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Families and Fights – How to Stay Rational

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Are you falling into the tyrant trap? Is your life peppered with upset? Look inside to find out how to stop finger-pointing and become a rational loving person.

Successful marriages "Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade." - Leo Buscaglia

Tyrants smother their spouse and kids with unkind words, threats, and shouts. Tyrants, like ill-tempered children, demand their own way. If you or your partner is a Tyrant, changes must be made. Why? Your children are watching.

When Tucker, age 9, was asked, "How can a stranger tell if two people are married?" he answered, "See if they're yelling at the same kids."

Your kids hear you cuss. They see anger in your eyes. They feel the upset within you. You are their teacher. You teach them how to live, deal with problems, and get your way.

Watch out! They'll copy your cussing, your anger and your upset. They'll become you. Tyrants create miserable families. When parents and kids become tyrants, uproar rules the home. Neighbors whisper.

Marriage Tip for Changing Despots into Rational People:

"What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

How can a tyrant show love and "rest on the same pillow?"

Think Rationally. Let's say, your spouse promised to cut the grass and didn't. Your boss and staff are coming for dinner. "What will they think? Will you become the butt of the office gossip?" You wanted everything perfect.

You shout. You curse. You threaten your partner.

He's just returned from your brother's house. You lent your brother the lawn mower. He wrecked it. Your boss and fellow office workers will be here any moment.

How can you think rationally?

Tone down your thoughts. Realize that life always presents uncomfortable challenges. It's how you respond to those challenges that count.

First apologize to your spouse for your irrational outburst.

Then focus on making your company feel comfortable. Listen to them. Look them in the eye. Get them to talk. Ask them questions to show your interest. Laugh with them.

Can you see how you've changed your thoughts from your fear of their unpleasant opinions to genuine interest in them? You can be rational. You have the power.

Taming wild thoughts is the best way to become rational. Remind yourself, "I'm not disturbed by my spouse, my children, or other people. I'm disturbed by how I think. My thoughts cause my problems."

5 Ways to Improve Your Marriage by Challenging Your Thoughts and Changing Your Viewpoint:

Ask yourself -

Why do things have to be perfect for me?

Nothing in this life is perfect for anyone.

Why is this situation awful?

Awfuls and terribles aren't real. I use them to describe how I feel but they don't really exist. I could just as easily view situations with less emotion.

Why should everything go my way?

I'm a fallible person who makes mistakes, not the ruler of the universe.

Why am I still worthwhile when things go wrong?

Situations can't make me less valuable. Like everyone, I'm priceless.

Why is it better to be reasonable, respectful, and loving with my family?

Each family member is priceless too. Demanding my way smothers them, models irrational behavior, and loses their love and respect for me.

Conclusion for a Better Marriage, Children, and Family:

To become a better person, be rational. Tame your wild thoughts.

To create a better marriage, lift the pillow from your partner's face. Turn from being a tyrant to becoming a lover. Apologize for angry outbursts.

To raise better children, show them respectful and loving behavior. Teach them to challenge their thoughts just like you challenge yours. Teach them to be rational.


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