Take The Fight Out of Your Relationship Part II


Cadets, Today I have a real treat for you.  It is a real life example concerning a subject I have brought up in the past.  In my previous article Take The Fight Out of Your Relationship I talked about the popular myth that all couples argue and that arguing is part of a loving relationship.

Whenever you have two people coming together in a relationship it IS a simple fact of life that they cannot agree on everything.  However it is NOT a simple fact of life that arguing is a way to deal with this.  You can disagree without arguing.

There are couples out there who when faced with a disagreement sit down and talk things through calmly and rationally.  Calmly and rationally resolving disputes is what people in a loving and healthy relationship do.  Arguing is not.

A perfect example to illustrate this point is a story told to me by one of my cadets, Dave.  He's been married just a over a year.  A couple months ago, he left the bathroom in a mess after having a shower.  When his wife saw it she flipped, then proceeded to chastise him about the state he left the bathroom.  "How could you leave it in such a mess?"  "You always leave the bathroom a mess!"

Now there is two ways Dave can respond to this.  Even though Dave was clearly at fault, the way this was brought to his attention angered him.  One way he could have responded was to let his emotions get the better of him and end up getting into a fight over essentially nothing.  The second way Dave could approach this situation is to practice self control, admit that he is wrong and sit down with his wife and calmly discuss a solution.  Since Dave is one of my Cadets, he chose to do the latter.

Instead of reacting back to her, truthful, yet poorly approached chastising Dave said nothing.  After he took the time to think about what just happened he approached his wife.  "Honey, I want to talk to you about earlier.  First of all I fully admit that I made a mistake and I am sorry.  However, when you approach me in a negative way, it affects what goes on in my mind.  It makes me NOT want to do what you told me I should do even though I KNOW that I am in the wrong.  I do understand that I made a mess and that it bothers you.  In the future if you want me to clean the bathroom, please just say 'Honey you forgot to clean up in the bathroom. Could you please go back and clean your mess?'"

A couple things happened since then.  The next time he made a mess in the bathroom, his wife approached him and said "Honey, could you please clean the bathroom?" He said he went in right away and cleaned up the mess that he had made.  What's even better is how his behavior changed.  Most recently he's noticing that he's making the extra effort to clean the bathroom the way SHE likes it before he even leaves the bathroom.  Why?  Because he doesn’t like fighting with his wife over silly little things.

Remember Cadets, there is always better way to deal with disagreements than arguing.  Find it and you will find yourself in a loving relationship.