Monday, April 24, 2006
Lately, Joe and I have been talking a lot. About people, about our kids, about life. It's good to have someone to share thoughts with, especially during the wee hours of the night when your head is still bulging with randomness that only a true friend would understand or find interesting. Also, is it just me, or is it unsettling to keep all those thoughts trapped in your brain when you sleep? I think this is why I used to have very vivid, crazy dreams before I got married. I digress.
Lately it seems that when we have a debate/argument, it is usually followed by other discussions over the next several days (like aftershocks). I know it frustrates my husband because he would rather have it out in one sitting. Part of the reason why this happens is because I can only tolerate so much frustration in a small amount of time. If we are arguing about a topic (let's call it Exhibit A - yes we came up with a labeling system for our arguments), then I just want to focus on the topic at hand and at most maybe the major underlying argument, too.
So, we discovered a pattern in the way we communicate and reason, and determined that we often argue about completely different issues and don't realize that the other person is not following our arguments. This leads to utter and complete frustration. First, because we are not getting the response we want from the other person, and second, because it seems like the other person is either not paying attention or just being pig-headed.
Last week, after one of our aftershocks, Joe, out of frustration pulled out a piece of paper and did a brilliant thing. He proceeded to diagram our argument. I was laughing at the time, because it looked much like a play out of a play book, with lines and arrows going in different directions. It began with a simple exhibit "A" as I mentioned above, and there was also "A*," "A sub 1," and "B." I realize this is not normal, but you couples out there should try this. Hey, you gots ta do what works for you, I always say. It's amazing the amount of clarity that comes from visually seeing how your arguments intertwine or even how they never meet. Can you patent psychological theories/therapy because this is going to be a big one.