Wait for an opportune time to discuss issues.
This was a really hard lesson for me to learn. In fact, I still haven't fully learned it. (I figure that writing about it will help me internalize it a little better.)
You see, I believe in authentic communication. I believe in telling others how I feel, when I feel it.
However, I'm slowly starting to realize that I can tell others how I feel in more or less strategic ways.
Case in point: If Matt repeatedly presses the snooze button and then can't take the dog out for a run before work (like we've agreed to), it makes no sense for me to vent my frustration in that moment. He's already late for work. Even if the conversation goes my way, Matt still won't be able to take the dog out. What's the point of getting into a messy, adversarial discussion?
In fact, why do I even need to vent my frustration if it happens once?
If it happens repeatedly and I feel like it's a problem we should address, then it makes sense to wait until we are in a relaxed place. Neither of us is in a relaxed place as Matt is rushing out the door.
It sounds so simple as I'm saying it now, but I swear it feels much more complex in the moment! In the moment, I'm frustrated that he's not holding up his end of the bargain, and I feel obligated to point it out. (And even though I'm using an example of how Matt makes me angry, there are plenty of examples of it happening the other way around!).
I'm slowly realizing, though, that the conversations go much, much better if we talk about it at a later time. If we come back to it later, it's easier to look at the situation as a conversation to have rather than an angry fight to win.
Sometimes, after I save the issue for later, I realize I don't even need to bring it up. I'm over it (which reminds me of my friend Camella's advice that Matt put into our pre-wedding video).