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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our third anniversary

Alex is definitely nicer than I am. Here's why...

Yesterday was our third anniversary. Three years!!! It feels longer, but in a good way. So much has happened!

Over these years, I've learned a few things things about marriage (and, of course, am still learning). Be a united front to your children. Say thank you. You're allowed to get annoyed. Kiss each other in the kitchen.

But Alex, who is older and wiser, does something really great. If we're in an argument, he says, "I love you" right in the middle. It's amazing.

Here's what he told me this morning: "The secret to a long and happy marriage is not the idea that nothing bad is ever going to happen. But it's that when something bad happens, you know how to get through it together. One of the most important things is that when you're having an argument, instead of ratcheting up the emotion, you diffuse it. In the middle of a fight, say, "I love you; you're the most important person in the world to me," even if at that moment, those words are the hardest ones to choke out because you're so mad. It reminds you both of the big picture. It doesn't make it instantly better, but it takes it down a notch. And in the cool-down period afterward, you're not left questioning. You know everything is going to be ok. Half an hour after the fight, it's over and you feel good."

Great idea, right? I cannot tell you what a difference it makes. I'm still too hotheaded to do it myself, but I'm so glad he does. :)

Also, have you ever read this Huffington Post article about 15 marriage secrets? It's fantastic, funny and enlightening.

What little secrets and tips do you have for relationships? Do you fight fair? I'd love to hear...xoxo

(Photo of our wedding by Max Wanger)

149 comments:

ashleesanders said...

I'm totally gonna try this from now on. The fights seem to come more frequently when we're under stress and pressure, don't they? Married to my sweetheart for almost 2 years now and...we're still learning. Thanks JO!

somethingus@blopspot.com

anne taylor said...

Thank you so much for this ! That is such a great thing to remember. My husband and I just celebrated our first year of marriage, and I think this will really be a good thing to add to our arsenal.

ale norris said...

that's perfect advice. when i was younger, i always thought, "i'll be in a relationship that's just naturally easy, no fighting, no bickering ever." yeah. i've been very happily married a year and a half, and happy to find out that's just not the case all the time! and it IS important to clench your teeth, say that 'i love you' and remind yourself (and your spouse) that you're doing this to get a better outcome in the end.
congrats on three years!
-ale

hotpotdc said...

I love this idea. My husband and I are coming up on 3.5 years of marriage and he truly has the cooler head in the relationship. He never yells or says mean things and he always treats me like the love of his life. And the crazy thing is, the fact that he does that for me makes me want so badly to do the same for him that in just a few years of marriage, my once fiery temper has nearly gone out. It's amazing how much better of people we can become when it's the people who love us the most counting on us. Same goes for being a parent now too I think!

Elizabeth Benfield said...

congrats!

husband and i are about to celebrate our 5th anniversary. it has been pretty rough at times but i think something that helps us fight fare is that while we were engaged, we agreed we wouldnt yell at each other in anger. we can both be brutal with our words and we decided that we would always argue calmly. of course sometimes i get so mad i want to yell and spit and he just makes me calm down before we talk and it makes the conversation turn out a lot better :)

Kiana said...

I think the most important thing to do when you´re fighting is to take a step back and cool down. In the heat of the moment, you´ll both say things you don´t mean and even if you make up, you´ll remember those things later. I think this is true of any relationship not just ones between spouses.

ashley faye said...

Oh my goodness!!! you got married on the same exact day as my best friend heather! wild. i was her maid of honor and we had so so much fun. how exciting. she also has a little girl a bit younger then toby ... blogs at woahbabyblog.com

cheers! that def just excited me.. a lot. hehe

Briana said...

Happy three years! And what great advice. I am definitely the hot-head in my marriage, though. Maybe I can get my husband to try this? ; )

Janice said...

That sounds amazing! Great advice. I also think I'm too hotheaded to be able to do it myself. But will definitely share this with my husband. Most of the times when we fight, I get angry and he gets defensive, which makes me angrier. haha. That's the typical scene right? Still trying to figure out the best way to "fight" but I think walking away in the heat of the moment has helped in the past, even if it's after I've said some things that I shouldn't have.

