Working through things without losing it

Couple fighting © David Castillo Dominici |, my bride and I had a few heated moments today. It is rare, but we still get at cross-purposes and even get upset with each other. We got through it just fine, and I noticed a few things that went well. Dissecting it, here are the good things we did:

  • We each stood up for what we needed.
  • We each tried to understand and value what our spouse needed.
  • We each said things to assure the other we were not angry.
  • We both were willing to assume blame.
  • We both wanted not only to fix this issue, but also to find ways to avoid having a similar problem in the future.
  • We spent the rest of the day having wild sex.

Okay, the last one is not true, but it seems to me like a great way to make up! To expand on those points:

  • I both respect and appreciate my bride standing up for what she needs; I would be most unhappy if she did not. I want to bless her, which I cannot do if I remain clueless.
  • It is easy to be understanding of her needs when I know she is doing the same with my needs. If she were all about her needs and only her needs, I would feel I had to be just about my needs to protect myself. Because I know she values both her needs and my needs, and she knows the same about me, we can each dare to work to meet the other’s needs.
  • I’m not saying angry is wrong, avoiding it make things easier. Communicating the nature of our frustration helped us avoided misunderstandings.
  • In part, the problem came from me not knowing she needed something she thought I should know she needed. It does not matter to me if she failed to communicate it or I failed to hear it or store it in long-term memory; what matters is getting it clear now and dealing with it. This means I can admit I may have not heard or understood her when she communicated clearly.
  • Some problems are one-off, but many are various versions of the same problem repeatedly. If it is not a one-off, save yourself a lot of grief and see if you can do something to avoid or reduce similar problems in the future.
  • 8-)

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2 Comments on “Working through things without losing it

  1. Felt the need to make a comment. In the article you stated “We spent the rest of the day having wild sex. Ok, that last part is not true, but it seems like a great way to make up.” I understand where you are coming from, but I have known of couples and read studies on the dangers of makeup sex. The passion invoked can be both very intense and very addictive. This can and has let to couples not being satisfied with ‘normal’ sex anymore. The result is more fighting just so they can have ‘good’ sex. Like I stated earlier, I know what you meant, I just felt the need to share the dangerous side of the comment.

    • DaveM – Yes, this is a real problem. We knew a couple like this, and she would pick fights just to get the makeup sex. It eventually ended their marriage.

      I think sex after you have really come to terms and calmed down is fine, but using it as part of the resolution process is a bad plan.

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