Things have been very quite here on Wow and Vow Days because we have had a lot going on in the Murray household. Trae might have a chance to change jobs, which would mean big changes for us including moving states. Over the last 48 hours we have had to have a lot of in-depth conversations that cover reasons to move, reasons not to move, salaries, job changes, and a lot more. These topics can cause a lot of controversy for a couple, so I want to give a couple of tips of how to avoid arguments when discussing big issues.
-Listen to your spouse. Do not interrupt your spouse. Trae and I both have a bad tendency to cut each other off which then causes unnecessary disagreements. If you do have to interject then ask, politely and not sarcastically, if you can interrupt. (“Hey, mind I say something really quickly? I feel you are getting the wrong idea about what I was saying earlier.”)
-That leads me into my next point: Watch your tone of voice. If you are getting frustrated, do not snap at your spouse. I have a bad of doing getting a snappy voice. Take a deep breath. Count to five, ten, fifteen. Do not be afraid to tell your spouse that you are getting frustrated.
-Be honest. If you get your feelings hurt or if you are getting upset, tell your spouse. If you don’t, you will end up snapping or yelling. Honest will help you not only come to a solution/ answer/ understanding quicker, but it will also help you from penting up your anger.
-Ask questions. (“Why do you feel this way? What makes you think I would react that way?”) Asking questions will help you fully understand your spouse’s thought process. Trae tends to get nervous that I am going to get upset and if I didn’t ask him questions I would never be able to realize that he has this odd fear of me getting disappointed or upset.
-Do not over think what your spouse is saying. I am an English major and I tend to nitpick Trae’s word choices. (“Why did he say that verb in the past tense instead of the present tense? Why is he saying I instead of we? Is he not even thinking of me when he is making his decisions?”) Then I get angry when I shouldn’t be. Before you go down the nitpick path, ask those questions! Questions have saved us a lot of frustration. Honestly, people married to English majors should start a support group; you guys have it the toughest when it comes to arguments because English majors warp what you say before you have even finished saying it!
-Do not be afraid to admit you need to take a break from the discussions. Separating for a bit is more than okay. Maybe even leaving the house and being in a new environment would help. Grab some ice cream or food together. Go to a bookstore. Or again do separate things. The important thing is to diffuse before you blow up at one another.
-Pray. If you are finding that you cannot come to solutions, pray. Prayer is the best path.
-Most importantly, do not be afraid to go to a safe person: a preacher or a therapist. Sometimes it helps to have a third party involved when talking about major decisions to help moderator. Trae and I went to our therapist before his interview to help us discuss some important issues. We have no shame in admitting that we go to a therapist. I firmly believe that if you service your car then you should service your marriage, which is way more important than a car!
I hope these tips have helped. I know that Trae and I are really going to be applying these rules to our marriage int the upcoming weeks.