"Jaaaaason can you please clean that room!?" Ah, something my husband hears far too often. Every single time I ask my husband to clean his man cave, he gets so mad at me. He's annoyed that I'm nagging and that I say it too much (if he would just clean I wouldn't have to, just sayin' hehehe), and he just wants me to stop. And every time I ask him to clean he has two different options on how to respond: with anger and defensiveness or with understanding. Honestly I've received both types of responses, but only one of them helps to benefit our marriage. Obviously!
When Jason chooses to respond with anger, he opens the door to more anger and arguing. I'll immediately shoot back with a condescending response, which he will give right back to me, and then all of a sudden we're in a giant WWE match over cleaning the room! It's so frustrating, exhausting, and such a waste of time. By the end of the argument we both apologize, he almost always says he should have just cleaned the dang room, but unfortunately the damage is already done and the rest of our day just seems blah. On the flip side, when he chooses to respond with understanding, I respond with understanding! The times he simply goes to his room and starts to clean make me so happy that I go out of my way to do something nice for him. And let me tell you, these times are WAY better than our time wasted arguing. His positive response to my requests take away any stress from me, and it opens the door to more positive interactions on both sides. Even though he still probably feels annoyed and angry at my request to clean the room, his simple change in response has such a positive effect on our marriage.
Sure, we all are going to have those days where we feel so annoyed at something our partner says. But we need to always remember to control ourselves and our responses, because the way we speak to our partner can either help or hinder the relationship! Next time you feel yourself getting ready for an angry response, just take a deep breath and remember that kind words go a long way!