This is how I stay strong.
This is how I survive.
This is where I get my peace.
This is what gives me grace.
This is how I stay strong.
This is how I survive.
This is where I get my peace.
This is what gives me grace.
In addition to living an insanely funny life (as you can tell by my bizarre posts), I am also very blessed to live a peaceful life with very few urges to grab a baseball bat and start swingin’! But that minimization of violent urges didn’t happen overnight. 🙂 Something that has greatly helped me over the years is learning how to fight with my mate in a way that actually accomplishes something other than blood shed, calls to 911, short stays in prison, etc…
Below is a chapter from my Intimacy book. I hope it helps you the next time you find yourself carrying a cast iron frying pan and in your best Jack Nicholson voice calling out to your honey. 🙂
17. Fight in a fair and constructive way
When a fight is over, it’s over.
This may be one of the most difficult things to do, but it’s also one of the most important. No one, including us ladies, likes to have things they’ve done in the past thrown in their face. It’s not fair (I hate that expression, but it holds true here) to keep bringing things up time and time again when you are angry with your man. Let me assure you that when you say the following things, your man immediately either gets angry, defensive, offensive or tunes you out completely:
Believe me, from the moment you utter those words, he’ll be mad and worse yet, dismissive of everything you say from that point forward. Once a man is in this frame of mind there is no point to arguing with him because nothing you say will get through to him and the whole point of an argument is to try and resolve something. If, in his mind, he’s thinking, “La la la la la…football, porn, video games, I wish she’d shut up…” while you are berating him for things he’s done in the past, you aren’t going to accomplish your goals.
So, how can you fight in a constructive way?
Here’s a solution that works with most men. Yet again, it’s about figuring out how and when to talk to a man. If you need to have “a talk,” make it a bulleted list, not a screaming, crying dissertation. If he walks in the door from work and you launch into him (even if it is sorely deserved!), he’s not going to want to deal with you. Or, even if you wait until he’s had his first beer and is relaxed, if you come at him cursing and yelling and crying, you’ve already lost the argument. He may say tons of things to placate you (read that as: make you shut up), but ultimately, most things accomplished by a long, drawn out, weeping, yelling battle are only temporary solutions. What you want is a real solution. So, how do you get that?
While this may feel completely unnatural, especially when you are piping-hot mad and looking around for some sort of blunt object, try arguing like this and see how it works with your man.
1) Ask him, “Honey, do you have a few minutes?”
2) When you are both ready to start this conversation, take him somewhere private, other than the bedroom or the living room. Outside or the kitchen can be good places.
3) Once you’ve both sat down, reassure him that you love him and tell him that you want to discuss something with him.
4) Slowly, calmly and quietly explain what your concern is, without attacking him personally.
5) Then let him talk. Let him fill in the silence. Don’t feel the need to do that yourself. Allowing him time to think of his response is critical. Chances are you’ve been plotting this discussion for hours, days, weeks, etc…but he’s just now hearing about it, so he may need a few minutes to figure out his answer. That’s okay. Silence is okay. Plus, he’s busy trying to think up his defense anyway, so any talking you do is falling on deaf ears.
6) When he does respond, listen to him, even if what he says is total bullshit. Give him a chance and then calmly explain your side of the story in greater detail. But don’t call him names or raise your voice or tell him he’s a knuckle-dragging pig that you wish you’d never met (even though you may be DYING to say that!).
7) Once you’ve discussed what the issue is, end the discussion with “Thanks, baby, for listening to me. I really appreciate it,” and then some kind of physical contact—a hug, a kiss, a held hand.
Now, I know you may be thinking, “ARE YOU CRAZY? I want to rip his nuts off and choke him to death with them! That bastard deserves to be drawn and quartered!” Believe me, I understand that urge. But this is all about how to have a healthier relationship with your man. If he dreads “the talk” or you yell, cry and call him names during “the talk” then he’s going to do everything in his power to never have “the talk” with you again.
Unfortunately, him not wanting to suffer through “the talk” doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily stop doing the things that make you want to kill him. Instead it means he’ll make “the talk” such a miserable experience for you that you’ll stop wanting to even have them. Slamming the door of communication like that is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship.
It takes patience and practice to have an effective argument. There is a lot of trial and error, and as every man is different, you’ll have to tailor your argument style to suit your man. Some men give in if you subtly guilt them. Some men give in if you are a solid boundary-drawer. Most men will listen if you just lay it out, in a verbal bulleted list without all the (what they perceive to be) “lady-drama.”
