The fine art of arguing with my dear husband.

      20 Comments on The fine art of arguing with my dear husband.

husbandI am so proud of my husband. Not only is he the breadwinner, he’s also the cook during weekends. I’m lazy like that. But what I’m really proud off are the positive changes in him since we gave each other a second wind in our marriage. In the past, he’d find excuses to entertain clients in fine dining places or anywhere else but home.

Look at him now! A cook.

My stubborn nature often blamed my husband for the marital discord. A rock must have hit my head one day when I realized I, too, am part of the equation in the marriage. One of the many things I corrected was the way I’d argue with my husband. See, my husband rants a lot when he is frustrated and is quite short-tempered as a result. Oftentimes, I end up getting riled up when he is in that brooding mood. After 35 years of togetherness, I finally perfected the fine art of arguing with my dear husband. Here are my strategies :

1. Using powerful words such as ““Yes, dear I see exactly where you’re coming from. You mean…….”
This statement makes it clear enough that I heard my husband. That’s all he really wants— to be validated. By agreeing with him, I gradually simmer down his anger.

2. Stay calm.
My husband has this awful habit of calling me up via cellphone when he is caught in traffic. All he does is huff and huff about the awful traffic jam. He doesn’t know this but I don’t place the earpiece on my ear. I place my ear every so often on the earpiece to see if he is done with his rant. In effect, I let the storm run its course. I can tell when he is done when I don’t hear his barking voice. I then say “Turn on the music and zone off”. Works like a charm.

3. Just let him babble on and on
Sooner or later, my husband will soon grow tired of his own voice. Sometimes that’s all he wants To be heard. To feel appreciated. In the meantime, as this is all happening, I …

4. Use the Power of Visualization
It’s hard to be the brunt of the rants. What I do is zone off and imagine him as my loving husband who is just venting out and when all the steam has been released, he will soon hug me and say “thanks for listening”.

5. Avoid “You should or you should not…”
At the heat of any argument, I don’t butt in and say “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “You should be calm”. When I am disappointed or impatient with his attitude, I just say “I feel sad that you are feeling that way”. By owning my feelings, I am not accusing him or making him responsible for my of sadness. Even if he seeks advice, I still say “I feel this is the right approach…” . I never say ““you’re wrong.” I often try hard to look for areas of agreement and work on them.

In short, avoid the “you…” sentence.

6. When I’m wrong, I admit it.
I make mistakes now and then, so I say ““You’re absolutely right, dear, I know it’s my fault and here is what I’ll do to make amends.” Even if I am NOT wrong, at least I give him the benefit of the doubt, ““I may be wrong, let’s examine all the facts together.” It’s hard to argue with that.

me and butch in macau

If I had known earlier in life that my pride needed to take a backseat, then I would have saved a lot of heartache and energies. It’s not about winning an argument. It’s about peaceful co-existence without creating more conflict.

What other strategies have you used to resolve conflicts?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1352 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • When my hubby starts huffing over something he or I have no control off, mostly traffic or slow computer, I just leave the room and let him deal with his issues. Then he’d find me minutes later, hugs me and apologize for being an a$$. Sometimes when we argue, coz I do give him a piece of my mind when angry as well, we’d both be quite for a few minutes, then I’d ask him if he wants coffee. he’d come to me, say sorry, we’d kiss and laugh all about it. 😀

  • *It’s not about winning an argument. It’s about peaceful co-existence with without creating more conflict.*

    A very powerful statement. I have found listening and let the person speak his/her feelings the best way to avoid contention . In my case my mom is the ranter, speaks her mind which gets her into trouble most of the time. :).

    I have always been the peace loving, “steady lang” daughter but sometimes I can’t help but quiet her with my own anger when she starts ranting.

    But I realized that people have different ways of dealing with frustration, anger and etc. Now I just listen and what wonders listening does to a relationship.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • @dexie- ah yes if he is just fuming over something, I let him be too. Works well too

    @sugar- yes I used to do that. I butt in when my husband rants. And the more he gets mad. They just want to be heard and validated.

  • couldn’t more agree with the last stategy you mentioned… admit one’s fault.
    indeed “It’s about peaceful co-existence with without creating more conflict.”

    we’re first time parents and have been married for almost two years now, i won’t be able to share any strategy yet, but i’ll sure be a constant visitor of your blog for more of life’s lessons.

