Ever Find Yourself In An Argument With Your Guy, And You Don’t Know How It Started?

One minute everything seemed to be going along fine and the next minute you’re defending yourself, your heart’s pounding, and nothing, not even your own voice, feels real?

by Jeffrey Levine

What happened?

Where did that wrong turn take place?

If you look closer, it’s possible to spot that moment when the conversation turned sour.

It happened at a point where a CHOICE had to be made – and even though it SEEMED like the best choice at the moment, it doesn’t feel that way now.

You may wish you’d done or said something different.

You may have spent so much of your energy trying to make sense of it, or blaming him, or yourself.

But the truth is…we’ve all been taught to make choices that DON’T work.

And those choices keep leading to the same disappointing results you’ve always gotten.

But you CAN turn things around.

There IS a way to do this that works…

Let’s say, for example,  your man is angry at something you did or didn’t do, or something your child or your friend did.

And he takes out his anger on you.

He yells: “How could you let that happen!”

Oh boy. He’s angry. He’s blaming you and accusing you of not being able to handle stuff. The nerve of him. (We men can jump to anger like this easily…for many of us, anger is the first place we go, even for small things…)

So you let him have it: “Don’t you dare talk to me like that…you  have no idea what’s going on with me, or what I go through every day…!!”

And so it goes.

Blaming and accusations. Followed by defending and more blaming and accusations.

This conversation is going nowhere fast.

It doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t bring the two of you closer.

It doesn’t create love, collaboration and partnership.

In fact, it does the opposite. It destroys love, trust, understanding and closeness.

And every time this kind of conversation happens it makes it harder the next time.

Let’s be clear – the worst thing you can do when you feel verbally attacked by a man is to defend and explain yourself.

Even though it may feel right in the moment, when you respond in kind, you make it worse.

You make it worse by trying to point out his shortcomings.

The problem is that in the moment, when emotions are triggered, it feels like you don’t have a choice.

But you do.

You have a choice to NOT participate in the argument.

How do you do that?

Instead of defending, explaining, accusing or blaming, you DESCRIBE what you see and hear from him.

You can respond like this“I hear that you’re very angry right now and aren’t sure how to solve this problem.” Notice, you’re describing what you’re hearing in a non-emotional way. No defending, and no striking back.

Of course he may go on: “You’re darn right I’m angry. I can’t trust you.” Again, he is accusing you and trying to push your buttons.

But you stay vigilant, because you’ve made the choice, the decision not to participate in going down this destructive road.

So you stick with a description of what you’re witnessing without getting sidetracked by the words he’s using to express it. You say: “It sounds like you’re really disappointed in how I handled that. Do I hear you right?”

At some point he will stop.

And if he doesn’t you’re entitled to say something like: “Sweetheart, I hear how angry and frustrated you are, but I’m not going to argue with you about this. When we both have cooler heads I’m open to having a discussion about how to best solve this together. Until then, I’m going to listen to what you have to say, but I’m not going to argue with you.”

And when you both have cooler heads you can reopen the conversation, if need be.

After you have a few of these kinds of exchanges and he sees that you won’t be baited into arguing with him, he’ll begin to approach you differently.

He’ll stop pushing your buttons when it doesn’t provoke a reaction from you.

Am I excusing his behavior? Absolutely not.

He has no right to verbally abuse you.

But you have power in this exchange – the power to choose what YOUR reaction will be.

I remember these kinds of discussion in my own home. How certain conversations would snowball into large arguments – and these were usually the conversations that would make me feel defensive.

I know this is strange because it often was me that was doing the accusing.

But once my wife stopped defending herself and blaming me, I began to see how destructive my own approach was. And that shifted everything.

Just by her refusing to participate in the argument and then reflecting back to me what was going on with me, we could actually get through our challenges, even when we disagreed, and come up with positive solutions.

And at the end of the day it actually led to us feeling closer.

You can have the best ideas in the world for improving your relationship, but if you don’t say it in a way that he will listen, change will be difficult.

 

I want to invite you to a Masterclass, that I’m hosting with my wife Rori Raye, on Sunday, January 17th. It’s based on my book, “How To Talk To A Man” where we’ll be talking about how to approach your guy in a way that will help you create the intimacy and connection that you long for. Click here for ==> The “by Jeffrey Levine

Please join us on the 17th where Rori and I will be answering your questions in real time.  Just go here to sign up:

 

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