As we shared in Part I, The Hailstorm is the pursuer in the relationship during arguments. Pushing the matter even if it’s not the right time or place. You might think the Hailstorm is the one that is problem. They tend to be “the loud ones” during a disagreement. It’s important to understand that neither disagreement style is better than the other.
Even with The Elephant in the Room, the person tends to shut down during disagreements. When you get upset about something, you rarely know what matters to you. Your partner won’t fully understand what you actually need or grasp the extent of how important or hurt you are about a matter of shutting down continues. In many cases, you can go years of being upset about certain important things in the marriage without your partner knowing or understanding fully. In avoiding being misunderstood or the stress of conflict, you unintentionally set yourself up in a relationship where you grow distant daily. Appearing normal on the outside but slowly fading away from the marriage. The avoidance of conflict can destroy a relationship.
Whether you are The Hailstorm or The Elephant in the Room, you both need the same thing! Take a time out when your blood is nearly boiling or you are becoming overwhelmed. Share that you need a moment to cool off respectfully and share when you would like to revisit the conversation.
Breathe… do what you do that brings you calm. Listen to that good music. Take a walk. Watch something funny on TV. Whatever you would like to do. And then come back to it.
Some might be concerned about doing this. What if they use this to avoid having a conversation altogether? Remember to take a minute and bring yourself back to the conversation when everyone is calm. As a couple, you should be attacking the problem and not each another. Let’s keep these marriages beautiful and healthy.
Written by: Natasha D. Oates, Award-winning therapist & marriage counselor