Matthew and I have been together for a total of almost four years now, and we have had our share of arguments. I would not necessarily use the word ‘fight’ to describe our disagreements. It’s not that we don’t have them- we do – It is just Matthew is extremely calm for the most part, and our disagreements rarely escalate into yelling, stomping, or slamming doors. Every disagreement is different- but we have found some unconventional ways to help solve some of them.
1. Wait 24 hours
If it is something we really cannot agree on, we like to wait it out. This gives us time to slow down and actually think about how we feel, what we want to say, and how to listen to one another. Now, I know this completely goes against the saying “don’t ever go to bed angry,” but this is most often used in an unresolved issue that we cannot compromise on and not one where someone has been hurt emotionally. If it helps, write it down and place it somewhere you both will see it the next day, and if it still bothers you, talk about it. You might find that the problem is no longer relevant after the 24 hours is up.
2. Text it out
Okay, now I know this sounds absolutely absurd, and it is definitely not for everyone. I repeat, not for everyone. But I have found when things get really heated it is best to walk away and calm down. As we are reflecting, thoughts come up, and we will sometimes send them to one another via text. This keeps us careful with our words and provides a clearer thought flow. We have time to type out our thoughts, read them over, and find the correct words to express how we feel. On the flip side, this forces the other person to read what the other one has to say instead of yelling over them in a heated discussion. This often leads to an “I didn’t know you felt that way” – and sometimes, we didn’t know that’s how we felt either. I wouldn’t suggest using this as your default method for problem solving, but it is a different alternative when you have tried everything else. If you don’t like this idea exactly, you could always write notes back and forth for the same results.
This might seem like an obvious one, but often times when you’re in an argument this is the last thing you feel like doing. Especially when both of you feel as though you are right. I know there are times my stubbornness can easily get the best of me and cause me not budge. What I try to remember during this time is that there is always something I can apologize for. Something hurtful I said, did, or even just using the wrong tone. There have been times both of us misunderstood the other one and it lead to an argument. Apologizing early on in the cycle can identify these misunderstandings and lessen the impact.
We hope you found some of these ideas useful 🙂