Sometimes my Husband drives me crazy. There- I said it.
I think this is the case in many long term, monogamous relationships. Usually things are great, but there are those moments. And it’s those moments, the moments when our partners drive us crazy, that determine if a relationship will survive.
Husband and I see very differently on a particular subject. This has been the case for our entire history together. He thinks he is right. I think I am. Now, the good thing is, the catalyst for this issue doesn’t show up very often- so we don’t often experience the strife related to it. But, the underlying root is always there. The seed of discontent is buried deep inside. It frustrates me that he doesn’t see and appreciate my side, doesn’t back me up, so to speak. I know he is never going to change his stance, I know he doesn’t have the courage to. I accept that he will never change. Until he expects me to change. See, that’s the problem- in my mind, what’s fair is fair. I’m not changing, he’s not changing- we just have to grit our teeth and bare it. He doesn’t see it that way- he wants me to change. Our fights aren’t about the issue directly- they’re about his refusal to accept who I am.
That’s where relationships falter- when one partner can’t accept the true nature of the other. When one partner wants the other to “change”. This is a wonderful theory- it’s just not practical or realistic. People don’t change cause others wish it so- people change when the individual wants to.
So what do two people do? How do they handle it?
Well, Husband and I argued quite a bit. We had a “discussion” about the underlying issues. When two people fight, each person goes in thinking they are 100% right. When another person starts to poke holes in the theory, well, that’s when things have the ability to get ugly. That’s another test of a relationship- how do the people involved fight.
My Husband likes to say- “Everyone would agree with me on this.” First off- don’t ever use that as an argument, because unless you took a poll of everyone, this is just not valid. There is no way to determine what “everyone” thinks. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks- everyone else is not in the relationship. The only opinion that matters is of the two people involved. Also, sometimes you’re wrong- sometimes others will not agree with you because your argument is just not “right”.
You can’t bring up the past. I’m repeating that. You can’t bring up past fights or past actions. When you’re fighting, keep it to the situation. If you have resentments about past actions, then you need to discuss that separately. If a past issue is resurfacing, then you have to ask yourself if you are expecting someone to change their behavior. Because as stated, no one changes because you want them to. If someone did “M” three months ago, should you be getting mad if they did “M” today? You can’t make someone change, but you can change your behavior.
Don’t put the blame on something or someone. This is a cop out. The chance of an outside factor being to blame is probably slim. What’s that line, “fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”? Take responsibility for your actions, and how your actions affect others. Own your mistakes and miscalculations. Accept what you did wrong and learn from it. Try not to blame your partner. I know this is hard- but once you start blaming people….well…how well can you recover from that?
So- to try to summarize this wandering post:
Be realistic about the issue you’re fighting about.
Remember the other persons point of view.
Accept your partner as they are.
If you want change, you must be the one to change- don’t expect change of your partner, unless they are 100% on board with changing.
Listen to what your spouse is saying- they just might have a valid point/argument.