For months the rumor of a Kris and Bruce Jenner divorce have swirled, and the evidence is seemingly plentiful. Is she tired of Bruce’s parental-like supervision? Is he fed up with her constant scheming? After what was reported as a massive blow-up fight between the two over the career’s of daughters Kendall and Kylie, it would seem the couple was definitely headed for Splitsville. But since disagreements are daily in the Jenner-Kardashian family, a big brouhaha doesn’t seem to have fazed them in the slightest. They are reported as saying, “we are in love and happy.”
For Kris and Bruce (and the rest of the clan for that matter) yelling and fighting seems to be just the way they communicate. Some families just operate that way. They can scream and scold each other one minute, and then stop to share some fro-yo the next. For my husband and I, it’s not in our DNA to carry on that way. We try to avoid getting heated at all costs, which can be tough when you are newly married and still learning each others quirks. Fortunately, after being together for four years my husband and I have figured out how to keep the lines of communication open, and the confrontational blow-ups at bay.
Here are a few things I’ve learned that can definitely help you to keep the fighting in your relationship to a minimum.
1. Don’t take complaints personally.
My husband rarely comes home in a salty mood but everyone has those days when things don’t go their way and life leaves them more on edge than usual. In the moments when a guy (or gal) is grouchy due to something else going on, it’s easy for them to find fault with everything else around them…ie, you! Maybe you left the cap off the toothpaste for the 90th time, or you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and you’ll be sending your man to work pant-less in the morning. Regardless of the reason, he is yelling at something you did and his uber moodiness is directed at you. The worst thing you can do at this moment is jump into the pool of persecution while the water is warm. Although the natural human reaction is to fight yelling with yelling, it will only escalate the fight to the next level (or five levels, depending how loud you are.) Remain calm, and realize that you are not the true cause of his anger and frustration. If you keep yourself disengaged from the argument, much like how a parent doesn’t get riled up when their child throws a temper tantrum, you’ll bring your partner back to a composed state. It’s easier said than done, but if you practice not taking certain complaints personally, you’ll find yourself arguing a lot less.
2. Forget playing defense.
When you are married especially, you quickly learn that there are no “sides” anymore. You are a family unit and there are no longer winners and losers in your arguments. Because as Rosie Perez said in White Men Can’t Jump, “Sometimes when you win, you really lose.” Trying to make yourself right in a fight, has a huge downside. You can make the other person feel not only wrong, but stupid, unimportant, unloved, and fearful of speaking their mind again. Do that enough, and you’re relationship will be irreparable. Therefore, check your ego at the door. If your partner is genuinely upset at something you did, don’t start attacking them back to invalidate their point. Be humble enough to listen to what he is trying to tell you bothers him, because you are not perfect and you can always improve yourself. If you show your other half that you are always willing to try to do better, he will follow your example when you ask the same of him.
3. Say thank you everyday.
Most of the time, the really bad fights happen because one person begins to feel unappreciated, and their feeling of being taken for granted comes to a head. You can stop a fight well before it starts brewing just by telling your boy/girlfriend or spouse “thank you” everyday. If you have a good guy or girl in your life, don’t let the little things they do ever go unnoticed. My husband thanks me for dinner every single night and I lavish him in appreciation when he in turn does the dishes (I really hate dishes!) We have the understanding of “thou who cooketh, doth not cleaneth” but just because we have that agreement does not mean we just ignore the work the other person has done for us. If you make saying thank you a religious practice, you will never need divine intervention to save your relationship.
If you want to learn how to handle your guy in a variety of sticky situations, check out my new book, Was it Something I Said? The answer to all your dating dilemmas on Amazon or wherever books are sold!