Janice said...

Oh and yes, Happy belated Third Anniversary! :)

Spokesgirl said...

This is so cute. My husband and I frequently will hug during an argument, because it is hard to be mad at each other while hugging. Also, we ask each other permission to nag. This avoids the rabbit hole of bringing up something annoying at the wrong time (you know those days when you just don't want to hear it) and allows the "nagee" a free deferral. I've found that the deferred conversation is much more constructive when the other party is ready to listen.

phdiva said...

I read about a couple that will put on oven mitts when they are having a fight. Too hard to take yourself too seriously with oven mitts on!

Whitney said...

My fiance and I blame annoying little household things on our imaginary roommate Sam rather than nagging each other. For example, if the milk is left out on the counter, we can bond over a mutual "Fricken Sam! He/she always does that!"

I wrote about it on my blog here: http://whitbull.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/worst-roommate-ever

ClosetCravings said...

I really like the "I love you" trick. Whenever I got mad or frustrated as a child, my mother would say "don't smile." She would say it over and over again until I cracked. I think finding a way to smile or laugh during an argument or frustrating moment really helps to diffuse the situation. Works great for kids and adults.
Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

Jess said...

Wise words, Alex. I'm engaged and will be heeding them for years to come.

I also love and try to remember these practical, funny and down-to-earth marriage tips: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lydia-netzer/marriage-secrets_b_1459770.html

Lauren Ashley said...

Happy 3 years! We just celebrated our 1st on the 27th. :-)

I love this idea, I'm definitely going to try it. What a wise hubby you have. When I have a fight with my hubs, I try really hard to use "I feel" statements instead of "You" statements. Like: "I feel over whelmed when the kitchen is left a mess," instead of: "You never do your dishes!" It can help keep things from getting explosive. Cheers!

Tracy Evelyn said...

My husband always does that. Its so nice yet so infuriating at the same time. It makes it easier to end the fight at least! Such great men we have!

Melissa Blake said...

Wonderful idea! Happy anniversary to you both! xoxo

Allison McGregor said...

Whenever I meet people who have marriages I admire, I ask them - What's the secret? (I'm getting married in April so I'm soaking up all the info I can get)! Recently I got two really good ones:

1. Always put the other person before yourself, but it has to go both ways, that way you will both feel so taken care of and so grateful to the other person

2. Keep the fights clean, and the sex dirty ;)

(Hey if it works, it works)

Congratulations on your anniversary!!!

Meghan at Two Leaf Clover

two-leaf-clover.com

Le Smurf said...

What a gorgeous man and what a lovely thing to do and say....

I totally dont fight fair, too hot headed with red hair and a temper when things arent going my way. :(
He's so rational of course which makes me look so much worse but I do love him muchly and I always have his back so maybe that makes us quits??

I should try saying this but I fear he'd keel over from the shock and I aint no first aid expert! ;)

Ann said...

Happy Anniversary!

I'm looking forward to trying that trick the next time my boyfriend and I argue. :)

Mariana said...

My husband (of 6 years now) is so calm and non-confrontational and rational - nothing like me. It used to infuriate me that we couldn't fight!

I would get angry about something, and he would say things like "Now, how can we figure this out/fix this/solve this problem together?" and I would be, like, "ARRRRGH!!! I don't want reason and logic!".

Now I cherish this about him.

abi bechard said...


I sometimes think about the rhyme "Going On A Bear Hunt".

"We're going on a bear hunt
We're going to catch a big one
What a beautiful day
We're not scared

Look! Mud! Thick oozy mud!
We can't go over it
We can't go under it
We've got to go through it."

Silly I know, but in the heat of "mud" it's good to remember there is only through. And both of us are going through. It may be my own self inflicted mud. But it takes both of us to get to the other side.

We say "I love you" a lot while arguing. Also "how can I help you?" and "what would you have me do?". Even if we don't have an answer it good to hear that we are in this together.

