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yelling is a choice ( spinoff)

971 Views 29 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Peppermint
I didnt want to sidetrack the other thread, so i am starting a spinoff.

i fully fully agree yelling is a choice. but it is made in such a split secind , it is hard to change your mind. my dh interrupts me when we argue and then i talk louder and louder. not to blame him, but its like this vicious cycle . we both know it. we both work on it. but then we hit a point sometimes where we get so mad we dont care. its totally irrational.

what i want to know, is how people who say you never fight and never that is possible. i cant even imagine people who never fight. i mean in the self help books i have read, they always say that arguing and conflict are a part of life. and that it is just *how* you fight that is important. did you argue in the begining of your marriage and then over the years just learned how to co-operate? cuz i would say that each year is better with me and DH. so thats a good sign to me. i really want to know this. like do you have a busy lifestyle? or a pretty low-key one? alot of stressors? do you feel fufilled in your life?

i would like to know the difference between the life of the non-fighting people and the fighting ones. i have had friends who say thier parents never fought, but at the same time, there was this unsaid rule that conflict was to be avoided at all costs, and the kids ended up stifling alot of feelings as they grew up. so when i hear people say they NEVER fight i wonder what do they mean. how do they deal with conflict ? what happens when they are mad at thier partner/friend/familymember?

so this isnt a criticism of what anyone said on the other thread, i just wanted more elaboration on that so i could learn from it.
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I used to fight with my ex - I yelled, and cursed and you name it. It was horrible.

DH and I have only been living together for four years (married 2.5) and we have yet to have a fight. When we disagree, we talk it out and eventually reach a compromise. There hasn't been a lot of conflict yet, and I know that could change - but, so far, we've always managed to talk disagreements out without actually fighting.
I think some people just don’t fight. I’m not one of them so I can’t elaborate but my father doesn’t fight ~ ever. He doesn’t raise his voice ~ ever. He gets by in his relationships as well as anyone I know.
We've been married for nearly 13 years, together for 15, and we don't fight and yell. We just don't -- it's not a part of either of our personalities, and it wasn't a part of how our families related to each other when we were growing up. Conflict was okay, talking out differences was expected, but yelling was considered disrespectful. But we do have stress and conflicts at times. In the early days of our relationship, we would both get very quiet during these times. It wasn't a matter of not talking to each other as much as just not knowing what to say to each other. Fortunately, we figured out pretty early that we can work out most anything in writing. We used to write letters and notes, now we do emails and IMs. I think we are both more articulate in writing than in speaking, and I know that emotion doesn't prevent me from writing what I want to say in the same way that it interferes with my vocal abilities. If this wasn't such a great tool for us, I suspect we'd still have silent periods.
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We have been together for 7 years and maybe it is just semantics but I wouldn't say we fight. If you mean raising your voice, we do very occasionally, but it is rare and I am definately more of the "yeller" than my husband. He has raised his voice to me maybe 2 times in 7 years--- but then again he used to really stifle his feelings which is NOT good either.

Meanwhile, I used to be REALLY bad, very knee jerk reactor, one to fly off the handle easily, which is just as unhealthy... so we both had to meet eachother somewhere in the middle and that has been most effective all the way around.

I have REALLY learned to get my point and feelings across in a calm way without insulting, or yelling, or being mean (which I sometimes had problems with) and he has learned to get his feelings out and point across without hiding how he feels, being dishonest about issues (playing them down or dancing around them)... and I have to say that it has made our marriage SO much better.

That is not to say we are perfect. I really do get suspicious of people who claim they never fight. Okay, maybe their definition is different than mine and they think of fighting as fists raised or something --- but I mean, people who claim to not argue or ever get heated at all I think are not as open as they probably should be or would like to be in their relationships... either that or you have two REALLY calm, really controlled, exceptionally emotionally healthy people in the same relationship and if that is the case, more power to them!!

So in a nutshell, no, we hardly ever "fight".. but we still do have discussions and occasionally argue and no one is perfect so once in a while we do tend to resort back to our old habits... however, we have gotten SO much better in that I can usually catch myself right away and straight out tell him -- I have to leave the room for a minute because I feel like I am going to GO OFF... before I resort to yelling... and he can usually tell me he is scared to tell me what he's feeling because I might go off ... or something.. so you have to have really open communication and respect...

