I’ll show you crazy

You may be tempted to confront your partner if you’ve seen something in the past two weeks that looks familiar.  I would caution against this until you’ve formulated an exit strategy with multiple what-ifs.  However, sometimes we don’t wait for whatever reason and we find ourselves on a one-way train to crazyville with our partner.

If you are in the middle of the argument – stop.  This can be difficult, especially if you love a good argument or you are convinced you’re right.  When the realization hits you that you really don’t want to be in this argument, stop arguing.  Instead, ask for a moment to think, tell him that you think he may have a point, and you’d like to mull it over before continuing the discussion.  Your partner may not be all that willing to give you one, especially if he’s the type that loves to win, and you may have to forcibly walk away for the moment.

If, on the other hand, you’re already in the middle of a cold war, it’s time to break the ice.  Tell him that obviously something has gone drastically wrong and you’d at least like a chance to talk it through and clear the air.  Then tell him that you’re willing to do it when he’s ready so that he doesn’t feel cornered.  It may not resolve the entire problem but it should make the air distinctly less chilly between the two of you.

Of course now you’re going to have to come up with that plan I mentioned earlier….

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Cheating, not just for income taxes anymore

Unfortunately, a person isn’t always forthright about their cheating.  This then requires that the person be confronted (or not).  If you choose to confront, do so in a controlled manner.  If you choose not to confront be aware that your options are limited to leaving or living with it.

Remember, men never like to be the “bad guy” so don’t expect that it will be an easy conversation.  Even when asked a direct question, he may be evasive or even lie because you “didn’t ask the right question.”  So take a few moments ahead of time to do your homework.

You know your partner better than most people.  Determine your approach by considering his possible reactions.  Are your suspicions justified?  What tone would best elicit the truth?  What questions would get him to open up?  What words would upset him and cause him to clam up?  I realize that it may seem a bit counter-intuitive to think about how he may react when you’re the one who with the suspicions but if you want to get him to admit the truth, perceptive questions will work better than loud accusations.

When you’re ready for the confrontation, make your preparations carefully.  Choose a calm time, preferably after you’ve had something to eat (low blood sugar will not help matters), and ask your partner for a few minutes.  Keep your voice calm and as unemotional as you can.  Ask your questions and listen to the responses.  Trust your gut instinct and watch his body language.  Is he being evasive? Be gentle with your prodding, the ultimate goal is getting an answer to your questions, not to get your pound of flesh.

Do not ask for details, just get to the truth.  You can not progress in the relationship if you’re both living under a cloud of suspicion.  The bigger question is what will you do now that you have your answer?

Getting comfortable with confrontation

Women grow up with lots of social rules (some good, some bad) and one of our biggest is to back-peddle at the first sign of confrontation.  Confrontation has been placed in our heads as the big scary monster but honestly, we don’t need to fear confrontation, we need to learn how to manage it.  Think of confrontation as your friend – without it, nothing will change.

The first rule to being comfortable with confrontation is to have it on  your own terms.  Pick the time and place to your greatest advantage.  The second rule is to do your homework.  Never approach a confrontation without knowing your position, your opponent’s position, and having thought through the various potential twists.  The last rule is to keep your cool.  The moment you lose your composure, you lose the confrontation.  Do not get angry or emotional – let your rational words and preparation take center stage and you can’t lose.