D2 said...

I love this Joanna. Well put Alex. Congrats on 3 yrs. We will be celebrating 3 years this fall. My husband has already had the most awful thing happen to him (his late wife's passing, leaving him w/ 2 young babies) - so he is very calm about everything. I think he knows that we can get through anything. And he too says "I love you" during arguments and it puts things in perspective.

Amanda said...

That's so awesome to hear someone else does that too. My husband always diffuses our arguments like this, except he'll either try to hug me or be sweet right in the middle of it. I'm way to stubborn to do it, but the fact that he does makes such a difference!

Delphine said...

First, damn, Alex doesn't look 13 years older! Good for him!

My boyfriend and I do this "I love you" trick too. It is really great. We're about the same age, but having both grown up in abusive homes has made the peace between us very important. I think that some people fight because they crave drama and intensity. But when you really love someone you don't want them to suffer, and so it's a bit easier to say "I love you" while you make your point :)

Geetika Rudra said...

Congratulations!


www.readgeetikasblog.blogspot.com

Petya K. Grady said...

My (American) husband and I just celebrated our fifth anniversary! He is also older and wiser and says that very same thing to me. Do we see a trend here? Do women have trouble fighting right?

After a few years of marriage, we figured out that I can't stay mad if my husband switches to speaking Bulgarian. I am from Bulgaria and out of love for me and for my family, Kyle has been learning our language. His Bulgarian is very basic and he sounds so adorable and cute when he tries to speak it. I just can't stay mad. Fight stops and I want to kiss his face!

VintageDanielle said...

He IS wise, I couldn't do that. I think one tip I learned is that it's ok to have space from each other; we don't have to be joined at the hip.

Use humor to difuse stressful situations.

Sarah Jane said...

I love this, I'm totally going to keep this in the back of my mind.

Erin said...

Happy Anniversary, Joanna and Alex! We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary on the 28th – yeah, august weddings! Honestly, I think there's so much value in having "make up" sex. Usually if we're feeling bristly with one another it's because we don't feel connected. We've not been communicating. Sex gets those lines of communication going real fast.

Alexa said...

What a lovely idea! Definitely props to Alex for this one. Happy 3 years!

Liz Lauren said...

congrats!! beautiful picture!

http://lavieenliz.com

m said...

Nice post.

The two things that make my couple work are that we take the time to kiss each other when we get back from work and tell the other we're glad to see them. Also we try never to leave the house in the middle of an argument but rather to talk it through at least to break the tension (it took a while to get the second one working but it helps a lot to appologize for what you did wrong and to explain your side of the story).

Bethie said...

I LOVE that tip! Thank you!

Another great tip about fighting we got from an older couple was to get naked. If you're naked, you can't take yourselves so seriously!

jarymane said...

My new husband and I are reading a book called "The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work", by John Gottman. I'm a neuroscientist and I don't believe anything I read unless there's data to support the claims. This book is based on lots of data, I love it...

ANYWAY, Gottman describes what Alex does as being crucial to marital success, he calls it making a repair attempt. And, apparently, it's just as important to ACCEPT the repair attempt as it is to offer it. So you're both doing a great job, because you're allowing him to attempt a mend!

Also, bit congrats on 3 years of marriage guys:)

.sa said...

I am not married. And I don't feel any need to get married.
But me and my "husband" have been together for over 10 years. We are 36 years old now and have a kid and one more on the way.

We very rarely have fights, but we discuss and argue a lot and many times we up to "agree to disagree" and this is something I think is important too.

And what I have learned is that we almost always "actually" agree in the end... we just go ahead about it in very different ways..

You can have different opinions and views and ideas and interest on a lot of things, as long as the goals and your visions are the same.

Not get stuck on the little things.

Keep day-dreaming about the future. Make that future happen together.

We support each others interests and give each other space if we need too have it... and work equally hard to achieve what we want in our life.

One advice that is very, very good... is to brag about your partner to others :)
And let him/her know it.




Catherine Masi said...

