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wundayatta's avatar

What do you do when you're mad at your spouse or your spouse is mad at you?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) December 28th, 2008

Do you fight? Do you avoid confrontation? If you fight, does it help? If you avoid confrontation, does that help?

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16 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I’m not married, but when my ex and I would fight, I’d take a little while (usually about a day) to cool down and collect myself and, most of all, to look at things rationally. I don’t avoid confrontation, but I try to keep it calm instead.

MicaDirtCat's avatar

I always seem to fight but it doesn’t do any good. What you should do is avoid raising your voice, it always escalates things. But, of course, that can still give way to sarcasm and back- handed comments which NEVER go unnoticed. What I have found with my years of battling senselessly is that I try to remind myself that they are my friend, first and foremost. One always tends to say much worse things to a SO because they feel like this person should know us better and be more intuitive to our needs. This is not the case. So the better you can look at them as a person whose on your side and who just wants to make you happy and just doesn’t know how, the better you can hopefully remain calm. I also try and tell my SO how I get when I am angry and tell them I don’t want to get like that but if I do they might have a better understanding in how to diffuse the situation when I can’t seem to. Getting out for a breather is always a good idea for both partners, whatever the case.

basp's avatar

When we are mad at each other we communicate in a variety of ways. Sometimes we verbally duke it out and other times we pout in our corners. But we understand our parameters and that our anger does not diminish our feelings for each other.

nocountry2's avatar

I’m more of a “let-me-cool-down-and-walk-it-off-and-think-it-out-before-I-say-something-I-regret” person, and my spouse is more of a “walking-away-doesn’t-solve-anything-now-does-it” person, so we kind of balance each other out. Ultimately fighting makes both of us so disturbed and off balance that it just has to get resolved – it’s impossibly draining to remain in that state for very long.

bluemukaki's avatar

I smack that bitch.

cookieman's avatar

@MicaDirtCat: Extremely well said. That is my wife and I to a tee.

I’ve finally made it to the place where I can argue rationally. For years, I would bottle it up until I exploded. It was ugly.

My wife was very instramental in teaching me how to fight as opposed to FIGHT.

That being said, the couples who say they never fight worry me. I think apathy is worse than arguing.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I really dislike being around people who are raising their voices, so it goes without saying that I also dislike being involved in yelling and whatnot. My ex would have temper tantrums and take her aggression out physically on inanimate objects nearby. Raised voices, slamming things, hitting things, it makes me feel incredibly anxious and all I want to do is flee from those situations. I’m a huge pacifist and I believe in discussing and sorting out problems calmly.

When I’m mad, I go away to cool off and sort out my thoughts. I try not to come back until I’m calm enough to state what the problem is without getting really worked up, raising my voice, etc. I prefer that my partner sort out their anger in the same way.

laureth's avatar

First, we explode. Argument, raised voices if necessary, sarcasm. Sparks fly. Pressure is released.

And then, on average usually about 15 minutes or half an hour later, we get back talking and say something like, “Okay, from a Laureth’s-eye view, [blank] is what happened.” And he says, “Well, from my side, it liiked like [this].” And we clear up what happened, fact-based, and are usually OK at the end of that.

It doesn’t take us that long to make peace, because neither one of us really wants to be fighting (not all couples can say that. After we allow the original ire to blow away, we get to where we can actually talk about things rather than fume or sulk or try to wound. It works for us.

cyndyh's avatar

It depends on how big a deal to each of us the issue is that the argument’s about.

If it’s something that was a misunderstanding and we’re both calm enough (to form complete sentences) then we’ll talk about it right away and that helps. We don’t always agree, but if we can at least understand the other person’s viewpoint then it doesn’t have to last long. Once you get to this point then it’s just a negotiation to make both people feel ok with whatever resolution there needs to be.

Sometimes, when it’s a bigger deal, I need to cool off a while especially if I realize I have to explain something. Once I realize it’s something he doesn’t entirely get and I need to explain it, then I know I need to stop and think for a few minutes. If I’m pissy and emotional when I launch into whatever it is then I won’t explain it well, he still won’t get it, I’ll still be pissed, and we’ll be having the same argument again. If I’m really upset I might say something like, “I need to spend a few minutes in a room where you’re not and then I’d like to talk about [whatever it is].” I tell him what it’s about before taking time in another room so I’m not leaving him guessing. After a few minutes I’m usually good to talk calmly. So, yes, that helps, too.

There have been a handful of times in 15 years where I’ve had to take a walk or take longer to think things through before talking. I think we’re better at this than we used to be.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Angry sex. Then everything seems better.

cyndyh's avatar

Isn’t it funny how that never shows up in Cosmo’s top-10? :^>

Lightlyseared's avatar

That’s because you can’t fill a 5 page feature with 2 words.

cyndyh's avatar

Cosmo has 5 page features? On anything? Isn’t it still just lists of blurbs and tons of ads?

My husband and I like to check out the “number features” when we’re in the checkout line. “7 Steamy Sex Secrets”, “10 Things He Wants in Bed…but won’t tell you”, “5 kinds of sex everyone should try”, yada yada yada. They’re usually about sex. So what would secret 8 have been if they included it? Or thing #6 is really included in #8, so it should be ‘9 Things…’, really. Anyway, they’ve actually taken a paragraph to explain what “vacation sex” is and why everyone should try it. So, you’d think they’d dedicate a sentence or two to angry sex. :^>

I know. That was probably more insight into my thought process than you wanted.

Knotmyday's avatar

I go clean up the garage, arrange my tools etc. (You can tell we’ve been having a rough time by how neat it is).

Then we talk about it later. Yelling proves nothing. Afterward, sex helps seal the deal.
it really works!

augustlan's avatar

The minute things escalate, he withdraws, usually to bed for the night. That used to infuriate me even further…how can he possibly sleep while I’m so angry I’m crying?!? I’ve come to accept that we have different fighting styles. Now, I just let him do what he needs to do, and engross myself in something else. The next day we talk about it rationally, and clear it all up.

scamp's avatar

@bluemukaki I almost spit coffee all over my screen!! I’m rolling over here!!

I send SO away from me for a little while so we both can cool down. Then I hug him.. even if he is the one who is to blame for the problem. I don’t really like being the one who always gives in, but it beats staying mad, so I do it. He’s a push over, so he doesn’t stay mad once I hug and kiss him.

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