Push the emergency shut down button!

February 21, 2013

in Be a grownup, Change, Communication, Marriage Killer

You ever find yourself in an argument with your wife that is rapidly escalating out of control? You know where it’s going, and you know it’s about to get ugly and hurt one or both of you. You know nothing good can come of continuing, but you don’t know how to stop. Your adrenalin is pumping, your emotions are up, and you feel powerless to avoid the disaster about to occur. 

Emergency shut down button © Salvatore Vuono | freedigitalphotos.net

What if you had an emergency shut-down button for such times? Just push the button and everything stops, no winner or loser, no foul, no hard feelings for the rest of the day, or week.

Why don’t you and your wife build an emergency shut-down button? Talk about the need, and agree on situations where using the button would be acceptable. The button is not about getting out of something, and it’s not about ending the disagreement; the button is about shutting down an argument that’s become toxic. Hitting the button means you both stop immediately. No last words, no blaming each other for the button being needed; you agree to stop and walk away – physically if possible, mentally and emotionally otherwise. Take time to think and pray, then after a predefined amount of time either start again, or arrange a good time to deal with the issue.

How you activate the button is up to you. A word or phrase would work, or maybe a hand gesture such as pushing an imaginary button in the palm of your hand.

If you try this, I suspect you’ll find many issues look less horrible or difficult after you cool down and reflect. There might even be occasions when one of you decides you were wrong, or it’s not really worth fighting over.

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Image Credit: © Salvatore Vuono | freedigitalphotos.net

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