Why Fight

Anyone actively recovering from an addiction would be able to rattle off their list of triggers. I am NOT saying I’m addicted to fighting(!), but if you asked me today what things trigger fights for us, I could rattle off a list before you’d even finished the question. To get your mind going about your own triggers, here are three of ours:

  • Holidays – Especially holidays where one member of this partnership is the star for a day (aka birthdays, father’s day, and mother’s day). Keeping expectations in check is key for us! Also, my emotions can run a little high when we’re away from family on significant holidays (like Christmas), so we try to anticipate this and head off any conflict.
  • My Driving – Not because I’m a bad driver, but because I perceive Ryan’s scrutiny (even though it is seriously nonexistent!) when he’s in the passenger seat, and I get defensive. (All he has to do is raise his eyebrows, and I’m on the defensive!) Now I just avoid the situation and make him drive almost all of the time. 🙂
  • Sleep Regulation – Sleep is huge! First, we both get more irritable on inadequate sleep. (Watch out when I have a newborn!) Second, me trying to regulate Ryan’s rather irregular sleep patterns never leads to good things!
I’m not saying these are the only three reasons we fight, but during my handful of years married to my opposite, I’ve gotten much better at avoiding these triggers, as well as a few others. It is freeing to be in a situation and feel yourself sidestep an argument. Knowledge is power!

What are some of your triggers? And how are  you at avoiding them? 

Linked up with The Better Mom.

  • Ashley Ditto
    June 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Sleep is HUGE! Amen! We also fight about driving, I am a bad back seat driver. I need to let up on my husband! 🙂

  • Jennie
    June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Oh, boy. This is an interesting subject.

    I took this color code quiz the other day, but the interesting part wasn’t reading about my color, it was reading about Travis’! I couldn’t believe how spot-on it was; it helped me understand him a lot, and why we are so different!

    A lot of our tension stems from the fact that he is very introverted, and I am very extroverted. But we both make an effort to accommodate the other person; he comes to gatherings and parties, and I spend a lot more time at home than I normally would.

    Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint it and even more so to admit it, but knowing what sets you off in an argument is a great asset.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      We took the color code when we were dating, but I think we’ve both changed a ton since then. And also, I don’t know how well we really knew ourselves back then! We should take it again!

      Yep, it looks like opposites really do attract! Sounds like you guys are doing great negotiating your introvert / extrovert ways, though!

  • Emily
    June 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I can totally relate! Hunger is a major trigger for me. Brian’s learned now if I’m acting really cantankerous to ask, “When’s the last time you ate something?” Once I have a snack, I’m so much more rational!

    Sleep and stress also affect us a lot, and being around family, which is often a cause of stress. It’s good to know what your triggers are, I agree that knowledge is power!

    • Erica {let why lead}
      June 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Hunger is huge for us too! If we’re starting to get catty, we’ll stop in the middle of it and go find some food. It’s essential!

      Thanks so much for commenting, Emily!

  • Becky K
    June 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Oh, too funny. Where do I begin? You’ve hit on some real wisdom here, Erica – knowing my triggers has helped tremendously to stop an argument before it starts. In fact, I’m planning to post a devo next week on the very lovely topic of hormones. Trigger, anyone? Anyone? I always love to visit here – thanks for another thoughtful post!

  • Evanthia of merelymothers
    June 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Sleep, oh yes, sleep! And I find that I’m very responsive to my husband’s moods: if he’s cranky from a long day at work, I tend to pick up on that and feel agitated myself, which is EXACTLY the opposite of helpful.

    I’m trying to be more conscientious, myself, about my triggers, and what leads us into silly little tiffs. Of course, this takes a lot of control and introspection. Wish me luck!

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