Trust me, I too have had many bitter arguments with my ex-boyfriends and my husband. It is natural. I grew up watching my mom and dad argue almost every day. Arguments often start with a lot of frustration and angst. You are probably late for work or hate doing something. Your husband isn’t helping you with your tasks. You start off an angry rant and your husband continues. Relationships are healthier when you air out your grievances and dirty laundry.

But, the way you argue matters. Arguments and quarrels often become petty. Your partner accuses you of spending too much money on unnecessary things or he wants you to behave in a manner that you may not want to. There will be so many occasions where you just want to scream from the top of your lungs. But, at the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if it was all worth it.

Yelling Isn’t Going To Help You. Calmly Stating The Facts Will.

I remember the very first argument I had with my husband. It was just a few months after our wedding. My in-laws visited us for two weeks and stayed with us during that time (we moved to a different city after the wedding). Till that point, I had dressed the way I wanted to, the way I was more comfortable with – tees, jeans, and short kurtas. My husband began prodding me to wear a salwar to the railway station to pick them up. After a series of back-and-forths, I gave up and wore a salwar. But, that was just the beginning.

He would never let me wear a tee or let my hair loose for the whole two weeks. My mother-in-law would chide if I didn’t apply a bindi and my husband would make it a point that I abandoned fashionable stilettos. Two weeks later, after we dropped them off at the station, we had a huge fight in the car. But, instead of telling my husband what he did wrong, I simply started blaming his parents for my misery.

What I learnt was that his parents were initially skeptical of having me as their daughter-in-law as they viewed me as “outdoorsy” and “socially conscious”. My husband, in an effort to prove them wrong, tried to make me look “homely”. I told my husband that I am who I am, and he finally understood his mistake, and apologised for it. This argument finally ended after 2 days of cold shoulders and angry stares. Had I been calm enough to tell him that what he did was wrong, I could have avoided the unpleasantries.

Whatever The Reason May Be, Keep A Cool Head

You’ve seen heated debates on news channels (thanks to the incomprehensible Arnab Goswami) and you’ve seen them in TV serials and movies. If there’s one thing that these pieces of entertainment have indirectly taught us, is that the conversation is going nowhere if everyone is angry.

My uncle often used to say “chill out“, a phrase he picked up during a brief stint in the US back in the early 1990s. If we could just chill out before or during an argument, we can easily see what’s wrong. The next time, you and your partner are about to have a heated argument, just remind yourself to chill out and take some deep breaths. You will almost immediately feel the difference.

When In Doubt, See It From A Third Person’s Point Of View

My father-in-law used to tell me stories of Rajdeep Shukla, a man he befriended when he served in the Indian Army back in the 1970s. Shukla worked several jobs. He was a caterer, he worked in the officer’s laundry, and he even served in active duty. Whenever Rajdeep saw two people quarrelling, he would step in and tell them what he thought about the situation, without even being asked.

Believe it or not, it worked every time. Maybe, we should all step into Rajdeep Shukla’s shoes and see ourselves from his point of view. When you realise that you are fighting over petty things such as squeezing the toothpaste in the wrong areas, not making the bed every morning, or laziness to pick up the newspaper, you may realise that the fight really isn’t worth it.

Begin With An Apology

This may sound very scandalous. In fact, when I told my mother that she should try this, she asked me, “Saro, have you gone mad or what?” If you’re going to point out a mistake that your husband did, always begin with the words “I’m sorry to bring this up. But, it’s just that…” Using these words will immediately tell your husband that you are not angry but just befuddled by his actions.

At the end of the day, arguments, as long as they are meaningful, are healthy. But, you should ask yourself if an argument can be avoided. My parents recently had an argument while they were deciding upon a name for their newly adopted stray pup. Mom wanted to call it Tony while Dad wanted to call it Major. Neither of them realised that the dog was a girl and not a boy.