After 23 years together and 18 married let’s just say we have had our share of arguments...
One of our major recurring arguments occurred in the beginning of our relationship. We weren't on the same page and were arguing a lot over going out with friends. We had just started living together and still adjusting to our new living arrangements.
Trying to maintain the savage life hanging with my girls out late nights constantly was creating heavy duty arguments in the morning. It was an awful time for us. Balancing my friends and my live-in boyfriend was a challenge I wasn’t ready for.
I was flustered to say the least, and frustrated with always arguing I sought advice from friends and family. I didn’t realize at the time what the root of the problem was. I was open and honest; he knew I went out with my friends and where I was...I couldn’t understand why all the arguing. I started to feel like maybe moving in wasn’t a smart move or maybe we weren’t ready. The mood in our apartment was so bad that I was dreading even telling him I going out with my friends again.
My family and friends all gave their advice, some even saying he was trying to control me, he doesn’t want me to have a life, he’s not the one, and telling me I need to get out before it gets any worse. It was a horrible time in our relationship.
Anytime we attempted to talk about the situation, we just ended up yelling at the top of our lungs and the problem was still not resolved. We would start off talking calmly but everything that everyone had told me was filling my head up with regret and I was so angry.
Then one evening he said “I am tired of arguing. I don’t want to control you, I just want you to balance spending time with me and your friends. Sitting in the house not talking, not communicating isn’t the type of time I want. Now that we live together we never go out together anymore." This time, I stopped and simply listened. He was talking in a normal tone, not yelling, no underlying disses. He was just talking and I can tell he was just as tired of this as me. This time I listened to understand his point of view. I had realized in the past I wasn’t listening to understand but more so listening just to defend my actions and not resolve our actual problem. By taking that pause to really hear what my partner was saying, I realized I actually agreed we hadn’t been going out together anymore, or doing any of the things we used to do. He didn’t care I was out with friends he was more concerned that him and I had stopped being friends throughout this process. I realized I did miss hanging with him and that I was starting to go out with my friends more just to upset him.
After we talked and discussed the issues calmly we both knew we didn’t want to break up. But things had to change and we needed to make up and learn to balance friends and each other.
We worked hard on communicating better and more often about our evening schedules that didn’t always include one another and now with better communication skills we were learning and adapting to living together.
Something I hadn't considered while going through all this was some of the friends I shared the arguments with that weren't as forgiving. When we all hung out as couples sometimes my friends would be mean or mad and just truly didn’t like my boyfriend anymore. They took our arguments as a personal attack on themselves. I kept trying to tell them that wasn’t the case and tried to get them to realize we had talked, moved on and we’re fine now. But it was too little too late with my friends and they weren’t going to forgive and forget.
Going through this experience (and other relationship growing pains) inspired my husband and I to write our e-book, “10 Keys To a Successful Argument". It was moments like this that we could reflect back on and share with others on lessons we learned, do's and what not to do, so they don’t have to live with the tension that we did for so long. Key 2 - Don’t tell everyone your business definitely would have helped us avoid the additional stress of our friends emotions while building the foundation of our life together.
Becoming authors was never actually on the agenda but after being married for awhile, and seeing the growth our relationship went through, our friends and others we associated with would come to us for advice. We always try to give rational relatable advice to our friends and cater the advice to the individual who asked. After some time had passed of doing this, the book was written.
In our e-book 10 Keys to a Successful Argument we give you steps to not only survive those exact bad moments but ways to work through them and eliminate them completely. 18 years of marriage didn’t happen over night . Together we learned how to manage our temper and support one another and be encouraging to one another when it’s needed most.
Tahigee & Eva Metoyer are the authors of the e-Book "10 Keys to a Successful Argument" and the owners of Spark it Up Hookah POP-up Lounge in Los Angeles, California.
Their e-book can be purchased on Amazon
They can be found on Instagram @sparkitup_hookah