鬧交天書 – rules of arguing

‘If you have never been physically, emotionally or mentally abused, how can you be ready for marriage?’ – random comedian on Netflix.

Everyone argues once in a while. My parents, married for 27 years next week, argue. Sing and I argue. Everyone does. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

If you tell me that you and your significant other do not argue, you’re either together too short or you’re lying to me.
I don’t mean a violent argument when you throw thing onto each other, I rather think of a healthy argument when a couple can get rid of excessive tension.
No infamous 14 slaps (click here to read more) incidents. 

Life is not an Instagram or Tumblr. I think nowadays a lot of people are ashamed that they argue with their partner. We tend to spend to much time online, looking for a validation of our relationship in likes under pictures or followers, comparing to others. We see those sweet pictures or these smiling couples and think ‘I bet their relationship is perfect, they definitely don’t fight’. Because of this some people might look down on their own relationship.

Why it is socially acceptable to complain about fashion industry showing unrealistic body types, but no one ever mentions the unrealistic relationships we are fed through social media?
I know there’s no point into putting your drama online, but if you believe that someone has perfect life just based on what they want to show you, then you’re going to be shocked one day.

I never tried to deny the downs in our relationship and marriage. With our families (ekhm, Momzilla…), we are two different people, having their own habits, growing up in different environments. Of course if you put the two of us together 24/7 sooner or later some argument will break out. 
Sing and I sleep, work and live together. If that’s not the perfect fuel to the arguments? Add hormones and Irish weather to it and I can guarantee a fight.
I sometimes get so upset I just mumble to myself ‘I’m going to punch you in the face’. Even my coworkers asked me when I’m finally going to do that because so far these are only empty promises.

We are at the point in life that all the dust settled down, butterflies in stomach are dead and we just carry one with our love. It’s nothing bad – I love him to death, I wouldn’t allow him to get hurt in any way, if he flies without me I can’t get good sleep but instead of that young, passionate and crazy love we moved on to the next stage – parents with young children cuddling in the morning in bed like in commercials, but we actually don’t have a baby, we have a cat instead. It also needs our care, can be annoying to death but wouldn’t give Biscuit the asshole cat away. We now have more pictures of our cat and food than kissing selfies.
I hope you get the idea of what I try to say.

I sound very old for just a nearly 26 year old with 5 years of marriage experience, but I think I grew up a lot comparing to few years ago.
I was really bad at arguing. I would get upset really fast, stop talking at all or put our cat between myself and Sing so he cannot hug me after the fight. Very childish of me. And Biscuit hated it as well!
I cannot compare to those of you married for 10-15 or more years, but I want to share with you what I learnt over the years.

Here are my rules to healthy arguing with your partner!

  1. Do not forget what it is about – the argument started over something. It should be finished with a solution for the problem, not by crushing your opponent.
  2. Criticize the behavior, not the person – you don’t want your partner to feel bad, but rather change the way he or she behaves, or the thing he or she does.
  3. Let your partner speak up – I was terrible at this, I would interrupt Sing in the middle of his sentence with ‘But..’, ‘but…’. Butt, butt, butty. No. Just no.
  4. Do not call each other names and watch your mouth – even if it’s ‘innocent’ word like ‘idiot’, everyone has their own dignity and their own morale. You wouldn’t want to be called a ‘bitch’ so do not call him a ‘dick’, and the other way around.
  5. Do not bring back things from the past – and at this point when I tell you not to do it, I’m a freaking hypocrite because from time to time, I will bring something up. To be honest, I think that’s like a last line of defense before I actually start thinking rationally. But I do it less and less, since I know it won’t bring any good outcome. Look forward, not back.
  6. Listen and react – interact with what your partner said rather than just throwing out whatever bothers you. This way you can reach out compromise earlier.
  7. Check if it’s even worth fighting for – just like with Momzilla, there are things I will fight for and there are things just not worth all the nerves. Suck it up and try to ignore.
  8. Try not to go to sleep angry – even if we fight at night, after really long day at work, we try not to go to sleep angry at each other as none of us will get a good sleep. Besides the cat of course.
  9. Stop – do not act without thinking. It won’t bring anything to the argument, and you may regret your words or actions afterwards. It’s not a romantic comedy when you can throw a vase with flowers at your partner and then pretend nothing happened.
  10. Be open to say ‘sorry’ or accept the apologies – I was very stubborn and even when Sing tried to just finish it, say ‘sorry’ and fix whatever we argued over, I would not accept his apologies for absolutely no particular reason other than just being stubborn bitch. For a stupid reason I would let that anger inside and didn’t want to let it go. Very unhealthy.

