Predictable

BY: - 20 Apr '09 | Relationships

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Does this sound familiar to you? You get in an argument with your significant other, they yell, you sulk (or vice versa), you go to bed angry, wake up and keep going at it? Every single time you argue?

How many of us can usually predict what will start a fight, who is quick to throw a jab below the belt, how long the fight will last, and who is usually the one to break down and say, “Honey, let’s not fight anymore” to keep the peace?

A lot of us (I’m including myself as well) fall into these “argument ruts” where we are so, well, predictable. For example, I know if my husband and I get into an argument, I have a tendency to raise my voice. Not yell, but talk louder. As a result, he tunes me out. Which gets me even more angry, so I talk louder. (Okay, now I’m yelling.)

Even though I know this, we continue the same cycle. What would happen if I made a conscious effort to keep my voice level? What if, instead of tuning me out, my husband simply asked me to keep it down? What if we changed our learned behaviors, just once, to see what would result?

Try it. Next time you have a disagreement, do the opposite of what you normally do. Loud and argumentative? Take a deep breath and count to 10 before speaking to keep your angry tongue in check. (Feel free to curse in your head, though.) Usually playing peacekeeper? Take your position firmly and see what happens. If nothing else, your significant other will be thrown off by the sudden change in personality.

Have you ever tinkered with your usual behavior to see different results during an argument? How did it work?

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2227 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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8 WordPress comments on “Predictable

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Ms. Miko

    Yeah I know what will start the argument, and I know how to end it. My husband doesn’t like to argue, and he usually thinks before he speaks. Me on the other hand NOT! and he is good at defusing the situation, I know how but I choose not to. I’m going to work on it though. Promise.

    Ms. Mikos last blog post..Tomorrow is Chemo Day!

  3. CARLTON PENN

    My wife and I somestimes need a break from our two busy kidswhich is difercult at times because we don’t get alot of support from family or freinds but that stop us from caring and loving the children and each other.

  4. Tiya

    Yes, this will actually work. There is that old popular saying, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. I try to keep this one in mind, because I know I get more bees with honey, I am often trying to do what leads to peace. Trying a different approach definitely produces different results. Good post!

  5. Ms. Wanda

    Well, This is my year of doing the opposite of every situation I find myself getting into. The kids, the teachers, some random horrible lady in the market:) I’m trying to change my behavior all the way around especially when dealing with the Husband! We are working on not being Mr. and Mrs. Pettybicker (see my post 2times in one day)and it’s not easy. Love makes change worth it and I love my husband:) 5 kids and a business that has been hit with a brick by the economy we keep going and we go together. Losing house, cars, business and not Us or Our family is priceless:)

    Ms. Wandas last blog post..The Twins Crashed!

  6. Pingback: MyBrownSpotlight: BlackandMarriedWithKids.com

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Tolerance or Acceptance: Which Does He Deserve?

BY: - 22 Apr '09 | Relationships

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by Eric Payne

Last week’s post, part two of my piece on sex and marriage (For Better or Worse: Sex & Marriage), generated one particular sentiment that resonated with several commenters.   Women as wives deserve intimacy.   And why shouldn’t they?   That’s one of the tent pole benefits of getting married in the first place.

On the flip, do married men deserve the same?   And if we do, how is that accomplished?   After all a man is, well”...a man.   We’re easy prey.   We don’t think with our brains.   And our emotions”...what emotions?   Right?

Personally, I beg to differ.

I believe long-term intimacy for men is established through hardcore friendship.   What might seem obvious actually isn’t when you consider that this level of friendship is only attained through truly understanding another person.   We’d like to believe that love is supposed to make the obvious easy, but sometimes the exact opposite occurs.   Understanding comes with a real challenge: it asks us to step outside our personal set of circumstances to see (to the best of their ability) things as that other person does and to accept it without judgment.   Keep in mind, that acceptance does not imply agreement.

In today’s life where most of us fight to be right, fight to have the last word and insist all wrong comes from someone other than ourselves, who has the mental capacity to entertain accepting another person for who they are, especially a spouse?

I’m sure several women who have read up to this point are thinking, “Oh, I know he’s not talkin’ about me.   I put up with my husband’s mess all the time!”   The question this writer is asking isn’t whether or not you are tolerating your husband’s ways, but rather, are you accepting them.   Recognizing that his differences — his idiosyncrasies, isms, etc. are probably what attracted you to him in the first place.

By no means am I suggesting that wives and long-term loves entertain, excuse or ignore inappropriate and/or buffoonery if and when it should occur.   But if you find yourself increasingly frustrated with who your husband is you might want to ask yourself are you actually accepting him for who he is, or are you simply tolerating him.   If you answer is the latter, then here is one last question to consider: How does intimacy (not sex) grow or thrive on any level without acceptance?

Eric Payne lives with his wife and kids just outside of New York City and writes about married life and fatherhood at MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He also writes a fatherhood column at MochaManual.com. He is the author of I See Through Eyes, a book of poetry and short stories. His short fiction has appeared in Spindle Magazine and DiddleDog Magazine.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2227 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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