Photo by Brian Lowman
In marriage “it’s not about winning an argument, which may make you sad, because that’s what you love…” – Emily Gilmore (From Gilmore Girls Season 7)
It’s time I tell you the truth about me… I am the worst person to argue with. The reason why? I don’t argue. I simply keep it bottled up. Oh, but you’ll know I’m upset, believe me, you’ll know – just ask my husband!
Most of us argue with an end goal in mind – winning – but it is easy to forget that one winner also means one loser. In marriage – a partnership bound by God – there should always be two winners, because if one loses, both lose.
Now those of you who know me – as in you have known me for many years – might disagree, and argue that I do know how to argue, and that I am very vocal. Now not to contradict myself or anything, but that is true also. Say something – or worse do something – against my family, talk negatively about women and women’s rights, NASCAR – yes it is a sport – or anything else I have any sort of vested interest in and I will more than likely get in your face – more aggressively in my high school years, but even still – I am not a mouse! However, when it comes to anything personal – specifically when it comes to a personal relationship – I have a tendency to close up.
This problem dates back to when I was a child. There is a very big difference between my sister and I, outside of being two different people, we both react to the same situation in different ways. As kids when we would get into trouble, my sister could be heard across the house, and through several closed doors – she is very vocal and has a voice worthy to be heard. I on the other hand was known for being the mumbler. If I was upset I would be very quiet or mumble under my breath as I went to my room. We are both still somewhat similar to our childhood selves in this way and I must say that I envy my sister. I wish I could be that vocal.
This boils down to the fact that I am not a communicator, when I disagree with my husband I usually keep it to myself. I go to another room and think things through, but rarely do I say anything. My thoughts and frustrations will just keep building up until I explode – which by the way if you are like me this is not a good thing. Now, on the other hand if you are thinking – she is really strange, most women are very expressive and talk too much – than you are right, I am a little different, and my husband has had to help me a lot with my communicating skills.
The truth is, my husband and I openly talk about how I am a horrible communicator, and surprisingly communicating about not communicating is very helpful.
My husband doesn’t push, or argue, or get upset when I don’t communicate. Instead, he tries to be understanding of my non-communicating tendencies, he encourages me to express my inner thoughts without demanding I tell him what is wrong. Sometimes it will take me several days – even weeks – until I get to the point that I feel like I am ready to talk about what has been bothering me, but the reason I am able to communicate to my husband is because I know that he is wiling and eager to listen and won’t judge me. Rather, he loves me, and us, and wants to work out our problems from the small to the big. The point is, we aren’t arguing for the here and now, the selfish win, but for something more important, our marriage.
Even though the title of this website is Domestically Blissful, our home is not always blissful. Somedays I can be in a very bad mood all day, why? I have my reasons – not that I’m ready to share them with the world or anything – but the point is my husband always knows when I am in a bad mood. When we have a disagreement I usually go to another room to think – and fume – just as I did as a little girl.
I am an emotional person, one that bottles everything up, and then lets it all explode – and arguing rationally can be very difficult once that bottle begins to explode – and I know I am not alone. Everyone bottles things up, even my vocal sister and communicating husband have difficulties with it at times. The trick is to realize what is happening and deal with the situation(s) with a clear head.
Photo by Brian Lowman
Cooling down is important. Prayer is essential.
Now again, I will admit that when problems arise my first thought isn’t always to pray, though it should be. What’s more rational than to give the situation up to the only One who knows all the facts. Then, when I enter the situation, I will have a clear mind, and be able to discuss the problem with reason, not emotion, or selfishness.
That is what I am working on, arguing with an end goal. Believe me, actively doing this is difficult. Who wants to be rational when you can be emotional? I know that sounds silly, but we all do it, we argue with our emotions, selfishly, without really thinking about what we want the end goal to be.
Now emotional me wants to win the argument, to be right, crowned victorious, and look down upon the loser – I know very immature but lets be honest, we all (at times) want the same thing. The real me – at least I pray it’s the real me – wants the best possible solution, one that doesn’t come at the cost of hurt feelings, a bruised heart, or the end of a relationship – I know I’m not alone in this either.
The only problem is, when those situations arise, emotional me kicks into high gear, I run and hide, bottling it up, until I explode with emotion. This results in me hurting who ever else is involved – usually my husband, as well as myself.
Photo by Brian Lowman
My marriage is the most important relationship I will ever have with another human being. This is why arguing with an end goal towards a better relationship – based on God’s love – is essential to our marriage.
With love, G
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth & teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
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