Yep, I said it…
My husband and I have a safe word.
Before you close out of this article and think “this is too raunchy for me right now,” let me explain.
Our safe word is for arguments.
It started a few years ago. My husband and I are super close, we have a great relationship and I consider him my best friend. However, every now and then, we would argue.
You know those arguments that start out as bickering about who was going to wash the dishes or how could you forget to pick up milk….. and then three hours and 16 minutes later you are STILL arguing, only now it is about more than just the dishes and milk.
These arguments turn into a war zone and you are so flustered that no one apologized so you keep it going and by the end of the night it still isn’t fixed and you feel sad, he probably feels sad, and this could have all been resolved three hours and now 20 minutes ago.
Enter…. the Safe Word
My husband and I were arguing one night and actually, I think it was about the dishes when finally he said: “Ok this is dumb, let’s stop.” And we did. We stopped. Lightbulb moment!
We had this idea, what if we come up with a word that ends all fights? What if we can say this magic word that immediately ends the argument, that person admits something was a mistake and you move on. No hard feelings, no long argument, you say the word, and POOF, it’s done.
What is this sorcery, right? Could this REALLY work?
Here is how you put this into place:
1. You must come up with a word that is different than any other word. It could be funny, it could be something that makes you immediately smile, the word is up to you and your spouse.
2. You have to come to an agreement. The agreement is that once the word is said, the argument stops. The word immediately shuts it all down like a crazy bouncer at a nightclub and DONE. You can’t talk about the argument anymore, you let it go.
3. The key to this is realizing that you love each other, you know a silly argument won’t change that fact, so why drag anything on when it is unnecessary?
4. You hug after. You can’t just say it and walk away in the other direction. For example, for my husband and I… We say the word, we smile and sometimes smirk, we shake hands, and then we hug it out. Done. Over. Move On. Still in love.
5. NOTE: If your kids hear you use the safe word, they will think it is funny and they will repeat it. They may also repeat it when they hear you argue and then you have no choice but to stop because your kid yelling out an argument safe word is always a reason to stop.
Moral of this story… I don’t have a perfect marriage. I don’t have all the advice, but I do know that after being married for 14 years and having two children, I can’t sweat the small stuff. I have to find a way to let those things go and focus on what really matters.
So for us, the safe word works and it has been the big change in our marriage.
For more on our safe word, and to hear what our secret safe word is, you can take a listen to a podcast we did about it.