If you’re with someone, it’s inevitable that you will one day fight with them.
I personally have fought with my husband in our three years of marriage.
The biggest was during our first few months of marriage when I had a big meltdown in the middle of Ortigas Center, screaming at him and refusing to get out of the road even if it meant that I was at the risk of being hit by an incoming car.
Not my proudest moment.
But at the heat of the moment, I felt that that was a fight worth making. And if it meant dissolving our young marriage, then so be it.
What was the issue at hand?
It was that new hubby would not and could not put down his cellphone during mealtime. So even when we were having lunch, he would still be texting and Facebooking.
Hence, the meltdown.
We came up with a few rules of engagement that day. So far, in our brief marriage, these rules have kept us happy and sane. And I would like to share them to you so hopefully, your marriage/partnership will also benefit from our mistakes.
1. Keep fights clean and stay away from the Red Topics.
When we fight, we want to hurt the other person as much as they’re hurting us.
That’s why, we often go for the jugular, using vile words that we know should be off-limits, if only we can help ourselves.
They’re not bad words per se, but these are words that hurt the heart.
For example, if you know that your husband is always afraid that he cannot meet his father’s expectations, we cannot help but slide in the words, “And that’s why your father is always disappointed in you! You always fail to do what is right!”
If he had an indiscretion he was truly sorry for before, we cannot help but say, “And that’s why I can’t trust you. You cannot help but cheat on me for every girl that shows you the littlest of attention!”
If he is having trouble at work and can’t seem to catch a break, it may be words like, “And that’s why you can’t find a job. You’re a good for nothing and nobody will ever want to hire you!”
Sadly, it’s usually our loved ones that hurt us the most. Because they always know the worst thing to say. And when they speak, the words cut to the core.
For my husband, the big red no-no words are threats that I will leave him and our marriage.
Say whatever you want, but never tell him that you’re leaving him.
Discuss the topics with your husband that are off-limits and KEEP THEM OFF-LIMITS.
Stay within the topic.
If you’re fighting about his inability to call you back, keep the fight to the fact that he’s not answering his phone. Do not bring his family, his job into the mix. The more you stay on topic, the better you can in solving the problem, which is why the fight is there in the first place.
2. Do not involve other people as much as possible. Discuss the problem with your husband directly. Solve it with him directly.
Divorces and separation become more likely once other people get involved. When we tell other people our problems, they tend to butt in on the smallest of issues and petty problems become mountains.
I don’t like it when my husband complains about me to his parents. For example, I really don’t like to do the laundry, and I’m useless in housework. He knows this, and he cannot help but shake his head on my domestic ineptitude.
Sometimes, he cannot help himself.
During family dinners, he will once again mention that I don’t do the laundry. He said he meant it as a joke, but do it a couple of times and it becomes annoying.
So I told my husband to stop complaining about me to his parents. Marriage is hard enough and it’s crucial that we build our support system with the people around us. Even with my family, I build my husband up.
If there was a bad thing he did with me, I don’t go around complaining about him to other people. I deal them directly with him. Anyway, if I have the problem with him, complaining about them to other people will NOT solve the problem. If husband is the problem, only he can solve the problem.
3. Be very direct on what’s bothering you. Don’t beat around the bush.
Maybe it’s the way women are trained but we can be very passive aggressive when we’re fighting with our husbands. We don’t usually say what we want them to do, and instead, say many things that has nothing to do with what’s bothering us.
If we are angry, we tell him to do whatever he wants, even though we want him to STOP doing what he’s doing.
And then get even angrier when he actually does it!
Ladies, let us tell them what exactly we want them to do. Men listen better to instructions, so we better be clear on what exactly we want them to do.
For me, I will usually tell him, “Stop complaining about me with your family. I only want you to say good things about me even if it kills you.”
In our house, we have the you-need-to-call-me-back rule. If we see a missed call from each other, we want them to call us back.
Keep instructions clear and specific. That way, we can get what we want.
4. Don’t ever bluff and say you will leave the marriage unless you meant it.
Many a marriages are destroyed because someone bluffs to leave the marriage, and the other person calls them out on it. Stop threatening to leave unless you’re actually ready to carry out that bluff!
It’s really annoying when you fight over petty things, speak words that wound the heart, and then threaten to leave at any time! Do that a few thousand times and eventually, your husband WILL leave you!
STOP BLUFFING AND THREATENING THAT YOU’LL LEAVE YOUR HUSBANDS IF YOU CANNOT SUSTAIN YOURSELF. There might be a day that he will leave you. And there’s nothing else you can do than cry.
A breakup is not a joke. Do not bluff and threaten to break up with someone if you really don’t mean it.
5. Admit if you’re wrong. Apologize if you are wrong.
That way, you’re not the unreasonable bitch who’s always right, even though she is wrong. Pick your fights and make sure to remain sane and reasonable, so if you really are right, your husband will concede too.
Sometimes, we always want to get our way. We want our husbands to give in with us all the time. Otherwise, we will threaten to leave (See Rule #4). Don’t do that.
If you’re wrong, say you are wrong and apologize.
That way, if you’re right, your husband will do the same too.
6. Always end a fight with a resolution!
When we fight, we always end our fights with a resolution. This is how resolution is defined.
Finish the fight with the end in mind — in every fight, there’s always something that pissed you or him off, and you don’t want him to do it again.
Identify what is the root cause of the fight and resolve to avoid doing it again.
If there’s always a resolution to a fight, then a fight becomes worthwhile. If it stops you from getting pissed from each other, then a fight becomes a constructive fight. There’s a purpose to the fight, which is stopping you or him from doing something that upsets the other.
End every fight with a resolution, and if all fights end with a resolution that is kept, then you’re already on your way to a happy marriage.
Happy weekend everyone! Do you have any other tips on how to fight fair and square with your husband? Comment below.