I confess, the little spats we’ve had in the first year or so have been rather….insignificant. Don’t get me wrong, whatever the topic was, I think we learned a GREAT deal from them. Especially as we figured out how to really resolve the issue as opposed to just moving on by sweeping it under the rug. But why we even got to arguing in the first place…
Usually we start with a topic that warrants discussion. A question about something, an observation, a thought to share. But then the conversation escalates into a “heated discussion” because it has digressed into matters on the trivial side. Some of our early marital arguments started over how directions were given to someone’s house or instructions on how to use the rice cooker or how to schedule items on our “To Do List”. They’re pretty benign topics but it tends to boil over account something from this list:
- word choice
- timing of tone or word choice
- he said/she said
One time in exasperation, Skywalker said he doesn’t know anyone who would’ve interpreted what I said as how I meant it to be understood. I replied that any one of my friends would’ve. And that’s the thing, my girl friends have known me much longer than Skywalker has. We’ve already hashed through, BFF style, all the miscommunications arising from any combination of the above list. They can hear my tone if I send them a single word text message. But with us, we’re still figuring each other out. And, happily, it’s coming along.
Understanding how we each communicate will set the foundation for when the “real” conflict items come along (they always do), like finances, in-law issues, job relocations, child-discipline tactics or feeling taken for granted. Though hopefully we will know each other well enough for it to not become a major conflict. It takes time and practice to build good communication skills (as well as apologizing skills).
What do you argue about? Or what makes you argue?