IT is that time of the year whereby the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is in full force. Everyone has to take part in this initiative to stop violence against women and children.
Lives have been lost and some women have been left crippled because of violence. Enough is enough! I was listening to some women narrating their sad abuse stories and I realised no explanation can justify violence. Even if the woman was wrong, a real man would not hurt a hapless woman or child. Of course women are victims, but I still believe they also have got a role to play in fighting GBV. Since most men have one common reason of trying to justify their actions by claiming they were pushed to the edge with the insults they got, then women should try and watch their tongues. Being mindful of what you say is very important. Hurling insults and calling your partner names is not the right way to solve problems as it only brings more trouble.
Fights are part and parcel of any relationship — after all, it’s about two people looking at the world from different viewpoints. What matters though, is how you are fighting. For things not to get out of hand in a relationship, always respect each other. With this, no matter how mad you become at each other, you will always know what to say and what not to say to your partner. Even the man will know when to walk out and cool down when he realises that things are getting out of hand. Maintaining control of your emotions is crucial to any constructive argument. As soon as you start to feel the discussion spiralling out of control, ask for time-out. With heightened emotions, it’s hard to think clearly. Physically removing yourself from the situation can help de-escalate it and calm yourself down. But be sure to provide an explanation to your partner instead of simply storming off, and also when you want to resume the discussion.
When tempers cool down, you need to solve the problem and not sweep it under the rug. Never
undermine your partner’s concerns by finding yourself saying, “It’s a small matter, why are you getting so worked up?” The fact that he brought up the issue, it means it has to be dealt with and once you give him that attitude it will snowball into a huge fight. Not addressing concerns at the start can potentially burgeon into bigger issues later on in your relationship, as well as fan the flames of your partner’s resentment.
The truth is that we can’t run away from arguments in a relationship, so it’s always advisable to fight fairly. Focus on why and how you are arguing. Are you trying to connect and find a solution, or simply . . . fighting to win and prove you are right? Fighting fair also means no name-calling, eye-rolling or biting remarks, no dragging out past transgressions and definitely no physical violence — this basically shows your respect for your partner has gone out of the window. Negativity and criticism will also more often than not get the other party on a defensive mode. Both partners should be mindful that such behaviour can be hard to take back and wears down the relationship over time. Stick to the facts and how it makes you feel when he does or say something.
It is also important to mind your tone when talking to your husband. This reminds me of another case where a man dragged his wife to divorce court complaining of her high pitched tone whenever she was talking with him. He said even their children were disrespecting him because of the way the woman talks to him. Mind your tone and remember the last time you took someone seriously when they were yelling, raging or speaking in a harsh manner? Keeping your tone soothing and soft but firm when approaching a less-than-fun conversation will help your partner be more receptive to listening to what you have to say and have potentially more positive impact on the outcome of your discussion. If you fail to control your tone, it can result in a fight which turns out to be a beating.
When having issues with your husband, also try to use positive prompts. Asking positive questions like, “How can we solve this?” indicates the problem isn’t insurmountable, as well as shows your interest in resolving the issue and not simply wanting things to go your way. Plus, it can also give both of you a fresh perspective of the situation. Men like it when they are given such respect and it is healthy rather than jumping into blame game. This way you can easily find solutions, but with the opposite way you will be adding more problems.
Always learn to amicably discuss issues and not be the only one talking and cutting him out. As much as you need to be listened to, the same applies to him. When you cut your spouse off, the message you are essentially conveying is that, ”What I’m about to say is more important than what you are saying”. You are sending a cue that you are more interested in dominating the conversation rather than allowing your mate to express his opinion.
If you find yourself interrupting your partner, cut your sentence short and apologise for being rude. It is unfortunate that during such times, some feel disrespected and fail to control their temper resulting in them doing the unacceptable behaviour, turning violent.
Some men turn to be violent because they need attention. Always remember the three encouraging words for your husband which he loves to hear always! Sometimes, in the mad rush of everyday schedules, people often forget the important things in life. Like taking the time to say a quick “I love you” to each other. Let your husband know that you love him by saying the actual words. It can make a huge difference in his entire day. Whether it is in the morning before he goes off to work or in the evening after a long day, saying these three words, does more than and also shows that you appreciate everything he does.
With this economic situation, stress levels are high and all he needs is your love and support so that he does not feel useless and turn out to be a violent man. Always watch your tongue! [email protected]