My spouse recently wanted to know some details about an airbnb reservation my mother had made, which we will be sharing later this year. My spouse and I have formulated this post together. In my opinion, this is a (partially) written example of a dynamic that repeats between my spouse and I on a somewhat regular basis.
My spouse contacted my mother to ask for a link to the reserved place since my mother only posted a screenshot. My mother replied saying she didn't have one, but could get one once she was on her computer tomorrow.
After that both of them went through ~5 rounds of messaging back and forth, my spouse stating she is able to wait until my mother can get to her computer tomorrow because it's hard to explain how to get to the link on a mobile phone, and my mother saying she does not have the link, doesn't know how to access it on her mobile phone, but would be able to provide one later. The exchange ended with my spouse stating:
Yes I said repeatedly that I can wait.
My spouse anxiously brought the exchange to my attention last night a few minutes after it completed. My spouse says she was wondering: "Why she [mother] kept texting me [spouse] to say that she cannot relay the reservation information right away via her phone after I [spouse] told her she [mother] can wait until she [mother] can use her computer."
When I saw the exchange, I commented that her use of the word "repeatedly" in the final message was unnecessary and should have been left out, as it might sound rude.
After I said this my spouse became extremely upset at me and my mother. My spouse believes her word choice of the word "repeatedly" would not be seen as offensive. She is upset at me for "siding with my mother." I did not even know there were sides in this conversation, as it doesn't seem like an argument to me, assuming that last sentence doesn't start something. I am trying to prevent future conflict by promoting more diplomatic language.
My spouse is upset with my mother, because "she thinks that my mother considers her an impatient person demanding a fast answer" (due to the fact that my mother continued responding rather than waiting until she was at a computer).
When I look at the entire conversation though, I just see some poor communication and attempted persistence that did not pay off, by a distracted senior citizen who perhaps doesn't usually distinguish between a screen shot and a link, but is trying to find a stop-gap response that might help sooner rather than later.
My spouse somewhat regularly perceives grievances against her (by other parties), and when I suggest a way of understanding the situation such that there is no conflict, this is seen as me siding with the other party. I want to de-escalate conflicts, or show that there simply may not be any conflict. I want to suggest what the other side's perspective might be, and why they may be innocent. I think she wants sympathetic anger from me where I become part of the conflict and condemn the other party for the perceived grievance. I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Her response to this is that I am insensitive to her emotions.
One possible solution, and something I did not really do with respect to the text exchange, is to repeat back to my spouse her perceived grievance, let her know that I understand her perspective, and only then proceed to outline why there might not be any malice on the side of the other party. In the moment, I usually feel like she has done well more than enough stating her case against the other party, and I hesitate to reinforce it because I fear doing so will harden her conviction in the grievance.
Is there a better way I should approach this situation such that I can de-escalate conflicts without being seen as taking the other side?