>Stupid Fights and Brownie Sundaes

If your goal is a healthy relationship, then why do you do stupid stuff like call your partner names, curse at them, or tell them in however many words how ‘tired you are of their sh*t’?!

It may be totally true that you have less and less time/energy to devote to your relationship… but it’s also totally true that you are in control of how you treat each other in the time you do have together. Think about it. If your time is so precious, why spend it having the same argument over and over again?! I mean, what makes you think it’s going to go differently this time?! Even worse, why curse and call each other names? How is that helpful?!

The same is true for your “canned conversations”  – you know, the ones for which you can predict exactly what each of you is going to say? They usually start with “How was your day?” or “What do you want to do this weekend?”  If these are happening more often than not, then you are missing out on opportunities to know each other, not to mention that you’re probably bored and don’t even know it! How does that help you have a healthy relationship?

And here’s my point.  Having the same conversation over and over and then resenting your partner for not knowing you better is unfair to both of you. Cursing and yelling and expecting your partner to see it your way is like eating a brownie sundae every night and expecting to see a weight loss. It’s not going to happen. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

So the next time you find yourself about to launch into a tirade at your partner, try stepping back and saying, “You know, I think we’re about to have one of those fights that gets us nowhere. Can we try talking calmly about this, please?” It interrupts the flow, and offers you an opportunity to start a new pattern, one in which you hopefully get a resolution rather than a stalemate.

The next time your partner tells you his day was ‘fine’ or that her boss has been on her as usual, say, “Oh yeah? Tell me more about that-“. Remember that you are curious about them, not annoyed that they don’t automatically tell you more; after all, you haven’t asked for it yet. Ask questions that can’t be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – this makes them feel cared for, and keeps the two of you in sync about the little changes that happen to each other every day.

Mmm, who else wants a brownie sundae?…


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