This is wonderful + true. And, boy, did this hit home. Alex, much like my husband, is a wise man. It helps to shift things just a teeny tiny bit- which is just enough to keep things in check. I feel pretty darn lucky that my husband is of that same breed... he asks me to go over to him and sit on his lap so he can hug me. And, though it's most times the last thing I feel like doing, I eventually end up melting into him. Enjoy a beautiful marriage together. It sounds like you've got the important things figured out earlier on. Feel blessed for that!

Unknown said...

Happy anniversary!

My husband and I been together for six years and rarely have disagreements. If we do find ourselves disagreeing about an important issue (for instance, deciding whether our daughter should be spoken to in our two languages), we put things into perspective. We tell ourselves: "If this is our only concern, then life is pretty fantastic." My husband and I have a healthy child, a place to call home, jobs and each other. Life is too short and we've been through too much (a sister passing away from cancer at a young age, a father having several heart attacks, harder times living in Communist Eastern Europe) to sweat the small stuff.

kendra said...

a friend of mine once told me that whenever he and his wife start to argue, he takes her hands. They hold hands the entire time. He said it's impossible to get angry at eachother when they are having such intimate contact at that moment. They don't always want to hold hands, but it cools the argument down. It becomes less about winning.

Kathleen Heffner said...

Happy Anniversary!

Jo said...

Congrats on your three years!

Your advice reminds me of a This American Life episode I heard a while back called "The Sanctity of Marriage" (episode #261). One of their segments is about a researcher who found that couples who found a way to diffuse the anger in arguments stayed together a lot longer than other couples! So interesting - I recommend you check it out!

emily o. said...

My husband just did this to me last week...it is pretty impossible for me to be upset any more after he does it!

Nicole said...

Happy 3 year anniversary Joanna and Alex!!!

Stacy said...

Congratulations! Alex truly is very wise, I may try that in the future, tell him thanks! For any relationship just letting things go. Forgiveness may hit your pride for awhile but it ends up helping the relationship so much more and in the long run feels A LOT better than that dirty feeling of satisfaction you get for holding on.

Elizabeth Lee said...

Happy anniversary!! And when I meet my future husband, I'm going to try this for our future fights! x

Brooklyn said...

happy anniversary! our 3rd was yesterday also!

VermaChili said...

One random bit of advice I got (stole) at a friend's bridal shower is to fight naked. I've only done it once, but it takes you and your spouse out of angry-mode into shockingly amused mode. And everyone knows that once you start laughing a the middle of a fight, the fight's importance immediately diminishes.

Katie said...

Happy anniversary! I have heard holding hands while you argue diffuses the argument really fast. My husband and I are both hotheaded people so it can blow up pretty quickly if we're not careful. I like the ideas about "permission to nag" and blaming things on a ghost or phantom roommate. We sometimes blame things on our two naughty dogs when it's clearly been one of us, and it always makes us laugh.

Rosie said...

Nice advise! BUT I think it's helthy to argue and this i love you sounds like it might be a little dismissive... Yeah, it's nice to know that youre loved and everything, but there's obviously something thatvneeds to be addressed to move forward or it will keep popping up because it keeps getting cut off by I love yous.

Anyway, CONGRATS to you guys!

Polly Rowan said...

Oh I love this! I might try it with my boyfriend! Love the kissing in the kitchen too, because the only thing we fight about is cooking together!
x

Vanessa Marie said...

I had a psychology teacher once who also did marriage counseling and she told our class that when you start to fight with your partner she recommending immediately laying down in your shared bad and holding each other (if you're fighting at home). I haven't tried it but it seems like a good idea to me. Maybe just holding hands would help to diffuse the situation as well. A human touch can go a long way.

Tawny said...

I love this...Alex's words and the marriage secrets. Thank you...and Happy Anniversary!

Ali Masterson said...

You are married to a wise man! (and very sweet - it brought tears to my eyes) I'm going to try this out next time my husband and I have an argument. Which should be soon since I have raging pregnancy hormones. :)

ginna said...

