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Arguing - to what extent can it always be one person's fault?

(9 Posts)
docket Tue 23-Sep-08 12:42:48

just after some words of experience really...

dh and I are going through a bad patch - in particular bickering that escalates into a full blown row and imo we both tend to get very defensive very quickly. It doesn't feel terminal but I suspect we could use some counselling.

dh thinks that it's basically all me, that I'm defensive/aggressive and always on the look out for a row. I am often guilty of these things for sure but I feel he's just as bad. If I suggest he is being like this he flatly denies it (in infuriating 'you are a loon' manner).

It's all so wearing that I feel I've totally lost perspective on the situation. If two people can't seem to stop arguing can it really be all one person's fault all of the time?

mumblechum Tue 23-Sep-08 12:53:45

Of course it isn't all going to be one person's fault.

The thing dh and I have learned over the 20 odd years of our relationship is to bite our tongue sometimes.

You both have to try really hard to listen to what the other person is really saying, not interrupt them, and to respect that that's how they feel, even if you don't agree.

Counselling sounds like a good idea if your dh will agree, but if not, then I think you need to sit down and have a really good talk not about the substance of the arguments, but about how they're conducted.

You're never going to agree about everything but you both need to try to accept each other's faults, and only raise issues after you've thought about them for a long time and have thought through exactly what it is that's bothering you and how you'd like things to change.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 23-Sep-08 12:54:39

It takes two people to argue. If one of you can stay calm and not get wound up, then you won't have an argument.

The thing is, you can't fix his behaviour - you can only fix yours. Can you work on remembering how it feels when you start to get defensive, and work on stopping? Take a few deep breaths. Say 'Time out' and go for a walk. Do something different.

HappyWoman Tue 23-Sep-08 13:00:23

My best tip - is only argue when you want to win it.
A lot of things are really not that important and it sounds as if you have got trapped in just that.

Why is being right so important to you?

It depends on what you are agueing about - do you agree about major issues such as money and childcare ect?

Also a good tip to difuse the situation is to always make it your goal to be the first to appologise - sounds bizarre i know - but you dont appologise for having your say you just say sorry things got so heated or out of hand and say that you accept his opinion may be different to yours ......

Afterall as long as you know you are right what does it matter what anyone thinkswink.

docket Tue 23-Sep-08 13:15:24

Thanks all. We're most definitely arguing about things that aren't important, it's so futile.

I want to fix this, I'm just frustrated that DH honestly thinks I am totally at fault (which is making me more defensive and argumentative, and the situation worse perversely).

NQC, I like your point about fixing my own behaviour and doing something different. I will try this. Thanks

Niecie Tue 23-Sep-08 13:23:29

No it isn't all one person's fault but if your DH thinks it is all you then you need to call his bluff and not argue back when he starts. You will know for sure then that it isn't your fault on that occasion.

You do need to step away if you find yourself arguing over silly things.

Counselling may be a good idea but I think if you are aware of the problem yourself you are half way to dealing with it.

docket Tue 23-Sep-08 13:23:47

HappyWoman, yes we do agree about the important stuff. We are arguing only about the small stuff.

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 23-Sep-08 13:26:49

Exactly what NQC said.

you cant change someone elses behaviour - you can only change the way you respond to it.

Being the first one to diffuse can have the effect of encouraging the other to follow suit, because people often mirror other people's behaviour you see.....

HappyWoman Tue 23-Sep-08 13:28:11

Then it sounds like you will be ok and just maybe need to find better ways of comunicating.

I love a good arguement from time to time - my children infuriate me when they just wander off - but it makes me realise they just dont want to argue with me - because i will always winwink (this is silly stuff of corse not the full blown things)grin.

We now just have a laugh about it and my son will often say - yeah mum you are right before i have even given my pov shock.

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