It is a work in progress...
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my first marriage we fought alot. silent treatment, evil looks, yelling, blaming pretty nasty stuff. we did end up divorcing. i have been with my current husband 6 1/2 years and we have only fought twice. it didn't involve yelling but some nasty things were said on his behalf which i will never forget. however, other than that we just talk things out. i make a huge effort to listen to him completely and to try and understand his position. i know he tries to do the same for me. we don't always agree with each other but have a great deal of respect for one another so some disagreements are just an agreement to disagree

a fight can only occur if both parties play a role in it. it is tough though, emotions can get high, and i was so angry in my first marriage towards the self-centered irresponsible ways of my ext that it would've been really hard for me not to fight back!

hope that helped,
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My husband and I don't fight ...well actually I should say we haven't for a long time...we had one doozy and it was all his fault...he made a huge mistake...but he was sorry, I forgave him and all was well.(no it wasn't an affair or anything remotely like that, just something really really thoughtless)

That was a couple years ago...but we don't stuff our feelings either...I deal with mine by meditating and thinking and often letting go...sometimes bringing it up in a discussion and often times we clarify our own feelings when we talk about other people and their brings a better understanding of our own feelings about things...we have conversations on a daily basis and deep discussions probable on a weekly or bi-weekly basis...we talk into the wee hours sometimes...we have been together four years but have known each other all our lives.

I am the yeller if one of us were to yell...occasionally I will lose it on the kids particularly my teen daughter but it happens less and less and I am learning how to take a second and decide to not yell.

With my ex we fought all the time...but he was a yeller and I yelled back...he was also an alcoholic and emotionally abusive so entirely different situation.

I have lived the contrasts between the is a decision but one easier to make when you are not being yelled at.
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ok i think there is a word definition i need to clear up before anyone else answers.

when i personally say "fight" i really mean "argue" . i include "fighting fair" ( no yelling and being mean) in my definition of "fight"

so if anyone else who posts could define "fight" and "argue" that would help cuz sometimes when i was reading the above posts it seemed like there were alot of different interpretations of those words.

also i appreciate those who are giving specifics as that is helping me alot to understand. i want to know HOW you deal with conflict if you dont yell. and when people say "we never fight" do you simply mean you argue instead? see what i mean?

so i am trying to get some alternative ways of dealing with anger and conflict. thank you so much for all your perspectives, it really is cool to hear this. specifics are really helpful. sorry if this particular post doesnt make alot of sense i have both dh and ds asking me questions while i type and i gotta go
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My husband and I don't fight or argue. We've been married for 12 years, and were together for 5 years before that.

I'm not sure how coherent I can be about this, because I think there are a number of different reasons why we don't fight. But here are some thoughts on it:

We both believe that fighting is wrong, and we also both believe that getting angry with each other is unproductive. Once in a blue moon, we do get angry, but choose not to express that anger in the heat of the moment. Instead, we think about why we're angry, and try to get to the root of the issue in our own minds. Then we talk about it once we're not angry anymore.

For example, my husband recently hit a parked car. It made me angry, because I thought he should have known that he might hit the other car in that situation, and because I thought it happened because he was frustrated to begin with and was driving carelessly as a result. I thought about it for a while, and realized that expressing my anger to him wouldn't do any good. The accident had already happened, and he undoubtedly already felt wretched about it. Yes, we did talk about it later, but at a time when we were both feeling calm.

So I guess you could say that there's a lot of emotional self-control involved. We both try to take responsibility for our own feelings, and avoid expressing those feelings in negative or potentially hurtful ways. We both care very much about how the other person feels.

We also generally use the rule that when we disagree about something where one of us cares a great deal about it, and the other cares less, we do whatever the person who cares more wants to do. Over time, we figure it evens out -- sometimes I care more about an issue, sometimes he cares more.

For issues where that doesn't work -- ones where we both care a great deal, or very important issues where it's important that we agree -- we usually just take a long time making a decision. We tend to talk about such issues for years before we take action or need to make a decision. We started talking about what kind of house we wanted to live in more than 10 years before we bought our first house, and what kind of schooling we wanted our children to have years before we decided to have children. Oftentimes, this means that we've talked so deeply about an issue beforehand, that when the time comes to actually make a decision, we barely need to discuss it -- the decision almost makes itself.

I would say that our lives are generally quite busy and full. During the course of our marriage, we've both completed graduate degrees while working full time, had jobs that required long hours, etc. I'd say we're both people who tend to be content with our lives, because we believe that our current situation is the result of our previous choices, and that we can always make new choices.
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thank you so much everyone for sharing. i just got done sharing all of this with my husband and we had a very nice conversation about it. i feel so good to have discussed some actual alternatives for our behavior rather than " we need to stop doing that" . we are going to try employing some of your tactics, like more active listening, maybe writing stuff down when we are mad, and trying to WAIT until te emotions simmer down before we try to address anything. we knew we shouldnt try to talk when we were angry, but soetimes it feels so urgent. hearing some examples of how that plays out to a better end really helps us. i liked the example about the car.. and captain crunchy the dynamics btwn me and dh sound like you and yours--so we took your advice to heart as well--we are going to try to recognise each others habits more. (oh and we listened to your song, and really liked it! yes we are voyers :LOL

neither of us grew up in 2 parent households so we dont have role models. we need lots of extra reminders and examples. i am really glad i posted about this.
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I think people who NEVER, EVER fight have no spark in their marriage (i.e. they are lacking positive sparks as well as negative sparks.) That certainly was the case with my SIL and her ex-dh.

