One of the things that makes DD so effective at reducing conflict is that it eliminates what I like to call the last word syndrome. Since I just made that term up, I'll go ahead and definite it for you. The last word syndrome occurs when a couple has a disagreement over something. Rather than come to a compromise or one person yield, both are determined to have the last word. So the argument goes on and on, sometimes until the last word is something that they regret.
DD does away with that. When we agree to put our HoH in the leadership role, we give up the right to have the last word. We understand that we will have an opportunity to share our point of view, but at the end of the day, the HoH makes the decision.
I'll admit that this took me a little while to wrap my head around. While I was happy to have Steve leading, I've been known to dig my heels in on things, especially if I feel that I am right. On some issues, it was easy for me to concede and let him have the last word. On other issues, not so much. I've gotten better with it over time.
But every once in a while, there's one of those disagreements that isn't really worth fighting over, but I'm irritated enough to want to have the last word. It doesn't matter that my last word isn't going to win anything. I just want an outlet for my frustration. In those cases, I tend to give my last word quiet enough that it's likely to go unheard or (the smarter move) wait until I'm far enough away that it will definitely go unheard.
This morning was one of those times. We've had an ongoing discussion about how something (non DD related) should be done. I already had my own way of doing it, which had working for me for a long time, so I wasn't interested in changing. Steve thought his way was better, but since he hadn't specifically told me I had to do it his way, I kept doing it my way.
This morning he basically forced the issue by starting the process before I did so I had to do it his way. In the process, he managed to hit two of my major pet peeves, one of which is people messing with a system I have that works just fine for me.
I was irritated enough about it to say something. At first, he just let me vent. I think maybe he recognized that the way he had went about it was not the best way to get me to try it. So he let me go. Right up until the point that I told him his idea was stupid. I was in the process of pulling a shirt over my head when I said it so I didn't see his eyes narrow, but considering the tone of his response, there's not a doubt in my mind that they did narrow. The exact words he said aren't really important, but the general gist of what he said is that his idea wasn't stupid.
I still thought he was wrong, but I didn't want to argue about it so I simply shut my mouth and walked off. Unfortunately, this was one of those times when I needed that last word to vent my frustration. As I was exiting the room, I said very quietly "It is a stupid idea." To be honest, I didn't think he'd hear me say it.
He must have been waiting for me to say something (the man knows me well) because he did hear what I said. Before I could even get the bedroom door shut, I heard his response, which was "Unless you want me to put you over my knee and paddle your behind while we have a long conversation about what is stupid, you better drop it."
I guess he got the last word after all.