixed, they are in trouble. Also, some couples have given up on trying. They are too set in their ways, and just do not care. However, he also says, that even if just one person in a couple wants it to work, there is hope. He or she might initiate a change in the other person.
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