The saying we use most often when we are fighting is "WE'RE ON THE SAME TEAM!" it helps put it into perspective that while we may be differing on opinions, our ultimate goals and dreams are the same. Happy Anniversary!! I remember your wedding day like it was yesterday :)

Ana said...

Happy aniversary :)

Jen said...

I'm hotheaded like you and would probably get pissed at him if he said I love you in the middle of a fight, but I'll try it! lol.

Also, today's MY third anniversary, Hope you enjoyed yours! :)

surabhi said...

many many wishes joanna. i have been reading your blog for past three and half years (never commented though). you have brought me few of the very nice things and thoughts, thank you! wish you luck
love
surabhi

Jennifer of JennySue Makeup said...

He sounds like a total gem and a keeper!! Happy anniversary to you both!

Amie said...

I love this!! Great idea! Something I do when I'm angry is realize - this is my forever person....am I really going to stay mad forever?! NO! Of course not. Looking at the big picture helps me realize how small the argument usually is - and it also reminds me how far we've already grown & that we will continue to grow past this current issue. Happiest Anniversary!!

Alexa said...

what a lovely habit! one to tuck in my back pocket for one day, for sure :)

happy three years!

Harleigh Ellsworth said...

My husband and I took the word "you" out of our arguments. Rather than say, "You did such and such" we say, "I feel unheard/hurt/etc..." It takes accusation out of the situation and turn an argument into a communication. :)

Marty and Julia said...

congrats! you have accomplished such beautiful things together within those three years.

Michelle * Viva Revival said...

Congratulations! My husband is nicer than me too. He's definitely said 'i love you' during a fight. He's a much better fighter than me.

Serena [verdepomodoro] said...

I need to try. I m on third month of marriage..

Heba said...

nice post. congrats ,dear :)

http://girlynote.blogspot.com/

Jill said...

LOVED that HuffPo article! Some of the best, most realistic advice I've read on marriage (12 years now). Thanks so much for sharing it. And Happy Anniversary!

Nina said...

We turn every argument into a joke. 99% of the time, one person doesn't really care that much about what the argument is about, and its that person's responsibility to make the other person laugh. We don't belittle the argument, we just don't take it so seriously. It makes it so much easier to listen and solve a problem and not hold a grudge. Most arguments turn into laugh-fests.

mikky said...

Happy anniversary! It sure goes by fast. I really enjoyed reading this post, now I`m off to read that list of secrets, gonna learn a thing or two!
Many happy returns.

:)
mikky
www.todaloos.com

Baylee said...

Oh man. What a guy! That's an awesome idea. Joe's always first to say it after... I may or may not say it after for a while.. (I too am hot headed) But I want to try this.
Congrats on 3 years! What a feaat!!

Baylee said...

Oh man. What a guy! That's an awesome idea. Joe's always first to say it after... I may or may not say it after for a while.. (I too am hot headed) But I want to try this.
Congrats on 3 years! What a feaat!!

Lotta said...

this is such a wonderful post - love it

anilia said...

We have a little trick similar to yours. We have a catch phrase to point out that the other one is being unreasonable. One of us will say, "I stayed up all night last night trying to think what would piss you off, and this is what I came up with."
I'll say that we only ever fight about little things and it might not work for more serious arguments. It almost always leaves us laughing.

Barbara said...

Happy anniversary! Alex sounds like a keeper! Our secret - never lose your sense of humor!

ordinette said...

We had our third anniversary as well, with a toddler of 21 months.
I am not sure whether we will be able to practice that "I love you" trick since we don't tend to be that extrovert with words. The last three years have been full of ups and downs and the arrival of our son has made things a little difficult to manage. I found that Huffington post article so conforting and helpful! I really needed to read something intelligent that just reflects the way I feel right now! thanksssssss!!!!!

megan holeva said...

Happy Anniversary!!

Kelima K Kelima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annie leavitt said...

Coming closer to our tenth anniversary and my only marriage secret comes from my friend,

Oneday a happily, older married couple stopped them and said, "want to know the secret to a happy marriage?"

