If you’ve ever been involved in any type of relationship with another person, you should know that disagreements can arise that have the potential to cause you to question everything you thought you believed to be true about that relationship. Those disagreements, if not handled properly, can create a rift in your relationship that can be of irreparable consequence.
Although extreme and destructive in nature, those types of disagreements are often preceded by undeniable events that can either take the form of words, deeds, or actions exhibited by one person in a relationship that serve to trigger a strong emotional response in the other person in that relationship. It is within the “emotion” of the response to that event that we as women become trapped in a state of perpetual dysfunction in communication because it becomes difficult for us to let things go—especially when we either feel like we’ve been wronged, or we believe that we’re right.
This dysfunction in communication often shows up whenever there’s a breakdown in our pattern of communication with others, which I believe to be directly attributed to our discomfort with feeling “vulnerable.” Ladies, if we’re honest with ourselves, we should be able to see and admit the truth about how vulnerability fuels our need to protect and preserve our feelings above all else. Nowhere is this truth more pronounced than in our patterns of communication with our marriages—especially when disagreements arise that give way to the dreaded argument.
If you haven’t reached this point in your marriage, just wait. One day, you will. You’ll know that point when you reach it, as it’ll be unmistakable. It’s the point where the air between you and your spouse gets unbearably thick and suffocating; heavy with the stench of foul language and infused with random explicatives that serve to sharpen the sting that you feel as you come to the realization that you’ve never met this part of the person who’s standing before you.
As the words keep flying and the tempers keep rising, you somehow manage to snap-back into reality for a split-second, only to realize that this argument is REALLY happening! Yes, ladies, and this is where we elevate the argument to an entirely different level altogether…to the proverbial point-of-no-return for us as women because we’re hard-wired to win. Nowhere does that fact become more prevalent than in our need to win arguments.
From that point forward, we remain engaged in the argument, simply because we must prove a point—regardless of whether we’re right or wrong. Ladies, this is where we lose our power! At times, we have a tendency to talk too much, and while we’re trying to prove our point, we often miss important information that our husbands are trying to communicate to us. God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak, but somehow this communicative truth eludes us women.
It’s as simple as this—the mouth is a powerful weapon. The words that we speak out of it have the power to either build up or to tear down. Ladies, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know this, and we even try to add a “little bit extra oomph” to season our words in just the right way to make them extra spicy—especially when we recognize that a simple discussion makes a sudden transition from being civil conversation and crosses over into the “Argument Zone.” That transition can happen so quickly that you won’t even realize that the shift occurred, but you’ll know that you’re there because before the argument gets too deep, you’ll wonder “how did we let things get to this point? And why?”
The answer to these questions should be simple enough. For instance, we arrived in the “zone” because we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some issue at some point during our conversation. Now we’re yelling and screaming at each other, engaged in an all-out verbal battle designed to elevate our points-of-view over those of our husbands’ all because we HAVE THE LAST WORD; regardless of how right or how wrong we are. But why? Why do we have to have the last word? Is the argument worth it in the end? What are we really trying to prove, and to whom?
This, is where we must be completely honest with ourselves in examining the role that arguments play in disrupting our marriages. Arguments serve to perpetuate unnecessary chaos that will eventually drive a wedge of division between you, your husband, and everything that you worked to build together; which is where you begin to surrender your power as a wife without even realizing it.
The truth of the matter is that we could be more effective in maintaining the balance of power in our power in our marriages if we’d be honest enough with ourselves to examine our motives for allowing the argument to “go there” in the first place; and by that I mean to allow the argument to escalate to the place of getting way out-of-hand.
Ladies, this is where we must “Check Ourselves” first. How do we do that, you ask? By simply asking yourself two very important questions, THEN getting quiet enough within yourself to wait for the answer to come from within yourself. The first question that you must ask yourself is “What need did I have met as a result of participating in this argument to get my point across?” The second question that you must ask yourself is “What value, if any, was added to strengthen my marriage as I expended all that energy arguing?”
Two of the most important lessons that I learned as a woman, which proved to be vital to my ability to effectively communicate with my husband, are that I must (1) learn how to disagree WITHOUT being disagreeable, and (2) that I must listen twice as much as I speak. I’ve learned that this process is necessary because it allows you the time to process all of the messages that you receive throughout the communication process, which will greatly reduce the likelihood of misunderstanding the messenger’s intended purpose for sending the original message.
As women, we get so caught-up in having the last word until we miss critical moments in the communication process from which we are to learn—in other words, it is in those moments when we are supposed to learn how to strengthen our ability to become more effective nurturers of the communicative process in all the ways that matters most; especially when it comes to shoring-up the relationship with the person with whom we vowed to spend the rest of our natural lives.
Of all the lessons that I’ve learned and of all the wisdom that I’ve gained up until this point in my marriage, I’ve learned that the power of a simple apology can go so much farther in repairing whatever aspect of your marriage that was breached during your disagreement with your husband than trying to “get even” with him with your words coupled with a flat-out bad attitude.
As women, and as wives, we have to be able to get still enough to take a long, hard look at how we’re using our words in our marriages. Do your words serve to either strengthen or strangle or your marriage, and how are the words that you choose to say during a heated debate support your efforts to achieve that end?
NOW PLEASE DON’T MISUNDERSTAND THE POINT THAT I’M TRYING TO CONVEY HERE—I’m not saying that you should not communicate your concerns to your husband, or that you should allow yourself to be verbally abused, as this is unhealthy. Conversely, you should not be verbally abusive to your husband.
There’s a very fine line between maintaining strong communicative ties with your husband, and letting your pattern of communication spiral out-of-control to the point of hurt feelings, being called out-of-your-name, and emerging mentally bruised and hurt because motives were not examined before initiating the conversation to begin with.
So, think about these things: Is the argument worth it in the end? Do you really need to have the last word in that argument? AND…Are you willing to be the first to take responsibility for your actions and apologize for your part; even if you feel as if shouldn’t have to?