Asked: I’m a long time reader and love how honest you are when you answer these questions, so here’s mine! When you and your husband argue, how do you resolve things? I’m always
curious how other couples navigate the hard parts of relationships.
Especially with kids in the picture, it’s not always easy!
Answered: Dear Long Time Reader, 
Oh Lordy. 
let me first say that I have no idea what I’m doing as far as being an
awesome partner goes. I’m obviously learning as we slog through this whole
marriage thing, so take all of this with a giant grain of salt
(preferably on the rim of a strong margarita). 

can honestly say that in past relationships, I was not a stellar
version of myself when it came to arguing. I was very, very unkind with
my words and had no qualms about hurting someone that I loved very
deeply during an argument. I am not proud of that behavior and it should
come as no surprise that I am not fortunate enough to call any of my
serious exes friends. 
that being said, when I met my husband, I knew I wanted to do better,
to be better, in our relationship. Selfishly, the guilt of my past
behavior weighed heavily on me but I also never wanted to hurt him like I
had hurt others (well, in the heat of the moment, I honestly did
sometimes want to, but thankfully I was able to mostly rise above my
inner bitch). 
took tons of time (like, years) but we’ve mostly worked out the things
that we just can’t take the other doing or saying during a fight
(certain words, bringing up certain past events/topics or certain
actions like door slamming, for example). Obviously, the convos about
the no-go activities had to be endured in a totally neutral time and
space – well after the heat of the moment – but saying out loud the
things that just made our blood boil or hurt us super hard have made a
difference in the way we argue now.
get me wrong, we still have knock down, drag outs that can escalate to
levels that neither of us want to write home about, but we take care to
avoid the things that we know can really bring the other to their knees
strategy that really seems to work for us is communicating via email.
If we have an arguement that goes on and on with neither being willing
to bend or over a topic that just can’t be neatly resolved, we tend to
send each other emails to discuss after the fact. 
sounds very civilized, but picture having a huge fight, going to bed
angry (we don’t believe in the old “never go to bed angry” because we
have a baby who does not give one single you know what that we were up
late fighting about who should have washed the dishes. He is up at
6:30am come hell or high water.) and then spending the next morning
fuming. At some point around noon, one of us might cave and send the
initial email, laying the ground work for an attempted resolution. This
really works for me as I can get incredibly frustrated when I feel that
I’m not being heard or understood in an argument. And let’s be real, who
honestly says the words “I hear what you’re saying and I understand
where you’re coming from” in a heated discussion? No one. 
sitting down to type out an email usually allows me the time to dump
all of my thoughts out, figure out what I really want/need to get across
and then edit out all of the swear words and little jabs. Justin
usually does the same and sometimes we send many, many emails back and
forth addressing each others concerns and issues. Hiding behind the
computer allows us to avoid seeing the eye rolls (a huge pet peeve of
Justin’s), hearing a certain tone of voice (a big issue for me) and
affords us the opportunity to say exactly what it is that we want to
communicate much more eloquently than we most likely did in the original
fight. Many times we are able to type the words I’m Sorry well before
we are actually able to say them. Honestly, when it comes down to it,
sometimes I’m really off about what I thought Justin was upset about
until I read his emails (probably because I was too busy hollering and
stomping around to hear what he was saying) and I’m guessing he feels
the same way about me (and I can assure you he does a lot of hollering
and stomping, too). 
that’s my best attempt at answering this question. We try to not cut
too deeply with our words, respect each others previously established
argument no-gos and to do our best to resolve an issue in a way that
makes us both feel heard and justified, even if that requires a day full
of tedious emails and a digital I’m Sorry.
Ugh, that was super honest. I need wine.
Got a question?

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