This strategy for resolving fights can definitely work to stop having the same ones over and over.
You know the kind of fight I’m talking about. He’s always late, or he drinks too much when he’s with the guys, or he’s constantly forgetting to make the bed. It’s that fight you and your guy have over and over (and over!) again. You’d love to resolve it once and for all, but you can’t, because it’s 100%, unequivocally, his fault!
Don't Stubbornly Wait
So, how do you resolve a fight like this? First you must commit to taking care of your side of the street. Don’t stubbornly wait for him to “fix” the problem because it’s his fault (even if it really is!). Nothing will change until you change something, so stop giving your power away, take responsibility, and do what needs to be done.
For example, let’s say your guy is constantly coming home late from work without telling you ahead of time. You’ve asked him a million times to call when he’s going to be late, but every day this week he’s walked through the door at 8:30pm instead of 6pm – without calling you in advance.
In order to resolve this, you want to do things differently than you’ve done before. So, for starters, don’t fly off the handle the next time he comes home late. Mention it, but don’t dive into the conversation right away. For example, you could say:
“I noticed you didn’t call again, and I think we should talk about it later, but lets just have dinner for now, sound good?”
Start the Conversation
After dinner, one you’re both fed and relaxed, sit next to him on the sofa and start the conversation. For example, you could say:
“I know we’ve already had this fight, and my main interest is to just get to the bottom of it. I don’t want to attack you or start a fight; I just want to figure it out together so we can get on the same page.
I noticed that it’s really hard for you to call me when you’re going to be late, and it makes me really upset because I’m left waiting indefinitely for you to come home. I know you don’t want to make me upset, so I’m just curious about what’s coming up for you at work that causes this to keep happening, babe?”
Once you’ve said your piece, listen carefully to his answer, because it will tell you a lot. Take whatever he says at face value, and talk to him about coming up with a solution together.
If he messes up and forgets to call again, give him a couple of passes. It takes a while to get used to a new routine. However, if nothing changes and he continues to come home late without calling, have the conversation again.
This strategy has worked for my clients and it can definitely work for you to stop having the same old fight over and over. It will take a few try’s on your part to master the art of communicating in this new way, go easy on your self if it doesn’t go as smoothly as you would like and give him a pass too, because he probably wont get it on the first try either.