Last month, my husband Jason and I had our fiercest argument ever. In our six-year history, I have accepted that occasional spats are part and parcel of every couple’s attempt to weave two independent lives into one harmonious fabric of existence. Even marital vows oblige us to respect the glaring reality of love’s peaks and troughs, as we openly recite “through good times and in bad” like an ominous premonition.
However, this bad time was as explosive as a nuclear bomb. Jason made himself scarce and I refused to speak to him for almost three days. After our respective time-outs, our cooler selves regretted hurt feelings and longed to reclaim the sense of closeness forbidden by our passive aggressiveness. After a long deep and meaningful conversation, our mess was sorted, apologies were exchanged, and our issues were put to rest. Life has marched forward since, but my spiritual side insists that there is a life lesson to be learned. Do inevitable outbreaks of oral fireworks light up the relationship landscape or inescapably end in matrimonial discord? Likewise, is there an acceptable level or frequency of conflict all relationships should abide by, or should conflict be subjected to a zero-tolerance policy?
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A new study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that the better relationship you had with your parents, the better you are at letting bygones be bygones with your S.O. Why? When parents or caregivers help you regulate negative reactions when you’re a kid, you’ll be better able to do it as an adult, especially when you’re arguing with a romantic partner. I know what you’re thinking. What about all of those people who had crappy parents, but turn out to be in normal, healthy relationships? Well, they learned from their partners. Keep reading »
Men. Who can understand them? Not me. The thing about men I understand the least is how they fight. I literally feel like I’m speaking another language when I’m arguing with my dude. Are we talking about the same thing? Did we have the same conversation? Wait, are we even on the same planet? That’s when I feel like that “men are from Mars” and “women are from Venus” BS might have some truth to it.
Things we don’t understand about how men argue — and sweeping gender generalizations! — after the jump … Keep reading »
I was so pissed off yesterday. My boyfriend (er, fiancé…but Amelia has already addressed why that’s the worst word ever) had to help some friends move. He called to tell me they were done and he’d be leaving in a half hour so we could hang out. Two hours later, I’m killing time watching reruns of Project Runway I’ve already seen and I’m starting to get a little mad. After my text of “Where the hell are you?” and his response, “Eating pizza” that was it.
Instead of exploding, I just got mega passive-aggressive. I work from home. It’s me and the dog all day long, so on the days when people who have real jobs don’t have to be at work, I get excited by the prospect of actual two-sided conversation. But rather than explaining that, I just ignored him when he finally showed up. Which, I’ll admit, it immature and not at all proactive, but it’s like I couldn’t stop myself. I was too annoyed to be rational and I figured that if I was going to feel isolated, so was he. Finally, I yelled. And he yelled back. Then split to take the dog for an hour-long walk. When he got back, we weren’t speaking. Keep reading »