Always Learning

 

We had a kind of rocky weekend last week but like so many times before I think we both learned from it. We are getting back to ttwd after a kid imposed break and there were bound to be a few growing pains as we settled into our new routine.

It boiled down to that biggest of biggies… Communication. Things were expected and schedules changed but not communicated and feelings were hurt.

Then came the argument after. We often used to argue before by saying a few angry words and then retreating to separate corners. It was often never mentioned again even if there were hurt feelings. Eventually things returned to a status quo. Not real healthy I know but that’s what we did.

I refuse to do that anymore. This time we discussed things more and honestly I didn’t let him retreat like he used to. Changing how you have communicated (or not) your whole life is a process and reverting back to old patterns and behaviors is often the easiest. I forced the issue and made sure we talked it out pretty quickly and we moved past it and enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

We want and need our men to lead and they do most of the time but none of us is perfect and sometimes I think we have to be willing and able to do that leading ourselves if the old ways are too ingrained and too comfortable to break away from.

Just because I am in a Dd relationship does not mean that I should keep my mouth shut if things are not right. We need to work on our issues and if I don’t communicate to him how I am feeling he won’t know. We have a whole new way of relating to each other and even after two years it still feels so new. There will continue to be times where maybe I see us falling into our old habits before he does and it would not help either of us if I were quiet about that.

For us anyway it is more important to feel good at the end than to split hairs on whether I took control for awhile during an argument although respect must be maintained throughout. I am not and never will be a wall flower. That is not the woman he married and that is not what he wants. mistakes I wrote him a post on our private blog and thought you all might like to see what I came up with. It’s a list of tips on managing our disagreements. I entitled it

Arguing With Me – An Owners Manual

  1. Don’t leave me during an argument. If you leave I just talk to myself and get madder and madder and I feel abandoned. If you stay you force us to confront the issue and resolve it.
  2. Stay in the room/area and YOU make sure that things are resolved. I feel led that way.
  3. Apologize if it was your fault. I will do the same.
  4. Know that when you feel like we have talked enough or you don’t know what to say I ALMOST NEVER feel that way. I am very verbal and will always need to hash things out verbally more than you. Please be aware of that and let me work through my pain/issue with you. It is important to me that I feel heard and understood.
  5. Whatever the issue, even if it was your mistake, I am to always remain respectful.
  6. Don’t leave things until you feel like I am feeling better and heard. It is that point when we can heal and move forward.
  7. Touch is very important at any point in this process and makes me feel loved and cherished. For too long we didn’t touch and I value it so highly now.
  8. At some point you should declare the argument over. Again, I feel led that way.
  9. I know you know this but a maintenance session is often needed after an argument even if you caused the argument. It clears the slate for both of us and allows you to show me you are back in command. It makes me feel like we are back together again.

We don’t argue a lot anymore so we also haven’t had much “practice.” We both learned some this weekend about how we need to relate to each other when we are angry so when this kind of thing happens again we do better next time. That is all we can ask of each other really.

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19 Comments

  1. I like it. Good post! The only thing I would change is #5 where you say, ‘I am to remain respectful at all times.’ I would change it to WE are both to remain respectful at all times. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I think the emphasis is on the TiH to be respectful with little or no thought given to whether or not the HoH is being respectful.
    I love the points where you say, ‘it makes me fell led.’

    Holla

    Reply
  2. Darn! I proof read my post and still missed the error! I meant, as I’m sure you know, ‘it makes me FEEL led.’ LOL!

    Holla

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/22/2013

      Welcome and thanks for commenting! It means a lot to me. I’m glad you liked this piece and I have to agree that we both must remain respectful. We don’t really have a big problem with that on either side most of the time and he holds himself to a very high standard and I did write this list for him.
      What I am communicating to him here is that those standards don’t disappear because of the argument. If the argument is caused because of something he did he feels bad. Basically I am telling him that just because he started something he should still know that I want him to hold me within our Dd agreement. Punishing is still hard for him even after two years and deciding to punish during a disagreement when feelings are strong anyway is difficult. I hope that makes sense.

      Reply
  3. I agree, if there’s something askew, you being quiet about it is not going to help. Michael expects me to speak up in such instances. He doesn’t want a wall flower either. Good thing! lol I like the list you made. I imagine it will help both of you. I’m glad that you’re getting back on track. 🙂

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/22/2013

      It is a good thing Grace because I think our guys are stuck with us. 🙂
      Wall Flowers are no fun!