Our friends said YES,

The wise wife leaned in and whispered to her, "ten minutes a day."

Amen.

Miss Margarita said...

Happy anniversary!

Jessica Thiessen said...

In our pre-marital counselling four years ago, our dear friends and mentors gave us advice very similar to what your husband does. It's the best. Whenever we are fighting or arguing, one of us reminds the other that WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. It is not husband vs. wife but husband and wife vs. the world. Same team. It's fantastic and always calms us down.

Sarah said...

Married for three years in a month.

Of the two of us, my husband is definitely more sensitive, so I always have to remind myself of that because the last thing in the world that I want to do is hurt the man I love so dearly even when I'm mad. It takes a saint...which is to say I don't always manage.

Mayela said...

I'm on a long distance relationship, and I do a similar thing when we are online... I'll just say "yes sexy man (or whatever compliment I can think on), you are right, you are always right" and I will make him laugh instantly.
When we are together and he begins to be stubborn I will throw myself into his arms and starts kissing him so he can't talk anymore :)

LaLa said...

My boyfriend and I have argument/rough day boxes. We took a paint fan deck and cut apart all of the paint colors. Then we each wrote things we love about one another, favorite memories, inside jokes, something romantic that we felt but didn't say in the moment... When we're arguing we go to the box and pick a paint chip out. It has never failed to calm us and allow us to remember how loved we are by the other person. We have cards to fill out by the boxes for when we want to add a new memory or thought.I look forward to keeping this tradition going. I think it's the romantic keepsake.

Christina said...

Happy Anniversary! I've been married for six years and we still have a hard time maneuvering through an argument - I too am a bit (or probably a lot, according to my husband) hot headed, but I strive to be as mature as Alex. I'm trying the "I love you" thing next time. Thanks for the advice!

Lauren said...

What wonderful marriage advice! Congratulations on 3 years!

Lucy said...

This is a great idea to try out- although I have to say I think if my boyfriend said that to me, my instinct would be, "Yes I know, now back to the issue!" :)

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Joanna! Can I have a clone of Alex?! If I have a cloning machine, that's exactly what I would do! This is what separates a great guy from the rest! You are so lucky!

Hollie said...

Happy congrats on your 3 years! Our 4th anniversary is just around the corner, and what an amazing 4 years it has been. Thank you for sharing the wonderful advice, that husband yours is definitely one of the good ones.

The Egg said...

this is one of the sweetest things i've ever heard!
you got yourself a great catch!!

xo the egg out west.

That Girl said...

I really, really love this! What great advice. I am a hothead too. :) I adore the idea of saying "I love you" instead of something rash and unkind. Thank you for this!

Charity @ http://atallshipandastar.blogspot.com

Meant for a Moment Designs said...

This is beautiful. Thank you.

Mariane Yui said...

Joanna, I´ve just known your blog and I´m loving it. You write such lovely things, and we can see that everything was written by heart.
Thank you for sharing all this amazing thoughts.

Marcela said...

When we have arguments we hold hands...even when we don't want to...it makes such a difference and immediately we apologize to each other. It definitely takes two...

~ Sylvie said...

My husband tells me he loves me too, in the middle of arguments. And then I have to say I love you back (I mean, not really "have to" but you know..) and it does instantly make everything a tad better. Good trick Alex, and to my hubby.

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing this! I really like the idea of just saying 'I love you' to put perspective on things. x

http://www.jenventure.blogspot.co.uk

Sarah said...

aw that is so cute! Often times my husband just stares at me with a piercing and loving gaze deep into my eyes and with out even saying it I know he loves me and I realize how STUPID I'm being for ranting off about whatever and I start giggling which turns into belly laughter and then I'm mad that he didn't hear me out :) He's the best.

Ckusino said...

I love this post Jo! Thank you so much for taking the time to blog with such heart. <3

Nomadic D. said...