It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to cry during an argument. Sometimes, you just can’t help it. But be aware of how your man will react to your tears when deciding (if that’s even possible) whether or not to show that kind of emotion. While there are many types of reactions men have to tears, I’ve identified a few of the main ones. Try and figure out which type of man you have and that’ll help you know whether or not to really fight the urge to cry during an argument.
Regardless of which type of man you have, even if he’s not listed here or is a combination of a few of them, just remember that your tears have power and if you cry wolf with them, they lose that power. Tears should always be a genuine display of emotion, not a manipulation tactic. When you are real and honest with your emotions, you set up an environment where it’s safe for him to be real and honest too.
A final thought on this subject. While the Golden Rule of Communication is to treat others as you want to be treated, the Platinum Rule of Communication is to treat others as THEY want to be treated. Knowing that men are such different creatures from us, you have to keep in mind what is most effective in speaking with them. Keeping calm and rational may drive you crazy, especially when all you really want to do is hit him in the head with a cast-iron frying pan while weeping hysterically. In the end, however, it will help you better resolve your arguments (I prefer to think of them as “discussions”) and isn’t that the outcome you are hoping for?
Image procured from http://www.123rf.com/clipart-vector/hitting.html
So, a lot of you guys have read my book excerpts page, which contains some crazy suggestions for how to properly behave in a bathroom–ewww…ick! But I wanted to share this next excerpt with you because I had dinner with a girlfriend the other night and she said that this particular part of my book changed her life. Yay!!! Now, while this section is out of the book for the ladies, it applies to both men and women alike. I think I’m going to put this one in the new book too because I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on it and it should not just be in the chick book. I hope you like it and that it helps you quell fits of rage! 😉
Live by the 10 to the 5th power rule. (Can’t do superscripts, dangit!)
What, you may ask, is the 10 to the 5th power rule? This is how it breaks down. When something aggravates me I think to myself, “Am I still going to be mad about this in 10 minutes? 10 hours? 10 days? 10 months? 10 years?” My reaction to the situation is determined by how long what is happening is going to affect me.
Just like we talked about before, when learning how to have “talks” with your man, if you decide that what has happened is important enough to address, then it’s important to broach the subject of your anger in a calm, timely, non-accusatory, non-defensive way.
If what has happened is so dramatic that it’ll affect you for a year or ten years down the line, then give yourself some time to figure out how to respond. You don’t have to fly into a rage immediately. You don’t need to burst into sobs right in front of him. Sometimes, it is a great idea to step into another room and just process. Then you can cry or punch a wall or call him every name in the book while you are alone. Process the rage or hurt by yourself, and then come up with the most productive way of handling both him and the situation.
Yet again, it’s about picking your battles. The 10-minute battles are usually not worth fighting about, so just let them roll off your back. Having that kind of attitude will save you from having a million fights about who forgot to buy the milk. All those tiny irritations just aren’t worth the negative energy and the constant, underlying vibe of annoyance and disharmony. You’ll find that when you and your man live in a home where you accept each other and don’t pick over the small things, your home will be a warmer and more wonderful place to live for both of you. Ahhh…bliss…
What a title, right? I have a lot of people ask me how I’ve learned to find such peace and contentment in my life. Like everyone else, I deal with struggles, hardship, and loss. But even through all of that, I usually find a way to come to terms with it all and move forward in a positive way. That doesn’t mean I don’t wanna smash my computer with a bat when it doesn’t work right. Or that I don’t want to drive into my office and ring necks when people get on my nerves. It doesn’t mean that if anything ever happened to my husband that I wouldn’t want to crawl into a hole and die. But, for the most part, I’m able to roll with the punches and keep my chin up (wow, 2 cliches in one sentence! That’s a record!).
I think one of the reasons for that is that I’ve been dead twice. Yeppers, you read that correctly. Once when I was just a very small child and again in my early 20s. I believe with all my heart that God jump started my heart both times so that I could live a bit longer.
How these death experiences have helped me is two-fold:
Having those two understandings helps me in so many ways. I don’t worry so much about the little things anymore. I don’t try and control everything. I never try to control other people. I know that eventually, all things work out as they should. I’m okay with who I am. I know that I don’t have to the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl on earth to be happy. I’m almost 42 and I don’t worry that I don’t look like I did when I was 20. I find growing old gracefully to be a blessing and a huge stress relief.
Ultimately, I learned and live my life’s mantra because of these experiences: Wake up. Be kind. Go to bed. Repeat.
While I hope none of you have to go through the physical struggles I’ve been through, I do very much wish that all of you find peace and contentment in your lives. When you have those 2 things, everything else comes naturally.
Blessings to all of you!
PS: If any of you out there have experienced something similar, I’d love you to share that story here so we can all benefit from what you went through.