Keep Arguments On Topic
I recently tweeted the following:
In arguments, you have a right to deal with the issue you brought to the table. Same for your spouse. #MarriageTip
Perhaps I should have said “you SHOULD have the right” because I know plenty of marriages where this right does not exist.
We throw other stuff into an argument because we want to win. If what’s on the table isn’t something we can win, we muddy the water with other stuff. Some of that stuff is related, some of it isn’t. He’s upset about a light being left on, so you counter with the trash not being taken out. He complains about sex, so you remind him of his failure to call you last week when he got delayed and came home hours after you expected him. Bringing up other stuff does nothing positive for your marriage. At best it prevents dealing with the original issue. At worst it can turn a small matter into a major fight.
If you’re guilty of this, stop. Make a choice to never add things to an argument or disagreement. Focus on what was brought to the table and work on that one thing till it’s been resolved. If your husband does this to you, address it after you haven’t done it for a while. Tell him you would be happy to deal with his concern at another time, but you need to deal with what you brought up first. Offer to schedule a time to deal with his concern. If he won’t back off, disengage and try again at another time.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and this reminds me of the time that….