Love this idea, love this post. We just celebrated our 5 years of marriage this June, though we've been together more than 12. And we're still learning!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/five-years.html

Honestly though, it just gets better and better, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Yes, it takes work, absolutely, but it is so worth it!

Sarah said...

I'm the hotheaded one in our marriage also. I'm going to have to try the "I love you" trick. My poor husband. lol

http://moonstruckmaybe.blogspot.com/

beth - ann said...

Going on 5 years this weekend :) this is a great idea! love the post. thanks!

http://greenwhaleblog.blogspot.com/

JeNifer said...

haha!! this was awesome to read and made me smile because my husband has done the same thing to me during an argument! Alex, u are awesome! and Joanna, I'm just like u - too hotheaded to say it first, haha. Lucky us our husbands are the nicer ones! ;)
it really is great advice, thank u for sharing with all of us! Also: Happy Anniversary!!

Kristine said...

Wow, that is awesome and so inspiring! I am definitely going to try that one day.

Happy 3 years!

Sandy said...

I really enjoyed your perspective and the article that you shared. Thank you and Happy Anniversary!

Stepford said...

Congrats!!!

My husband has this face he puts on and no matter how angry I am at him it makes me smile and laugh, incredibly infuriating but great argument diffuser :)

Brittany said...

happy anniversary!! you guys are really the cutest couple. plus, what a great piece of advice. it really is so important to keep things in perspective.

Manda said...

My Hubs does the same thing. :) We're some lucky gals, eh? :)

We're about to celebrate Year 3 in 13 days, as well.
So much congratulations sent your way!
Eat Cake

laurasaurus said...

My boyfriend of 4.5 years and I live together. Recently I've found myself unconsciously keeping a tally of who does what around the apartment and then getting resentful that I do more than he does. It's caused a handful of arguments that make tiny unnecessary cracks in our relationship so we made a promise to each other the other day to start look for things to do for each other to make each other's loads a little lighter...you know, random acts of kindness. So far it's made a world of difference!

Jade Sheldon said...

I'm a newlywed (married in May!) but we have been together 5 years. We used to get into fights that would escalate to tears and anger and storming off, but we have learned to come together and talk things out instead of continuing to hurt each other and complicate things by running off. My husband is also an "I love you man." He uses it to get my attention and help me focus on what we mean to one another and not just the silly fight we are in at the moment.

When he is really upset I've learned to gently grab him by the shoulders and look deep into his eyes. When he is focusing on me instead of being upset, it really grounds him.

monica said...

big congratulations for your third anniversary! and yes alex is very wise. it's such a wonderful thing to think out to get through an argument in the best way. when i argue with my fiancè i sometimes wonder if it means we're gonna break up or what, but saying that i love you in the middle makes everything clearer; it's just an argument, we'll get over it, don't worry.

great!!

tulipsandcarnaval said...

This post was heart warming :o) Like his advice. Congratulations to you both!

I guess my best advice for relationships is don't be selfish because a relationship involves two people, you are doing it together, thinking of the other person, understanding and respecting him is extremely important.

Like my father always told me, if you get in a relationship think "I will make this person happy" and not "he will make me happy" because it's giving that we receive. Aw, miss my father now

fluff and fripperies said...

Great tip, and happy anniversary you guys. You're so cute together! XO

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

Lovely I wish you many more! Um yes I love the whole idea of love you thing I am a native New Yorker and it comes out when I'm mad and my Spanish side lol but he can do it and he will stand back and smile because he says how cute I am cursing im all the languages I know it calms him uh for me it all depends on timing lol oh a hug give a hug he does this a lot I get irritable while he's doing it,but it does make a difference lol oh and im the older one lol

Janet said...

Very cool Alex - Joanna, you're a lucky girl!
xo

nicole said...

Tried this today... and it totally worked. Diffused the situation, and we're moving on to a fun-filled long weekend. Thanks, Alex and Joanna! And HAPPY ANNI! xo.

Janan said...