My grandma never fought with my grandpa--but she should've. She should have stood up for herself once in awhile.
:LOL at the never arguing thing. My SIL used to say this about her marriage, (when my dh & I were having trouble with his alcoholism, how hurtful!) and I think it was just a new relationship thing.

DISAGREEING with someone is NOT a sign of weakness. If I had gone along with my dh's excessive drinking, allowed that to be ok, he would not be the strong, loving, enlightened & smart person he is today.

YELLING at each other? Not respectful, IMO. It's all about what you're teaching your kids... Every. Single. Interaction. you have with your p is teaching them how to treat other people.

My dh and I disagree, we have different opinions, we're human. We will ask each other to please lower their voice, and we hash it out--part of the fun of an argument is trying to explain your point in a passionate vocabulary! I feel good about our disagreements, because we are showing by example how intelligent people figure out a compromise.

If there IS no compromise, and the issue isn't pressing & we're getting mad, "We'll talk about it later, OK" is a great energy diffuser.

If we were screaming and throwing stuff at each other, well I might not feel so good about disagreeing.

This is where I feel the difference between "arguing" and "fighting" lies...My dh is the person I chose to raise my children with, and we need to feel good about the way we're talking to each other. We're not son was witness to an awful awful fight we had four years ago, about my dh's drinking. I regret that, and won't expose my babies to that again. They deserve better.
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In light of what stirringleaf posted about clarifying what we mean:

DH and I agree on most things - we have very similar views on life. When we do disagree about something personal (eg. he tends to push me to get ready when we're going out and I hate being pushed), we try to defuse it with humour if at all possible. Generally, we're willing to compromise on most things. As another poster said, if it's a case of one partner caring more than the other, we'll generally go with the person who cares most. A good example is circumcision...I don't agree with it, and dh doesn't really care either way (he's circumsized and doesn't see what the fuss is). So, if this baby-under-construction is a boy, he won't be circumsized.

When it comes to issues that don't directly bear on our life together, such as politics, we sometimes disagree. Actually, more often, I get very opinionated about things that dh is pretty laidback about. We'll discuss those issues, but if things start to get heated, we agree to disagree and maybe discuss it another time. (Most of the time, it turns out to be a communication thing, anyway. If dh sees both sides of an issue that I'm quite heated about, he often comes across as thinking my viewpoint is hopelessly wrong, instead of it being obvious he sees both sides.)

I guess the bottom line is that our marriage is much more important to both of us than any of the issues we disagree about are. So, we keep focussed on our priorities.
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Am not helpful in this thread because DH has anger issues. And learning how to deal with them is one of my life's tasks, I guess.
And it's hard. It's hard not to yell back when someone is always snarling or shouting or just acting inappropriately angry. Or overreacting inappropriately angrily.

My parents never argued in front of us, with rare exception. Heck, my father only lost his temper once that I can remember. Until we were all grown and out of the house (which has been for 20 years already), and since then they occasionally get snippy with each other, but it doesn't last more than a few minutes here & there.

DH's parents were nutcases, may they rest in peace.

Anyway, my previous relationship (not married but lasted close to a decade) was entirely peaceful. No arguments except for the stray ones here & there ... so I know it's not me.

Reading your posts helps me, strengthens me, to know that I can change my response to him. He may or may not have choice with his anger, but I do. It's not natural to me, to my upbringing or my nature altogether. And it will stop. It's just a matter of remembering that my response to any given situation or conversation or even provocation is entirely in my hands.


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My Dh and I argue in the sense of "I am feeling XYZ and I'd like to talk about it". Most of the time it's cool and calm, but everynow and then one of us gets snippier than usual. We aren't really "angry yellers" at each other. (Dh is sometimes just loud...its his voice naturally) But I have raised my voice to someone when I felt it was warranted. (ie I really felt it was vital to be heard RIGHT NOW!) But in general I am not a yeller, and we don't have alot of those kinds of arguments.

I am a debater by nature, and I hate it when someone just "dances" or "tiptoes" around an issue. So I lay it all out there and I can be pretty stubborn about having it dealt with.
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