Gen and Mrs. George B. McClellan from Library of Congress
Maybe it’s holiday stress, or maybe it was just a matter of me being in the right place at the right time to witness communication in progress.
Devoted Spouse and I went out to run some errands and as we came to a stop light there was a van ahead of us. Pulling up behind the van I noticed a woman driving and a man in the passenger seat. What really got both our attention was these people were MAD – the man was flailing his arms and he was making a fist and it was directed at the woman in the driver’s seat. She, in turn, was obviously yelling by the way she was moving – and then she would put her hand out and touch the man as if to calm him down. It didn’t work – he became angrier and I got to thinking it was a good thing he had a set belt on else he might have become airborne.
I found this episode morbidly fascinating, albeit a bit frightening. I wondered what on earth had happened to make them so angry that this man was becoming violent. I wondered if the lady was going to be able to make the left hand turn or was I doomed to sit behind them as they paid attention to their fight and not to the road.
She turned and I followed — not too closely mind you. The van made a right hand turn at the same street we were headed – luckily as we turned into the bank, she went straight. I wondered most of the day what happened to this couple. Nothing was on the evening news about any domestic violence calls in our community and there were no reports of murder. I was thankful. But still I wondered what on earth had gotten them to that point.
I found an article on relationships authored by relationship coaches (who also happened to be married) entitled The Reasons Couples Fight and it listed 5 reasons and how to overcome them. I thought I would share this valuable information with you — and perhaps comment just a bit on each one as they relate to my own successful relationship with Devoted Spouse. Call this, my advice Christmas gift to you on relationships – and yes, I’m qualified on the basis of being happily married for over 26 years now.
So…Reasons Couples Fight
1. Old Fears Surface
Well, this can be true. The relationship coaches mention former broken hearts and how that can impact your current relationship. What came to mind for me as an old fear was spiders. One of the reasons my marriage works is I am afraid of spiders and demand that Devoted Spouse routinely kill them and then flush them down the toilet. Again, the marriage is successful because he does just that with any spiders I happen to come across. Be proactive about old fears.
2. Not Feeling Loved, Valued, Understood and Appreciated
Taking your spouse for granted can be a real marriage killer. Luckily for me I laid down the rules from the beginning; I was to be treated like the princess I am and Devoted Spouse readily agreed. He lives up to all my expectations by valuing me and appreciating me on a regular basis. He also takes care of me when I am sick or injured (remember the Ice Incident of 2009?) and he delivers my coffee daily along with the paper. Oh, I feel loved. I take care of him, too. I buy him his favorite things to eat even though they would make a maggot gag — things like Vienna Sausages. Now there’s no reason on God’s green earth to have Vienna Sausages in your house, except that Devoted Spouse likes them and I want him to be happy. I value him and appreciate him; hence the Vienna Sausages. *shivers in disgust* Am I understood? Oh hell no – but that’s another post. Is he understood? See prior answer. *giggles*
3. Not Making Their Relationship a Priority
This one reminded me of the Bud Light commercial about the couple sitting at an outside cafe and the young woman asks a series of oh-so-stupid questions making her partner choose between her and something or someone else. When she gets to his Bud Light or her, he hesitates and she leaves. Well, duh, what did you think would happen when you asked your partner to choose between his beer and you? Stupid girl. I would never ask Devoted Spouse to choose between me and something or someone else. He knows better. He would always choose me – it was in the “pre-marriage Princess talk” discussed earlier. I’m first. Deal with it. Same goes for him. I choose him over everything. Except….nope, that’s another posting.
4. One or Both People are Made to Feel They are Wrong
Well, crap on a crutch, this is easy. They are. And don’t blame me because statistically it’s the man. The trick to a good relationship is for the man to know from the very beginning that he is always going to be the wrong one; admit it, and press on. He can think whatever he wants, but outloud he’d best be saying “You’re right, honey, what was I thinking?”
5. Not Healing Your Heart After a Previous Relationship
I think what these relationship coaches are advocating is not to get into a rebound relationship. That makes sense. They suggest you take time to heal your broken heart prior to jumping into another relationship. I tend to agree and I think the judicious use of cabana boys is a definite good first step to healing.
That’s my advice to all of you – now, in my earlier posting my buddy Mrsupole suggested something I had left out – great and vast amounts of wild sex — unfortunately she didn’t specify who you should be having that sex with and I started thinking about Tiger Woods, and well, I’m staying away from the sex advice and sticking to other forms of communication kids. If you want sex advice apparently Mrsupole is your lady…or maybe that, too, is another post?