Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Talk: Sometimes I Want to Punch You

Sometimes I wish there were a referee in our house to take my side help D and I see each others' point of view. But arguing with your spouse is no game. Life shiot happens and so does getting into arguments/fighting/knock down drag outs -- What was that? You guys don't hit? Oh. Yeah. We don't either. But sometimes I want to

Wouldn't it be nice to know if you're marriage is sound, healthy and going to last the test of time? Let me introduce to you Dr. John Gottman. He has been researching marriages from all walks of life for nearly 30 years. He has a plethora of knowledge and while I could never sum up all his wisdom in one post, I thought since we are talking about "How to Fight Fairly", this little tidbit of knowledge is relevant.

Through his research, Dr. Gottman has narrowed down "Four Horseman" in which if they take up permanent residence in a marriage, could lead to a relationship failing. While every relationship has its negative or less than positive behaviors at times, Dr. Gottman can predict, with an 80% accuracy rate, that if the following 4 "horseman" become chronic, there is a 90% chance the marriage will end in divorce.
  • Criticism - Attacking a partner's personality or character, rather than a specific behavior they don't care for
  • Contempt - One step beyond criticism - Involves tearing a partner down, while making oneself feel better "I would never be so low as to do something like that!"
  • Defensiveness - When a partner becomes defensive, they can not hear what the other is saying - They are taking on denial as a way of dealing with situations, denying responsibility for the relationship's issues and making excuses - Usually comes out of fear
  • Stonewalling - Shutting down - A refusal to respond - While this behavior may sometimes be needed to calm down, if one doesn't eventually 'reengage', it can be destructive - It's a sign of pulling out of the marriage, rather than putting oneself into the marriage to work things through -
PLEASE do not think of one or two times these behaviors have occured within your marriage/relationship and believe you're headed for Dooms Day! In fact, if you see a pattern of these behaviors, that still doesn't mean your relationship is done for... It means now that you have knowledge, you have power -- My motivation is to never to just point out the negative -- I want to point it out, so we can get to the solution -- While these "Rules To Fighting Fair" are not the end all, they are most definitely a running head start to getting where you want to be to rid your relationship of negative communication behaviors.

After mentioning last week that my Tuesday Talk was going to be on "How To Fight Fair" -- Shannon, over at It's Trickey, sent me this GREAT post of "Rules For Fighting Fair" -- I basically would have said the exact same thing but of course with a lot more explaination because I just can't shut up in regards to rules.... Do with them what you will and enjoy! Thanks, Shannon!

***** The Rules To Fair Fighting *****

1. First and foremost, calm down before trying to have a rational conversation or it will not be rational at all.

2. Stick to the current problem and never bring up past events to hurt each other.

3. If you want to discuss past things that have bothered you, do it at another time when you are both calm and in a way to share your feelings with each other to get to know each other better. (Hint one thing at a time.)

4. Never blame each other, because this puts the other one on the defensive. Use I statements like: I was hurt because or I would like or I did not like this because.

5. Never say something to intentionally hurt the other person.

6. Never use the word Divorce because this is a threat to the trust and security in the marriage.

7. Communicate your feelings before it gets to the point that one more thing will set you off.

8. Always respect each others feelings.

9. If your are wrong or sorry for something, SAY you are sorry or wrong. (This is a strength not a weakness.)

10. Don't be afraid to share your feelings with each other and always say I love you!!!

Idea for next Tuesday Talk:
"Concrete Solutions to Resolving the Four Horseman"
Let me know! You're the one's reading!!! :)


Brittany Ann said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing! I totally agree about not ever mentioning the D-word (divorce.) It's too serious to mess with.

Mrs. Cup said...

Great tips!!

Prep-E Girl said...

Wow - that really sounds like me and DH!!!

I'm going to send this to him!


SassyEngineer said...

Thank you so much for posting this! My hubby and I have not always fought fair, and it is good to hear these reminders. I wish I could say that our marriage had been sunshine and rainbows from day one, but it hasn't. We have struggled and overcome many things, and we just have to keep moving forward. Thanks again for your words :)

Mrs. J L said...

just found ur blog for the first time and I really like it. These are great tips!

Erin said...

Thanks so much. Do you make house calls? lol!!!

Im thinking you should judt print all these "Tuesday Talks" when you done...bind them...and sell it because I know I would buy it!

Anyway, I am surly going to try to follow the "rules." My only problem is that stupid #7...I am so guilty of not communicating my feelings. I surly need to work on that!
Thanks a million for doing this :)

Anonymous said...

Once again, a great post!! I'm so glad that you shared those rules - those have definitely helped my husband and I. They're always in the back of my head!!

Chic Runner said...

Thanks for another insightful post. You always find great topics that are so relevant and I am glad you are posting about them! :) I think those rules are super helpful and should always be thought of when you are 'fighting'

Being Brazen said...

Those are some great rules. Fights happen to everyone - its how you deal with them that makes the difference in a lasting relationship :)

The Pink Chick said...

I love this post! This is wonderful info!

Lindsey said...

This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing this info!

d.a.r. said...

GREAT POST! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Ms. Salti said...

Good things to know for when I find Mr. Right!

Wifey said...

Kudos to you and Shannon! You both sound pretty darn smart to me...

Winks & Smiles,

Kitty Cat said...

Good point and post. Fight fair always, or else!

Lil' Woman said...

Thanks to you and Shannon...good things to know, but I never think about it when were in the midst of it.. but I will keep it in mind.

Sass said...

Those ARE great tips.

I try really hard to not start a sentence with "You always, or You never."

I have found that it does make a difference. If for no other reason than the fact that I have to stop, think, and re-word the evil thoughts in my head. ;)

Ashley said...

Thank you for posting this - Greg and I need it so much right now... last week was just a total week of fighting (and no "making up"!)

I'm totally going to save these rules and may even repost it (giving credit of course!)

Cocaine Princess said...

I'm not married and I'm not in a relationship but the tips you listed were great.

Mrs. D. said...

Ok, I read this when you posted it and just reread it again. I have a HUGE problem with me being defensive and I think it's becoming permanent. I agree with the part about how it's out of fear. I think I'm this way because I feel like he's so critical. Everything he says I think is somehow directed as an insult to me, on the sly. Some are, some probably aren't. But I can see we are definitely in some trouble here. I am going to check out Dr. Gottman's book. Thanks