I know it goes against everything we’ve been told, but in the past, I didn’t like to argue with my husband face to face. Before you guys go off on me and call me immature or a typical millennial who can’t communicate in the real world, let me explain. I’m a writer. So, I’m great with explaining myself through my writing. I type my feelings out, re-read my notes, and edit my thoughts so they’re more clear and to the point. It’s a process. In person, I’m more likely to get angry and emotional. When my husband and I argued, sometimes we were both vying for time to get a word in and we would interrupt each other which caused the volume in which were speaking to rise. Our tone sounded harsher, we started to show signs of frustration. And I felt like there was more of a chance that arguments would go left very quickly. Sometimes when I was being serious my husband thought I was being condescending. When he was serious I thought he was being harsh or rude. It could get complicated.
Traditionally, I’ve been told that text messages cause more confusion in an argument because the reader can misinterpret what is being said. But I feel like for me, it deescalated the situation. Now, I didn’t run to the other room and text my husband when we got into it, but I began to notice that face-to-face confrontation often became just that—confrontation. Instead of a conversation it became a heated and passionate debate that usually ended without a solution.
When we texted, we didn’t have to interrupt each other, raise our voices, or say things faster than we could think. Now, there are some issues with texting, my husband couldn’t hear my tone, therefore he could think that I was saying something harshly when I wasn’t or he might of thought that I was joking when I was actually dead serious. Sometimes pettiness got the best of us and we would use all caps or way too many exclamation points. But overall I think texting gets a bad rap. Yeah, I was one of those women that texted paragraphs, well thought out paragraphs I might add. But sometimes that’s what it took. Sometimes it calmed me down to take a moment, write out how I felt and send it when I was ready. It also helped that I could re-read our messages later on when I was calmer and perhaps receive the message my husband was trying to get across. Sometimes I would even put my phone down and walk away if I was that upset, which let’s face it, if we get up and leave during an argument it often leads to another argument.
We didn’t always argue via text, but when we did, things didn’t get more complicated but I think it was actually smoother. I feel like we argued more purposefully and meaningfully. Think about it, how many times have you argued with your spouse about one thing and then the fight turns into “you never let me speak” or “you always walk away” because arguing rarely sticks to the problem at hand and usually spirals out of control.
After years of hashing it out via text, I think I’ve become better at communicating which I know, goes against everything we’ve been taught. People tend to think when we communicate via text, email, or social media that we lose communication skills. But texting made realize how important it is to listen (well, read) what my husband is saying and feeling and also, how important it is to calm down before I say something. It’s not about winning, it’s not about getting the last word. Lately, if we have a disagreement, we seem to communicate more efficiently and I think I have to thank years of texting, believe it or not.
We’ve learned to really explain ourselves instead of battling each other.