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ZEPHYRA's avatar

Those of you in a stable marriage, do you avoid bringing each other's weakness to the surface even when angry?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (20075points) June 2nd, 2014

We all have weaknesses and flaws that may frustrate our partner but we accept him/her as he/she is and try to get over them, work around them and even overlook them. However, do you sometimes feel the need to look at those issues/flaws directly and mention them or point them out in an argument or do you just let sleeping dogs lie and not bring forth things that may rock the foundations of your marriage?

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13 Answers

anniereborn's avatar

I try not to bring them out in an argument. Instead I will try to bring them out in a direct way at some point. I do it to help make him self aware, so that he can work on things if he wants to. I don’t do it in a mean way.

Seek's avatar

We both have been known to kick below-the-belt, usually comparing each other to our respective families “Of course you’d say that, knowing who raised you”.

Fortunately we don’t argue often, because we’re both really good at dysfunction, having had much practice in our formative years.

Pandora's avatar

I think it is a little of both. You can’t help but point out any big flaws, or weaknesses but you learn to let the little ones go. If it really isn’t a big problem that will keep coming up, then there is no need to harp on it. When I am angry, I try my best not to say things I will regret later. Sometimes in a fit of anger, little things can suddenly seem as a huge problem when it really isn’t. So I wait till I have a cooler head to discuss why I was so pissed off.

It took a few years to learn to hold my tongue and the same for him. It doesn’t mean we never discuss any little flaws, but we both are careful to only discuss the ones that don’t seem mean. Like for years he would bug me about how I squeezed the tooth paste tube and placing the cap back on and I would bug him about the toilet seat. So I learned to remember to put the cap on and he will squeeze the tube proper and he learned to not leave the seat up after using the toilet and I let the fact that he is a remote control hog go, so long as he doesn’t flick between channels.

ucme's avatar

A stable marriage, she frequently complains about the neigh bours, but hay…I always rein her in.

hearkat's avatar

We’re not married yet, but we’ve been together almost 5 years and are so stable that we don’t get angry. We might get on each other’s nerves at times, but neither of us is insecure or controlling enough to blow it out of proportion. I suppose it helps that we have similar weaknesses, too. We are far more grateful and appreciative of each other than we are irritated. Unconditional love is forgiving of the human flaws and frailties that we have, and is not challenged or threatened by petty annoyances.

In my previous relationships, I could hit as low as it goes, because I was raised in a household of judgement and criticism. By cutting someone else down, I made myself feel superior. I was incapable of unconditional love because of my insecurities and neediness. Verbal and physical abuse were given and received at various points in my first 40 years, and there was comfort in knowing that someone cared enough to be mean, and I didn’t think that I deserved better than that. It took a lot of personal work and growth to see myself as worthy of devotion and capable of giving the same without feeling vulnerable.

Judi's avatar

It is amazing to me how different my second marriage is from my first.
In my first marriage we would have screaming matches and he would break things. Arguing could get very personal.
In my current marriage problems are approached as just that. A PROBLEM we need to solve or work through. We rarely raise our voices to each other and when we do it is never putting the other person down. We would never intentionally try to hurt the other. No matter what the issue we still respect each other and realize the relationship is more import ant than the disagreement.
I don’t know how this happened after my family examples and my first marriage but I’m thankful it did!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That stuff is better discussed quietly, not when you’re angry. When you get angry you’re going to say enough bad stuff. It’s best to hold back when you’re pissed.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll go ahead and call my marriage stable for this Q, although I am always reluctant, because I guess it is a little bit of superstition, and a little bit of not wanting to come across like I have some sort of lock on the answers to a good reationship. I certainly don’t feel my husband and I have a perfect relationship. However, we have been married for 21 years, I still feel very happy with him, he is still my favorite person to spend time with.

We do bring up weaknesses sometimes, even during arguments. I don’t think it is the best time to do it, but it does happen. The thing is I really trust my husband. I trust that he does not tell me something to hurt me, even in the heat of an argument. When he points out where my thinking might be wrong, or a habit I have that might be destructive, I realize he is trying to help me. It can still feel very hurtful at the time, but he delivers the message well enough that I can pause and try to see what he is saying. I think he usually can do the same also.

An example is, sometimes I start to think and act like my father in terms of ruminating about something too much or letting something get me upset that I should be able to let go of. At times my husband will point it out, because he knows I don’t like to see it in my father or myself. It is often self destructive and harms our relationship. When he points it out it is like having a harsh mirror put in my face. It only is ok because I trust my husband’s intentions. He might be saying it because he is fed up, so it is not delivered in some sort of altruistic way, but I see there is some truth in what he says and that I am playing a part in what is going on. Usually during an argument we both have some responsibility in how things deteriarated.

My SIL, from what she has said to me, although I have never been in her house while fighting with her exhusband, has told me she would get very upset that her husband would use information, basically very private things, as ammunition to make her feel bad during fights. It was things similar to this. She hates being told she is acting like her mother, or having her weaknesses pointed out. She can’t handle that sort of criticism well.

So, the question is not only what is ok to say and when, but also how can the person receiving the information handle it? Can they take criticism as a way to overcome and improve? Or, is any criticism too much for them to handle?

Communication and trust are some of the biggest things in a relationship. Certainly discussing things calmly in a problem solving way is the ideal, but even if it gets a little heated, it is important that both people want to solve the disagreement. It can’t be about winning, because then if one wins the other person has to lose. Do you want your partner for life to lose?

Judi's avatar

@JLeslie , I bet your husband, like my husband, points out that we sometimes ignore them because we are spending to much time on Facebook and fluther. “Coming honey, I’m almost done!”

Blondesjon's avatar

22 year, stable relationship here asking what the point of a good argument is if you can’t get down and dirty.

filmfann's avatar

All is fair in love and war.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi You just made some money on that bet.

Bill1939's avatar

@Judi‘s husband’s complaint is like mine, only it my wife’s many games on Word With Friends that annoys me. However, we don’t fight. Perhaps this is because she doesn’t allow herself to display anger, or perhaps using anger to control is not one of her methods. Also, I try to take every opportunity to demonstrate how much I love her. While we are very different people, we are very compatible. In a few weeks we will have been married 21 years.

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