      Reply
  4. willie

     /  09/21/2013

    This is great again! I think for us this is part of the reason our summer went sideways. I waited, thinking that he was to lead us out of this, but you know what? I am the conflict resolution person in this house. That doesn’t make me in control, it is just my strength. He has many others. It is difficult to figure out what is control and what is using your assets to benefit your relationship. All a learning curve I suppose, and if the relationship comes out stronger, then it doesn’t matter in the long run.

    Thanks once again for sharing Zoe! It really does seem quite similar at your house to ours. I shall be sharing this post with Barney as well ( your last one helped him out tremendously!)

    love willie

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/22/2013

      Oh WIllie thank you so much. I feel the same way about you guys. I see many similarities in what you and Barney struggle with. I’m so glad it helped in some way.

      I really can’t stand the distance anymore and you are right. It doesn’t matter in the long run if I was the one pointing out our problems and essentially leading us to a good place or if it was him as long as we stay in our good place. I don’t have any patience anymore for feeling badly in our relationship. I don’t want to feel bad any longer than I have too. Like you the conflict resolution is going to come from me and that is OK.

      Reply
  5. Hi Zoe, this is a great post, although it is always best to clear the air and talk things through I think it must be hard. We don’t really argue much, I suppose it is the length of our marriage, we know each other too well
    love Jan.xx

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/23/2013

      Hi Jan. We don’t argue a ton either which is good. When we do hopefully we learned from the weekend and will do better next time.

      Reply
  6. Enjoyed reading this, Zoe. I think I yearn for the leadership more than I need to be right…..even if I’m tempted to delete those words immediately

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/25/2013

      Oh I get that Saoirse but at least in this instance that is not what either of us needed. Not saying something would have just left us both feeling hurt and angry and that’s no fun at all.

      Reply
  7. Wow Zoe! Can I make a copy of your list and put it on my fridge? I’m not really kidding either. MM and I engage with each other in a very similar way and it is really easy to fall off the wagon when we are upset with one another. We fall back into old patterns.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/25/2013

      Of course you can Susie. Maybe we can keep one on the refrigerator and then in the heat of the moment just hand it to them as a quick reference. Not a bad idea my friend!

      Reply
  8. Roz

     /  09/24/2013

    Hi Zoe, This is a great post! I agree, just because we may be in a DD relationship does not mean we shouldn’t speak up if something is out of whack. It’s how we go about it that is important. Our men are also not mind readers. We need to tell them how we are feeling. I know this is something Rick expects from me.

    Communication .. both listening and hearing is so important isn’t it? I love your list too.

    Hugs,
    Roz

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  09/25/2013

      Oh that communication thing will get us every time. The listening and the hearing. So true and so critical. Glad you like the list. I thought if I made it explicit and simple for him it might work so like I said, we can learn from this. Here’s hoping!

      Reply
  9. zoe. god love you. i want to reach out and hug you. communication can ruin everything when we stop doing it. why is it so hard for us to just use our words for the important stuff but rather use them for the unimportant–ugliness and anger?! i fall short all the time and so does my husband. in times of stress, he will distance himself and that just makes me feel so alone, and of course i distance too. it’s so frustrating!

    your list was amazing. one and nine killed me. that moment when he walks out of the room or even leaves the house to take a drive and “think” — i have a mental breakdown because i need resolution and comfort. i feel so unsteady when he’s not there–IN the argument with me! oh, and nine? well. hello. ain’t it the truth? it helps everyone involved i think. it sure does help me and i KNOW it helps him. everything you listed was so important. i’m going to copy it and send to my hubs.

    you hang in there, sweetheart. we’re all here for you.
    hugs,
    m.

    Reply
  10. Zoe

     /  09/27/2013

    Hi Maryanne! I’m glad you liked the list and I hope he does too. I wonder if it will ring true for him as well.

    We are much better now so don’t worry about me. It was really just a blip in the road but these days when we are feeling mostly good about each other I think we feel those blips a little more acutely.

    The one I really want him to focus on is number 4. I always need to process more than him and that can lead to more disagreements in the moment. It can be a delicate balance sometimes between feeling heard and knowing when to stop. And yes we somehow both need number 9! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Little Drakon

     /  10/11/2013

    I am so bookmarking this post so that I can read it to Husband tonight. You said everything that I can never quite find the right words to say myself. Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Zoe

     /  10/11/2013

    Welcome Little Drakon! I’m so glad you liked the post. The list seems to have hit a cord with a few people. I hope it helps.

    Reply

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