I don’t know about your husband, but my husband is not always there to be a part of all the fights we have. Like, literally, he has no part in them. Because I’m so angry that I really don’t want to talk to him at the moment and have the fight that I’m having in my mind actually with him. These moments are where I’m able to come up with the best comebacks (although he never actually said anything……) come up with the best pointed arguments, and honestly be a bit meaner than I ever would be in person.
Safe to say that not a whole lot of good actually comes from these mental fights I have with him. So in an effort to avoid prolonging the anger I have for my husband in my mind, I do a few of these things I listed below:
1 | try to remember all the nice things he’s done recently
When I find myself running through the house picking up my husband’s shoes and socks along with the toys my 2-year-old left out, an inevitable one-sided mind-fight begins to break out: “Does anyone pick up after mommy? No. So why do I have to pick up after daddy??” And if I don’t watch it, that can go on for longer than I’d like to admit. Josh has literally caught me mumbling to myself during one of these mind-fights. That wasn’t embarrassing or anything.
But before these fights get out of hand, and before mental punches start getting thrown, I try to remind myself that I really don’t have it as bad as I’m thinking I do. I have to remember that- oh yeah- he did wash the dishes this morning. And last night he did get up to help get the 2-year-old get back in bed. That’s not to say that I’ll never bring the socks and sneakers issue up to him (see point #2) but I do have to remember that I am not a victim in my marriage and marriage is rarely a perfect 50/50. The sooner any spouse gets that out of their mind the better. As I say in much more detail in my post here, we married a real person, with flaws, and there will inevitably be times when we need to pick up their slack. If we can agree to do that without whining or holding it over their heads, we’ll find ourselves in a much happier marriage.
2 | Walk over to him and bring it up
Sometimes I’m a lot meaner in my mind than I am out loud. I know that’s not everyone. Sometimes the best thing- for me and my husband- is to walk away for a bit, chill out, and then when the initial anger has passed, bring it up. Personally, I know that I tend to hold onto things, build up a grudge, and let it ferment into bitterness before I bring it up. I can be like a lawyer building up evidence for my husband’s crimes against me instead of trying to nip the problem in the bud before it happens again. My poor husband. Over the course of our marriage, however, I’ve learned that he responds so much better when I address how his actions have bothered me in the moment. That means right as they happen. And that doesn’t always mean that we have to stop and have an hour long talk about it. Usually, the quick moment of confrontation sounds a lot like, “Hey, that actually doesn’t feel very good when you say that” or, “Hey, could you pick those up so I don’t have to grab them later? Thanks.”
Except if he’s at work- then pleaaassse wait. For Josh and I, flights over text naturally dissipated once we got married. Mostly because over time we became less dramatic and we also simply talked less during the day when we were both working. But there have been a few instances where I’ve really just wanted to tell him what’s what over the phone. And a couple times I have- and then felt like I was back in high school again (ie. embarrassed and regretful. And urgently feeling the need to send an apology text before he got home). Long story short, if you have an issue- bring it up quickly and almost always in person. The End.
3 | Ask yourself if it’s really worth getting worked up over
Sometimes, as much as I’m angry in the moment, my mind arguments with my husband are much more dramatic, pointed, and all-inclusive (meaning they include that time he said something insensitive 6 months ago) than they would be in person. If I don’t stop myself, I can go on for a pretty long time feeling like a self-righteous victim in my marriage rather than stopping to feel grateful for the man my husband is and the fact that he actually does love me- despite whether he hurt me or whether I’m deciding to simply feel hurt. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when Josh has hurt me, but as I said before, those are times for action, confrontation, and forgiveness. Rarely, is internalizing the hurt and remaining the victim the outcome we’re actually looking for- it just feels vindicating in the moment.
4 Write down what you’re feeling
I know I’m not the only one out there who feels like getting their problem out on paper helps them clear their mind, figure out what’s truly bothering them, and prepares them better for confrontation. Note that in no way am I saying one should only write their problems in a journal and not bring them up face to face- simply that sometimes writing your feelings down beforehand will help you organize your thoughts while your emotions run their course, giving you the ability to be more a more calm and collected version of yourself when it comes time to talk to the hubs.
You know how you almost always come up with better talking points after a fight or confrontation? Think of this as a dry run where you can better figure out how you were hurt and explain how you would like your spouse to fix it/act differently in the future (not where you can figure out a more pointed insult).
5 | Just stop
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself, your husband, and your marriage is to just stop. If you know this is an area that just requires you to be a little more patient but you feel a mental argument a bewin’, try to just stop and think of something more positive and helpful. As I said earlier, you are not a victim in your own marriage. We always have a choice of how we react to whatever our husbands do and in these types of moments, we can choose to simply realize what we’re about to do, stop, move on, and be all the happier for it.
So, do mental fights happen to you, too? Or am I the only crazy one here? Help another married lady out and leave your best methods for helpful confrontation in the comments below!