I donít feel up to responding directly to the thread in question, but felt I wanted to share a story of mine.
First: I have readily admitted to having a serious temper (anger management issues in the past that still occasionally pop up now and then). So basically I have a temper, and while I normally make an effort to keep it under control, Iím not always successful. Yes when my temper is uncontrolled I do see how I act as abusive to whom ever has incurred my wrath (justified or not). That being said I do normally keep control. Keeping control of myself is very important to me. I grew up in an environment where I had little to NO control of myself in ways that are not normal or healthy.
So here a story about anger, arguing, and how some people (ME) need an outlet like an argument.
Something happened and Iím not going to share the details. I talk to Airyn while heís working, he has no idea what prompted the situation that upset me.
Itís Sunday I meet Airyn on his way home, I have been out walking most of the day (one of the ways I expend my anger is exercise). We get home, and I canít sit still but still Iím angry over this. It feels from my position as if I am being lied to. (the issue had to do with Chipmunk, something she said/did) Airyn believes that Chipmunk is upset that he hasnít spoken to her since since Thursday. That she is doing/saying things right now to be mean, to find something to say that will hurt him, and will get him to talk to her.
I am pacing, and trying to argue with Airyn, but heís not responding, heís paying attention to something else. I sit down and tell Airyn that I canít argue with him while heís doing X, and ask him to stop doing X and pay attention. Airyn tells me that as soon as he realized I was angry he decided NOT to argue. I told him that wasnít fair (or maybe I said thatís not nice I donít remember), that was mean that I need to argue, Iím angry. (it was silly, not aggressive, or angry) We smile at each other, and Airyn moves to the bed, where we can actually sit beside each other. Again I attempt to say what I want/need to say. Again Airyn offers no response. Again I point that out and tell him that heís not arguing with me. Again I just get his smile. I sit there for a while, tell him I need a shower cause Iíve been walking all afternoon. But I donít get up, and after say 5 or 10 mins I look Airyn in the face and tell him that Iím still angry, and that this isnít working for me.
Finally I get to argue it out with him, but itís obvious his heart isnít in it. Thatís fine, it kept the whole thing light hearted. One of his responses had me smiling and calling him an ass, then playfully poping him with one of the pillows. Things went that way for a while, and when I felt better I got up to actually take my shower. Gave Airyn a hug, and thanked him for arguing with me. I also told him that I realize it wasnít easy for him to do, and that I appreciated that he did it for ME anyway.
Wolf heard parts of it and later told me she was confused, because we were arguing, laughing, and pillow fighting. I told her that I was angry, and Airyn didnít want to argue. That I asked him to argue with me because I was angry, but that he wasnít angry so that made it easy to keep things light, and add some playfulness to something that is often more aggressive. Something that I needed in that moment, that Airyn didnít need.
Airyn knows me, he knew that his responses were off the wall, silly, ect. But he participated in that way so that I could feel like I was getting the argument I wanted/needed and he could remain calm, and not get angry himself.
Those are the kinds of arguments I want not the ones that become abusive. The problem that I see is when one person (myself) gets angry the other person (Airyn) doesnít always know what to do/say. Or sometimes feels defensive about the topic for one reason or another (like feeling guilty). So even if Iím not using angry, mean, abusive language from the beginning. Even when my goal is just to get my anger out, the other person feels Attacked, and responds in kind. By attacking.
Before Chipmunk arguments between Airyn and I went more like the above. Where we argue, but laugh and giggle at the same time. With Chipmunkís involvement we have lost our ability to communicate what we need from the other person. This made our arguments since her arrival big deal issues, when they could have been minor, no big deal at all.
I could have come out and said to Airyn, ďHey Iím really angry right now, and NEED to argue, will you do that for me?Ē of course Airyn could also have remembered thatís how things were, and chosen not to take offense, not to feel attacked. But neither of these things happened while Chipmunk was so close (proximity on several levels/layers). Now that there is some little distance, and that distance has (very recently) begun growing (some of) these things are coming back to the front for Airyn and I.