How to Fight
My face was hot. I could feel my emotions rising and my heart starting to beat harder.
It seemed Greenie and I were having a disagreement…
Over the space of a few minutes…. It seemed to crescendo until all of a sudden we were in the thick of a full blown fight.
With frightening speed my loving husband and best friend was becoming my enemy. I had ceased listening to what he was saying, preferring to formulate a retort in my mind. A retort that would make me win. Not only did the current perceived indiscretions on his part set my mind fuming, every minor upset and misunderstanding from the recent past came flooding back too.
My main aim now became to air all of these discretions in an effort to be right. In the thick of my heightened emotions, I had forgotten what had made me so annoyed in the first place.
Oh, and I was hungry and exhausted from a crazy day at work.
Not a great time to act on irritable feelings. A time where my husband was an all to perfect target to air any pent up frustration and stress from the day.
And there we were in one of the most nonsensical, ridiculous arguments we have ever had.
How it began was irrelevant by the time it had ended
It took a whole 24 hours for us to make up (mostly my fault). I needed food and sleep and a whole morning with Jesus before I was able to think and speak rationally.
And speak of the morning, when clarity came, and emotions died down, then came the regret. Upon reflection it makes me think.
Is Disagreeing wrong?
- how can I handle disagreements better?
- How can I do better next time?
- Is there such a thing as fighting well?
If you are Mother Teresa and don’t ever ever fight, perhaps you don’t need to read on. But for those of us who have some hot Spanish blood flooding through your veins, perhaps like me you need some tips on how to come through disagreements with your spouse in grace, kindness and without regret.
Here are some thoughts I came up with that I am going to try to implement
How you fight matters
Listen to me. I am opinionated, and feisty and quite honestly I like to rumble. I don’t think that is wrong. Having disagreements with one another is not an issue, it is about how you go about them that matters the most. However what is wrong is when I let my emotions take control and say things in the moment that I are unhelpful, damaging, critical and sometimes downright mean. Those are the times where I want to bite my tongue and think before I speak.
1. When I am hungry, tired, straight after or before a crazy work shift.
I find if I am hungry, extra tired or fresh home from a stressful day, my mind and emotions are in overdrive. I am especially vulnerable to being oversensitive, and having the wrong perspective. NOT A GREAT TIME TO FIGHT or to bring up an issue that is troubling me.
2. I need to think twice when I feel the haze of emotions rising.
Frustration, annoyance feeling overly critical makes me completely deaf to Greenie’s point of view. When I feel these unhelpful emotions rising, it is a warning for me to tap out. Take a deep breath and talk to resist the temptation to ride the tide of my emotions.
3. Listen to understand.
Understanding that my point of view is not necessary the only or the right point of view has actually changed everything for me. And if I am not hungry or overtired, and have resisted giving into unhelpful emotions, I am able to remember that Greenie’s point of view is different to mine. I then able to listen, really listen to what he is saying. I don’t have to agree, but I need to have at least truly heard him and be able to understand what he is saying.
There you have it. Three things that I am going to try next time Greenie and I rumble.
- Stop and ask myself if I am tired, hungry or stressed. If so am I projecting fustrations from the day onto my husband and blowing insignificant issues out of proportion.
- Am I speaking from a heart of love and kindness or am I riding the tide of unhelpful emotions of frustration and annoyance? If so the momentary pleasure that I get from giving into these emotions only leads to regret.
- Have I really listened to understand Greenie’s point of view or am I to busy trying to formulate my own retort to ensure that I win? Making an effort despite what I feel to actually hear his point of view. If I am honest. He is usually more right than I am….
So my aim for the next time we rumble is to stop and ask myself all of the above.
I will let you know how I go!
How about you beloved.
Do you rumble?
What tips have you learned?
I would love to hear.
I cherish and love you deeply,
Dr Christine Greenwood
Reign in life
Wink: Oh I would like to add another thing I am learning. So in the morning when I’m full of regret and remorse and ready to make up and apologise. I am trying to stop saying “I am sorry I yelled and was irrational… but when you spoke like that and did that thing I …” And instead say “ I am sorry I yelled and was irrational.” with NO excuse trailing behind it. It is SO hard to do. But I figure if I have to say sorry with a ‘but’ I am not really sorry at all… Once again I will let you know.