    29 years of marriage, that’s definitely something.

    keep on posting.. i’ll be an avid reader… =)

  • For a second there, I had to re-read from the top to check if it was your husband guest-posting for you, but wow. It felt like reading something a married man would write, and that tells me you’ve no less than mastered the zen of Butch, if you don’t mind me putting it that way 😛 very impressive 😀

  • @daddynator- we’re 22 years married and 29 years together. The 7years as sweethearts. Thanks for visiting. Maybe next time you can share your strategies.

    @Jeff- haha does my husband sound like a nagging wife? hehe. Yes I have mastered the The Zen of Butch

  • i’ve been married 6 years and is enjoying a healthy relationship with my husband. the first thing i had to adjust to was to talk about everything esp disclosing my real feelings about things. but since my husband is someone who is so brutally frank, i just had to speak out too. plus, i leave him in peace if he is huffing, and then we talk about it when he’s calmed down. patience and space 😀

  • @raqgold- at least you learned early in your marriage. I think I was just so stubborn to undo my bad habits. Still learning.

  • nenet

    been married 26 years and together for 32 years means that we have been though hell but we’re still together coz love conquers all. after a heated argument which is nothing but brainstorming and mostly about how to raise our five kids, at the end of the day we are both like demented couple who dont remember why and what we argued about and laughed about anything that would trigger our sense of humor. one of us would really find a way to start a conversation and enjoy a good night of sex. sex plays a very important part of a long lasting marriage. God agrees with that coz he was the One who invented it. god bless all of you.

  • In the end, its all about acceptance and pride. We need to accept what our partner is and to keep that ego in check. One thing I learned through the years is to write a letter than be confrontational. May love letter kana, wala pang away.

  • When hubby starts ranting, I hum a tune in my mind. When I’m done with the tune and he is still ranting, I mentally hum another tune. Thankfully, before I can finish with the second tune, he starts to calm down. 🙂

  • @nenet- oh wow you have been together much longer than my husband and I. Yes love conquers all. I like your description “demented couple” because I think we are too. And the sex…yes 😛

    @Schumeyp You know I should revive the love letter . I used to. I think it’s sweet that you still write.

  • I love it!! Yes, I have a babbling husband too. The worst thing to say to him when he’s in a rant, I learned is “calm down”. It just does the exact opposite. Now, I let him get his frustrations out and agree, like you said 🙂 makes more a more peaceful existence.

  • Thanks for sharing these great and helpful strategies. My hubby has perfected #3. He lets me babble on until I get tired of talking. I guess he knows that after I let out some steam, I’m more open to talk about things.

  • lemon

    Ms. Noemi,

    LOL. Being the short-tempered one in our marriage, I now have an idea of how poor J must feel when I make him bear the brunt of my frustrations. (ganyan yata talaga 90% ng mga abugado., haha) Now I am mortified.

  • Wow, 29 years! That sure is inspiring.

    My husband and I are celebrating our first year of marriage next month and so far, we’ve been going pretty smooth. We’ve had our share of fights and disagreements and I know there might still be big ones ahead. Strategy #2 is something I’ve learned to master which is very useful especially when you have a husband who tends to have a short temper.

    One of my primary rules in our relationship is to “choose love over hate” and it works all the time.

    🙂

  • Putting our pride aside … that’s the key to many of our relationship problems. Congrats for having learned to do it.

    I also felt it was unfair that I have been the brunt of rants. But I guess since we’re the ones closest to them, being a listening board or a shock absorber is part of the job description. Then all we have to do is to get even by venting on them all we need to expectorate too. haha Fair enough, di ba.

  • @Jmom- hehe babbling husband. I use to take it so personally that he’d go ranting on me

    @Rach- so it’s the opposite for us. Good he perfected it.

    @lemon- ganoon ba? I didn’t know it’s a lawyer thing. haha mortified. Aww but doesn’t he love you for your wit?

    @Jayme- staying calm was something I didn’t learn right away. Panic mode is what I often did

    @Annamanila- I felt bad being the shock absorber because I felt that HE had to learn not to rant. haha.

  • Noemi,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have a ranter in the family too. I had taken it as my God given duty to change them and make them more peaceful but that has done nothing but been create chaos in our home.

    I respect your wisdom and your patience.

    Walkers last blog post..Clearing the Path

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