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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As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, toilet paper is amongst the top 10 argument triggers for couples. It sounds petty, but a roll of toilet paper facing the wrong direction is a personal call to arms for me. I did a little research and as it turns out, I am not just a neurotic psycho. There is a preferred way to put toilet paper on the roll … MY WAY! Sixty to 70 percent of American consumers surveyed prefer their roll “over.” People who like their roll “under” were found to have a scientific correlation with ownership of a recreational vehicle or a cat. Very random, but it makes perfect sense. I would never be caught dead owning one of the aforementioned. And I would certainly never be caught orienting my toilet paper “under.” How about you? Are you an “over” or an “under”? [Wikipedia] Keep reading »
Shared taste in books, movies, or music can bring two people together. But they can cause tiffs, too, if you don’t share the same preferences. It used to be the debate over who controls the TV remote control was a big deal in a relationship, but as technology has progressed, so have our entertainment-related arguments. In Sunday’s New York Times, writer Michael Wilson considered the battles that wage in households that share a Netflix account. Wilson spoke to couples whose tastes in movies (and watching habits) didn’t mesh, and arguments ensued over who got the next pick in the Netflix queue.
Most of the fights, however, seem to be about how long the couples keep movies without watching them. Louis Marino had “The English Patient” for six months because his wife didn’t want to watch it. They never did see it before sending it back. Tom Smith has decided to limit the amount of time his girlfriend can keep a movie, because she’s really slow about getting to them. Greg Albrecht’s fiancee returns his DVDs after a week, regardless of whether he’s gotten to watch them. The fact that people are setting limits on how long their significant other keeps a movie goes against the whole point of Netflix — that you can get whatever movie you want and keep it until you’re ready to give it back. But why don’t couples just cancel their accounts or move to a less expensive plan if they’re only going to get to one DVD a month? Keep reading »
I never trust couples that claim they don’t fight. I don’t believe them, and even if they aren’t lying, who wants to be with a guy who agrees with everything you say? How boring would that be? The best part of being in a relationship is exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. If you don’t have any conflict, you’re probably not going to have many sparks.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but one of the most important things a couple should figure out early on is how to fight fairly and effectively. Here’s what not do when you’re engaged in battle…. Keep reading »
When I heard about SideTaker.com, I was instantly psyched — a website where you can lay out your side of an argument and then have your foe argue theirs, the winner to be decided by a jury of anonymous readers on the internet? Sweet! For starters, using the site as a reader is hilarious. Currently, these five arguments jumped out at me:
1. Is My Boyfriend Calling Another Girl (Who’s Cute) Considered Cheating?
2. A Couple Is Not On Same Page When It Comes To Having Sex — Who’s To Blame?
3. She Dumped Me Because I Played A Prank On Her — Was She Over-Reacting?
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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 »