There will always be a little frustration or anger in everyone, so instead of keeping it in yourself (to the point that one day ‘Do you want some coffee?’ will be read as ‘It’s all your fault’), just let the steam go away. Not to mention all that making up afterwards!

I’m so blessed with probably the most patient husband, he is annoying and I sometimes really want to punch him but I will just go ahead, kill his Lego character in Lego Marvel and let it go.
We both got more mature (although sentence above states differently) and I hope thanks to this post some of you will be able to relate to our situation.

What are your rules to arguing? Are you the more calm in the relationship or are you just like me? Let us know what you think, we would love to read your comments! 

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11 thoughts on “鬧交天書 – rules of arguing

  1. You are right. Every couple argues. I’ve been married nearly 46 years, and we still get on each other’s nerves on a regular basis. All your points are good. However, being human, we don’t always stick to the rules. I know one thing, after all these years, we both know exactly which buttons to push to piss each other off. We have also learned to avoid those buttons. I love the old fart, he loves me. We need each other. It is called marriage.

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  2. Unrealistic expectations of relationships is right! Both positive and negative, I think. Positively in that happy couples never argue, and negatively that after the “honeymoon phase” everything just starts going downhill. I think with the right arguing and resolving and communication, marriage can get better with time, not go to disrepair like an abandoned building.

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  3. Good points. Sometimes it helps when I make a ridiculous joke in the middle of the fight — it breaks up tension and he remembers that he married me for free entertainment (as well as a permanent designated driver).

    As far as not going to sleep angry, welll…sometimes Andy takes a lot longer to process his emotions. Like days. And it’s important to allow him that time.

    That is, after all, what the couch is for.

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  4. You forgot to mention the number of times you wrote about Sing having no balls in your blog. This is very bad for the self-esteem of a man especially when a couple is trying to conceive. In the future, if all conceiving attempts fail and after finding out the real cause of the problem, you will need to sincerely apologize to your husband and he also has to really forgive you. After that, put everything behind and start afresh.
    It is written in the book of the Three Character Classic by Confucius that we must always respect (be forgiving towards) our parents regardless of their wrongdoings. I have a friend who is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner (I’m not trying to recommend him to you) and for some weird reason, there were a certain patients who initially can’t get well even after all methods but they miraculously got cured after they sincerely ask forgiveness for all their wrongdoings. We all offend others unknowingly even when we think we are on a moral high ground.
    You mentioned about being with Sing 24/7 even at work. In psychology, we were told that desire needs space. Whose fault when a couple argue although they had the choice not to work in the same company? In my country, couples proactively do not work in the same company unless they are the owners of the company. If the wife works within the same company as the spouse, is a buyer for the company and has the financial ability to own many assets, be prepared to be asked to tea by the ICAC. Being a buyer for a company presents many opportunities for receiving bribes and insider trading.

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    1. Our company pays well and facing a Hong Kong mortgage we can’t really run away, luckily at least I moved out from the same office space because that would be way too much! 🙂
      As for the buyer’s opportunities, I don’t think I can do much as we need to stick to the approved manufacturers, we have PPVs and all the good stuff to consider – so far I only got a code for a pack of chocolate when placing order online haha (hope I won’t get into trouble for this! :-))

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      1. As long as you are both confident in coping well with this arrangement 🙂 When you get to my age, you might realize that mortgage is just but another form of material trapping. Something human can’t carry into afterlife. Then, you might ask why did I spend 50 years of my youth paying for some stupid mortgage? However, this life lesson cannot be taught but must be experienced 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21j_OCNLuYg

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