You may or may not know, but I come from a military background. Setting and living by rules comes easy to me. Hell, it's even comforting. There's no anxiety as to whether or not things are going well because I'm well within the rules set by my husband and myself.
I can already hear it now... "That's so restricting!" "How can you let your husband set rules for you?" Blah blah blah.... *insert eye roll here*
Negotiated rules can stop A LOT of arguments from even happening. Even laying out, how I typically react, is some great information. These Rules of Engagement can be hugely beneficial to your partnership.
Here are some examples:
If something bothers you, you must bring it up within a 48hr period for discussion. If you hold off past that, then maybe it wasn't that big of a deal or you may have over reacted.
Think about it, if something truly was important to you, you would most definitely find time to talk about that topic. Period. End of Story.
When angry, don't just walk away from me, that's disrespectful. Tell me that you need to walk away to calm down.
If there's no explanation to walking away, you're leaving it open for interpretation. You might have walked away just to be rude. You might have walked away because you think the argument is pointless. You might have walked away because you think the person is stupid. See how this can make the situation worse?
If you know that in the moment of a discussion, that you will jumble up words and your point will get lost, then write it out. Write it out, have the other person read it, and then discuss within 24-48hrs.
This can be hugely beneficial for people pleasers. People pleasers will watch their partner's face and if there's a negative look, then they might back off from their original point. Write out your whole side of the argument/disagreement and have your partner read it. This way, there's no backing away from your original point.
Don't just throw blame around. That's very judgmental and it automatically puts the other person into defense mode. Constructive discussions are super tough when one or both people are in defense mode.
See how these "rules" can be beneficial to a couple? Sit down with your partner and have a discussion about how you argue. You might even learn some things about yourself. You might be super passive aggressive and never have noticed. It could even be that there's miscommunication happening so you're both interpreting messages/situations differently. Maybe come up with your own Rules of Engagement for your relationship.
Come on over to our FB Group and share your experiences with Rules of Engagement. Maybe you will come up with a neat rule and just want to share. I can't wait to see what you come up with!!