I'm the Biggest Loser. No, no, I still can't fit into the mythical size two jeans that have gone the way of the elusive unicorn... (in fact I just threw them out - freedom!) but rather, I choose to lose when fighting with my darling spouse.
This is not to say that I don't or won't talk about my true opinion. I'm the luckiest lass in all the land in this respect - my husband refuses to let something go if he knows I have more to say or am feeling something, anything, that should be aired out. And he really, really listens.
But here's a technique I've learned which saves me unutterable amounts of stress. I . just. don't. fight.
It means that when my fight-or-flight response kicks in I grab it by the lapels and throw it, kicking and screaming, to the ground. I stomp on it. I breathe, victorious. I let him say ANYTHING he needs or wants to say. And I remain calm. Okay, this doesn't always work and, especially after four hours of sleep, I can sometimes shout at myself so loudly it seems there's been a fire, but nay! My skills have improved over the years so that I choose non-violence and non-aggression, well, maybe eight out of ten times. Okay, seven.
The beauty of this is not something to sneeze at.
For one thing, "fighting" is not something we do in our house. It's incredible. We disagree and sometimes need to talk for three days intermittently about the same issue, but we really talk, we don't yell.
For another, I actually get myself to a calm enough place to simply think rationally. This used to be almost impossible for me once I began to panic or froth with rage. My stress level lowered by the stomping of the response, I can collect my thoughts and talk to him about my "truth" in a calm and rational manner which goes way, way farther than shouting him down any day.
Thirdly, I like it. It's a bonus of not being 22. It means I've lived a little, I know how to reign in my more fiery emotions, I am a grown woman, I can talk through what it is I want to express.
So while this is not a recipe for happiness it does help and I recommend chilling out and talking rather than getting the upper hand and freaking out.