This post is a very personal one. It exposes a part of my marriage that has caused conflict and strife between me and my husband on a regular basis. It is with much courage and vulnerability that I speak about this openly. The ongoing argument is about the different between a jacket and a hoodie. (Insert laugh track here). My apologies if you thought this was going to be a deep and revealing blog post. In some ways, it is. The argument really focuses on the communication between us. Follow along with me.
It all started a few weeks ago when I noticed he was still wearing his jacket around the house after being out all day. I suggested he take it off and get comfortable. He responded by telling me that what he was wearing was not a jacket, but was a hoodie. This is where I strongly and staunchly disagree. In my opinion, if the article of clothing has sleeves and a zipper, it is a jacket, regardless of it having a hood or not. A hoodie, is an article of clothing you pull over your head with a hood on it. My husband believes that if the article of clothing is made of sweatshirt material and has a hood on it, it is a hoodie, regardless of it being a zip up or a pull over. I would like for us to agree to disagree on the matter, because, who really cares? My husband would like for me to call the jacket a hoodie, I will not.
This funny, yet annoying situation illustrates a common theme in most marriages/long term relationships. Typically, couples have the same argument about the same 2-3 things for the duration of their relationship. This argument can range from money, sex, household chores, work hours, child rearing, and yes “jacket v. hoodie.” The important thing is to understand this and think of ways to navigate through these arguments in a powerful way. Understanding what triggers these arguments, the underlying message that the argument is communicating, and what internal narrative each person is reinforcing can help mitigate these arguments in the long run.
Another aspect is learning how to “fight fair.” When it comes to arguments and disagreements, especially the core arguments, it is important to learn how to “fight” in a way that both people still feel loved and respected. This means letting go of the need to say hurtful or damaging things to each or bring up things to distract each other or derail the conversation. In long term relationships, arguments are going to happen and they can be integral in the growth of the relationship as well as the growth of the individuals in the relationship. Keeping growth, love, and understanding in the forefront of your mind as you enter the argument is a powerful way to work through it. I am vastly aware that it is difficult to maintain this level of thought when you are knee deep in the trenches with your partner. There are tools you can incorporate to help keep you on track. I will discuss those tools further in a coming blog post. In the meantime, take inventory of the arguments that you and you partner have. Write them down and find out if there are some common themes that come up. Have the conversation about this with your partner. When you feel an argument coming on, take a deep breath, focus on your growth and the growth of the marriage, then proceed.
My husband and I may never come to a place of total peace as it relates to the “jacket v. hoodie” debacle, however, we are aware that this seemingly petty disagreement brings up emotions for both of us. I am excited to explore this more and discover what is underneath it, for both of us.
Until next time,
Love, live, life.