A Husband's Guide to : Making It Worse

We have all heard the cliche`s:

"It's always darkest before the dawn."

"Every cloud has a silver lining."

"Comedy = Tragedy + Time"

Ok, that last one might just be a family saying.  But the point of the first two is all about things getting worse before they get better.  In marriage, especially with conflict this can be so very true.  The bringing of two people together is bound to cause problems but I have found in some fights you have a choice : End it quickly by owning your mistakes or forgiving hers, OR making it worse.

I would like to spend some time talking about making it worse, and why sometimes, that is the best option.  Freud had a saying, "The issue is never the issue."  Or course he also said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," this was of course after being pressed about his love of cigars and his penchant for talking about phallic issues.  But I want to talk about the first one.  The issue is not the issue.  It is a challenging concept, but one I have found that is so true.  Sometimes a fight can start about a non-issue because it is bringing to light the actual issue, and only after conversation can you dig into the root of the problem.

There are times when it is easier to concede an argument and more on, but that will just bring on more conflict later because you have not addressed the issue.  I know what you are thinking, "But, TheHusBlog, how do I know when I should make it worse?"  To answer that I am going to have to turn to the tried and true :

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making It Worse

  • Do you understand what the fight is about?
  • Do you understand what your spouse is talking about?
  • Do you feel like the issue is resolved?
If you answer no to any of the above questions then it is time to roll up your sleeves and make it worse.  This is not to say that you should get all angry and start saying mean things.  But it is to say that you are not going to apologize/forgive until you understand what is really going on.

Digging to the bottom of an issue is never fun and often involves lots of talking and LISTENING.  See what I did there, did you get the hint as what the most important behavior is...

LISTEN (did it again) to your spouse and make sure that you understand what the real issue is.  It might make some fights worse or longer, but it will lead to less of them.


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