We've been married nearly 16 years and always keep the fights clean. We just aren't mean. No name calling, swearing, threats etc...We don't even say Shut-up. I take that back. I did say it once early on and the look on his face was like I slapped him. Never Again! We apologize sure, often, but we're careful not to say things during the fight that will need additional apology. And it makes make-up a breeze. My parents were the same way.

look see said...

My boyfriend and I aren't married, but we do the "I love you" in the middle of our fights and it really does diffuse the situation!

Eva M. Vázquez said...

What a wonderful post!
Thanks for this great trick!

loro said...

I'm sorry but this post and especially the comments are creepy as hell.

"My boyfriend is so logical and level-headed, I'm too hotheaded and hysterical." Over and over and over and over.

Really? Nobody sees a pattern here, a pattern that collides with the culture where women are always the hysterical ones who overreact, and the men are always cool and logical and have all the right answers?

Oh, but he's so "experienced". Oh, but he's so "level-headed".

Ladies, we are entitled to get angry. We are entitled to voice our opinions and grievances in a conversation / fight WITHOUT our feelings getting derailed by a "diffusing" 'I love you', which is entailed to shut you up and make you "see things in perspective", or rather diminish the importance of your grievance whilst reinforcing the man as the one who is always right.

The amount of comments in this thread where all the women think this is okay, I am getting chills.

Anger and pain are ways of our healthy brains to tell us something is not right. We are not crazy, we are not hysterical. Take yourself seriously and stop listening to your partner for all the "right" answers.

Jesus Christ Almighty.

Abigail said...

What a love story! Yes, fighting can be healthy for a relationship once in a while :)

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rellimarie said...

this made me cry. love it.

Rose said...

he's a keeper isn't he- what a great thing to do

wakako said...

what a lovely lovely lovely post:)
-wakako

Paige Geiger said...

Love this idea! I get too worked up and this is a great way to diffuse things. I'm going to try it, thanks!

Kate said...

I totally did this today while we were just bickering (also, i'm SO stubborn and i was incredibly tired and pissed at him and i can't believe I actually bit the bullet and said it) and the crap just melted away! Best advice ever!

alli/hooray said...

That is a wonderful idea! Right before we got married, a candid friend of ours told us her best marriage advice: she & her husband have a rule that they have to fight...naked. (It usually ends any argument quickly!)

Ever since then, whenever my husband & I start to bicker, one of us will say "wanna fight about it?" in reference to our friend's advice. It has saved us from so many silly arguments & given us something to laugh about years later.

Kerri Lynne said...

Wonderful advice! :) Happy anniversary to you both!!

Whit said...

Wow, I just tried this the other night and it soo worked! It definitely helped the after-fight uneasiness that occurs too! Thank you!

Janna said...

That's great, my hubs does that exact same thing but not when we're fighting, instead just when I'm annoying him. It's a gentle way to say, please stop doing that. Also, he and I have had a few fighting rules since the beginning of our marriage that I think have really kept us out of trouble 1)no storming out before we have resolved things/have decided to agree to disagree 2)No name calling and keep cursing to minimum, and 3)never threaten to leave the relationship.

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sajith said...

Really great to read. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful husband, of course he is the luckiest husband, as he got a constant learning wife.
Normally women never learn Not offensive. just a fact. :)

Happy Anniversay wishes to you

Regards
Sajith

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pleg2011 said...

My husband has been married a couple of times before. I had been in a bad relationship before. One evening I looked at him and said we needed to talk. Led him out to the deck. He was scared to death. LOL I started talking (not yelling) about something I didn't like that he did and we worked out a resolution. Then I asked if there was anything on his mind that he didn't like about what I was doing. He said no at first and I said bull. He was shocked that we really did talk. I told him that it didn't solve anything to yell and scream.
On the 27th, we will have been married 3 years. Happily, yay!

Aukele Cockett-Askew said...

In previous relationships I never humbled myself to say I love you in the middle of a fight. With this relationship, I find myself changing everything that was wrong about me in my last relationships - and part of that was biting the bullet and saying I love you in the middle of an argument. Honestly, I think it's saved us from really big situations.

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