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How do people handle small spats between each other???

My SO and me had a small spat over something so stupid. A teenage boy was walking down the road on a narrow street, cars parked on both sides. My SO told me to honk at him, so I did. The boy turned around, gave a nasty look, which I expected. That I why sidewalks exist. He should of walked on the sidewalk. The boy was wrong, so what. Why should this start a little spat?? I dropped it, he didn't. After that, it should have been history, but SO starts going into it like I had a problem with the situation and I wasn't making a big deal out of it. He overreacted, don't you think?? Why do men do this?? Could it be because of stresses cased by thins outside of our relationship going on. There are on both sides other things right now but I hate when things add up and I am being used as an emotional punching bag. Not going into further detail but with this info can anyone offer input. Me and him are happy together. We laugh, talk an no signs of trouble in our relationship there. We have been together 5 years. Confused and upset.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on Oct. 1, 2013 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • My partner & I handle small spats by recognizing that something is going on for the other person, trying not to get defensive in response, and doing our best to "own" our feelings/reactions. Such as, if I feel reactive, I hopefully recognize that I felt unfairly attacked/accused or judged, and that I'm feeling defensive!
    We prioritize communicating with "I messages" not "You messages." So if we address the situation, we speak personally about our feelings & wishes, instead of focusing on what is/was wrong with the other person's way of speaking, or "diagnosing" them. You messages tend to be along the lines of "that was uncalled for," "that's unfair," or otherwise labeling the person/behavior.
    We stick with stating our feelings (identifying what we felt, not what was done.) It's harder than it sounds!
    I've been the beneficiary of this approach many times & I find myself readily able to connect to my remorse & own what happened.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:27 PM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • you get over it. sounds like both of you are very immature

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 10:44 AM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • this happens in most relationships. when DH is taking his frustrations about something else out on me, i very calmly and flatly say "is this about ____ or is something else bothering you?" or i just give him a look like "seriously, you're mad at me about that?"

    we all over-react to stupid stuff sometimes, im sure he's thought the same thing about something you've gotten mad about. most couples just let it go, maybe not in 5 mins, but usually after a couple of hours. unless they just want to fight...

    Answer by okmanders at 10:53 AM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • My SO told me to honk at him, so I did
    and then SO got upset with you for doing what he told you to do?

    Answer by feralxat at 11:01 AM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • Some things are worth squabbling over; most are not.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:02 AM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • I stab him in the head with a always makes me feel better!! lol j/k

    I guess we eventually get over what made us mad and try to talk it out a little bit better. Unfortunately spats will happen... just depends on what you want to hold on to or let go of.

    Answer by goofygalno1 at 12:36 PM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • feral.. I thought the same thing when I read that.

    Answer by goofygalno1 at 12:37 PM on Oct. 1, 2013

  • What your SO was upset about, or what he thought your problem with the situation was, is unclear to me.

    Maybe it was the fact that his impulse & instruction to you resulted in a dirty look. Is that it? If so, it sounds like he was feeling defensive about that dirty look from the teenager not having been HIS fault. Which would suggest he perceived irritation from you (along the lines of "Look what happened as a result of what you made me do. If you hadn't insisted that I honk, this wouldn't have happened.")
    Even if the particulars of my guesses aren't accurate, it sounds defensive on his part. And the way he handled his defensive feelings was to go on the offensive, or get aggressive.

    Sure that can be more likely when a person is stressed in general. But it never happens because of the stress itself. It happens because of how he handles threatening feelings (such as ones triggered when he feels criticized or blamed.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:17 PM on Oct. 1, 2013