Improving my reactivity during arguments


My husband and I argue probably once every 1-2 weeks, and I really want to improve my reactivity during arguments (and hopefully prevent them altogether). I’ve always thought of him as the hot-head and up till now I’ve made myself kind of a victim to his anger and bad moods – filling my brain with thoughts of blame and resentment against him. However, through Scholars, as I try to really embrace emotional adulthood and take full responsibility for my model, I’m gradually starting to realize that I can be extremely reactive myself. I notice that I can have a habit of heatedly “poking the bear” and throwing hurtful accusations at him when he gives into reacting to his own anger.

Here is my model:
C: Husband says words
T: His anger is to blame for all of our problems
F: Anger
A: I yell at back at him or talk back heatedly, I try to force my point, I blame him, I judge him, I use this as an excuse not to love him, I imagine terrible scenarios for the future of our marriage, I cry sometimes, I accuse him of having anger issues/causing problems/being mean/etc.
R: My anger is actually causing problems…

Oh my god I feel pretty bad looking back at this and seeing how hypocritical I’ve been. He’s said things that I have interpreted as hurtful and now I’m sure I know I’ve done the same to him. I feel a little bit anxious looking at this too. I have this thought that if I don’t get my own reactivity under control fast, our marriage will fall apart.

C: I do a model on husband and I exchanging words
T: Our marriage will end if I can’t get my own reactivity under control
F: Anxious
A: I go into a negative spin, I judge myself, I feel a sense of urgency that is not really serving me, I indulge in regret and overwhelm
R: I can’t get my reactivity to my thoughts under control

Okay… so that doesn’t seem to work for me. Here’s one starting with the R line:

C: Husband says words sometimes
T: This is only a problem if I make it one.
F: Aware
A: I stop to think before I speak as long as it takes, I don’t answer until I can do a quick model or 2 if necessary, I give him some space
R: I become less reactive in the moment.

I’m guessing testing out new thoughts and being a bit patient with myself is really the only way for me to learn to be non-reactive in the heat of the moment, right? This really helped to write out, but is there anything big I’m missing?

Thank you!