I sometimes hear from people who want their spouse to grow up when there is conflict within their marriage. Often, one spouse is very willing to sit down and work through their issues like an adult while the other does not seem to.
I heard from a wife who said: “My husband and I handle our fights differently. I never want to go to bed angry. I hate conflict. I immediately want to sit down and work through whatever is going on I don’t like to know that there is tension between us.But it seems that he doesn’t care if we are getting too far apart.When my husband and I were getting older, I would love to go over to his house as his parents were always fighting openly.There was always a lot of slamming and yelling next door.It made me uncomfortable because that was not the way I was raised.My parents rarely raise their voice. lose a cold part.And recently when I try to make him sit down and talk about the problems we have, he tells me that talk doesn’t fix everything and overcomes it.When I do something he doesn’t like, he pulls back his his affection and seeming l that he closes me to punish me ves me crazy. Sometimes it’s almost like watching a toddler throw a tantrum. I want him to grow up. I want him to sit down and talk to me like a mature adult. This is our marriage and the rest of our lives that we are talking about. But my husband will not see this. Instead, he seems perfectly willing to communicate in this very childish way. What can I do? “
I felt that this woman was right to be very concerned about this issue. Many experts say that the way a couple fights and handles conflict is a very good indicator if that same couple eventually divorces. Couples who remain married and remain closely connected are couples who have learned to argue in a constructive way. Fighting is a lovely thing. In fact, it is important to clean the air from time to time. But it is also crucial that the fight will not be personal. It’s okay to attack the issue. It is not okay to attack your spouse. It’s not okay to make it personal. You can hate the habit or behavior but you can’t argue that you hate your spouse, at least if you want your marriage to be healthy.
And it does great harm and injury when one spouse retains affection or attempts to punish the other during or after a disagreement. Because things tend to only rise and fall from that. So I agreed that it was crucial for this couple to learn by working out their problems in a constructive way. The wife was more than happy to do this, so now it was time for the husband to board.
Making your husband understand the need to fight fairly: The woman wanted her husband to change his shame or guilt for the way he treated her in conflict. In short, they had developed a kind of child-parent relationship. She would take the high road and claim it was immature and childish. And while all of that may have been accurate enough, it probably won’t inspire change to highlight this. Instead, it just makes him more angry and motivated to increase his behavior.
I believe the best way to start is to have a calm, considerate discussion when things start to get worse. The next time the husband moved back on this destructive way of dealing with conflict, the woman might say something like this: “I have to stop you, honey. Because it is this is starting to go to a destructive place and I do not want to keep this happening to us.The whole point we are discussing is to work through and stop the conflict.But now we are arguing about something that is not even part of the basic issue I just know that this is how you are used to dealing with conflict, but it hurts me a lot and I do not think that it is doing us any good. we regroup and talk about the real issues I’m dealing with. ” I’ll go first. “
Then state your version of the events in the most helpful way possible. When you have finished, stop and ask him to state his side of things. If it starts leaking into its old patterns stop it again and redirect it.
The key is to highlight this. Since the husband grew up in a troubled family, he knew no other way. That’s why it’s important to be patient and try to redirect it smoothly. You don’t want to tell him he’s a child or immature. Instead, you just want to show him how to do better. And when it does, try to offer all kinds of positive reinforcements. Because the whole idea is to do it trying to make it better and give it the tools to do that.
This may mean that you sometimes have to lead by example and this sometimes seems unfair. It may feel like you are the one taking the whole initiative. But as you keep at it, it should develop a new way of communication that is crucial to saving your marriage. Because if these two continued to fight in the destructive way that was now their habit, the future of their marriage could be in jeopardy. And I suspected this was what either of them wanted.