When winning stops being the objective and resolution takes priority
He is going to TRY…YOUR…ENTIRE…LIFE! You know that one nerve he made a vow never to disturb? Yeah, he's going to Harlem Shake and River Dance all over that mofo...but remain calm! Don't fret! You'll get through it. In all honestly, 9 times out of 10 he doesn't even realize he's doing whatever it is he’s doing, so countdown from 10, remind yourself that he loves you unconditionally, and then gather your thoughts.
Pride. Relationship killer for many and a man’s rite of passage but it’s also something us women struggle with when it comes to relationships. God designed us to be emotional being but there are times when our voice of reason has to rise to the forefront for the betterment of the relationship.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a bit of a know it all. *DEEP SIGH* I am type A, have an opinion, and tend to trust myself more than lending my trust to others, which explains why backing down is a game of pride and a power struggle for me. When it comes to relationships, more than anything I have learned to back off and let my man lead, within reason, obviously (he bet not come at me over anything in the kitchen!). I have also learned that every disagreement does not have to be an argument, as some battles aren’t worth fighting, especially if there is no right or wrong way for resolution to occur.
In light of this, I have developed a 5-step process for putting your pride aside and really getting at the core of the issue, so that the problem can be addressed and you can get back to loving all on each other.
1. Shut Your Mouth!
First things first. SHUT UP! Stop digging yourself into a deeper hole. He’s probably already checked out and you’ve noticed, so you might try to say anything at all to bait him back into the conversation (likely something that will transition the convo from disagreement to an all-out war). Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). What the heck does that mean? The words you speak over your significant other have power and they matter. If you speak positive, it begets positive. If you speak negativity, nothing good will come of it. This is why it’s so important to just STOP when you feel the temperature of the discussion rising and you’re on the verge of one-up/tit-for-tat mode.
2. Breathe & Shift Your Thinking
No really, like breathe. Sometimes we can get so worked up that our blood pressure rises and we take in less oxygen, triggering anxiety and stress. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Most times, when I get mad, my mind goes towards every single thing my man has ever done to me in life that has made me upset and it elevates my frustration. This can’t just be me! You start thinking about that one time when he didn’t do or said <insert offense here> and just pile on all the reasons why you have a right to be upset. In my own experience, this takes me to a bad place and doesn’t allow me to see him for all the good and the reasons why we are together in the first place. This is why it is important to train yourself to shift your thinking and not be so quick to lose control of your feelings. It takes things a step further back from what you say to the fact that you even have to control what you think in connection to your disagreement. Dwell on the good and not the bad. Is this a personal issue that he actually needs to work on or something that may bother you but is not the end of the world? Can you live with it? Is there a right or wrong answer/way? Choose your battles and remind yourself why you love him in the first place. Be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially if this is the first time, or even the second (some things are better learned the hard way more than once).
3. Take Some Time & Ask Yourself, “Is This Bigger Than the Relationship?”
Is this disagreement, argument, circumstance bigger than the relationship? Is it a deal breaker in moving forward and continuing to build a life with each other? Does it change the love you have for him? If not, then chill out before you get ahead of yourself. There’s no sense in arguing for the sake of arguing, if it’s not a game changer or not big enough to alter how you feel about him. At times, we are literally in an argument with ourselves because he’s not even mad or does not understand why this is such a big deal. Is this even worth getting you worked up and taking you from your happy place? Maybe not, and if it is or is not, you still need to proceed to step 4.
4. Bring It Back Together & Discuss
After you’ve taken a chill pill, breathed a little bit of fresh air, and have had a chance to gather your thoughts, approach the topic head-on, rather than sweeping it under the rug. Let’s be clear, it shouldn’t take you days to get to this point. The key is quick yet effective resolution, so that hurt feelings do not linger. Since you have had a chance to think through the disagreement and your point of view, share just that, YOUR point of view and how YOU feel. No accusations, finger pointing, or blaming. Just share how you feel, why you feel the way you do, and why you may be hurt or frustrated. However, the conversation has to be two-ways. After you’ve stated your case, give him a chance to respond, uninterrupted. If he’s still not getting why you’re hurt, try giving a hypothetical example or try to convey your frustrations in a different way. I do this all the times and it may take days for him to get it, but that’s ok, as long as he’s trying and finally understands your concern.
5. What's the Resolution & How Do You Avoid This In the Future?
You’ve brought it back together and have talked through what happened. Both of you have shared your perspectives and hopefully understand where each other is coming from. Now that the discussion is out of the way, how do you avoid this happening again in the future or a similar scenario? Come to an agreement so that the situation didn’t happen in vain and you both can grow as a couple from it. In my own experience, every disagreement we’ve had has brought us closer together because we realized that what we were facing wasn’t bigger than the relationship and could be addressed for resolution. The reality is that you’re going to come across the same scenario at least once. Practice does indeed make for improvement. We can now see that the arguments we have today are so trivial that we probably get on each other’s nerves on purpose because we know it’s not going to ruin or end our relationship. Be problem-solvers! Don’t be willing to complain if you’re not willing to come to the table with an idea on how to make it work.
*KEY POINT* It will probably happen again. We are wired differently than they are, but like I said before, practice is key. Mainly practice for ourselves to learn that not all battles are worth fighting and everything can’t be tit for tat. To be in love is to be constantly evolving, growing, changing, building your tolerance, and also having patience. Give him the benefit of the doubt a few times and if that doesn’t work…a karate chop to the throat has been known to immediately produce the results we desire! *I kid, I kid* Violence is not the answer…but sometimes you just have to bite him…NO! Ok I’m done. Yall get my point. Argue, disagree, get upset, but always be willing to bring it back together, talk it out, and determine how to avoid any similar confrontation in the future.
Since we’re being honest here, I'm probably mad at him right at this moment for something petty but I still love him and we’ll work it out. I hope you do too!