Marriage and the Art of Communication Part 2

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?

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9 thoughts on “Marriage and the Art of Communication Part 2

  1. Very good advice! Now your story reminded me of something I witnessed many years ago at a bus stop in Toronto. An old couple was having a major argument. The bus pulled up and the man started to get on the bus and the wife screamed at him that he better not get on the bus, and he ignored her, and off the bus went, with the man on it and the lady left behind. That image has always stuck with me.
    Don’t ya wonder what happened to them? I’ve been thinking about this couple and hoping they didn’t come to blows when they arrived at their destination. He really seemed overly upset; violently so. Kinda scared me.

  2. Great advice. JR and I are heading towards 27 years ourselves. I agree with all of these and would like to add one more. #6. Know your job. Divide up all household chores so that everyone knows their job. That way if it doesn’t get done you know who to blame.
    Excellent suggestion! Devoted Spouse and I know who is in charge of which chore and that keeps the “nagging” (on my part I admit) at bay.

  3. You left out #6

    Ignore the crazy woman you are married to and you will live longer and still be married.

    Works at my house! 🙂
    I felt that was one of the unwritten rules – Devoted Spouse has followed that since the get-go. Wise man. Keep me happy; ignore me when I’m temporarily nutz. Of course I’m not in that state often, mind you. ROFL

  4. We were walking into a Christmas program at the school the other night and a couple in the parking lot was screaming at each other. They continued into the school building and we commented that the situation could get really bad in that crowded area. Later I saw him sitting in one area and her in another and thought they had made a good choice. After the program I saw them in the parking lot screaming at one another again only this time there was a young teen boy standing beside them. My heart hurt so much for that young man. Why can’t parents see that the children deserve better than this. I wanted to take that young man home with me.
    Thanks for the reminder that couples need to resolve differences in a calmer way.
    It is amazing how quickly things can escalate – watching that couple truly frightened me – he was completely out of control and I worried he might be armed – and she was trying to drive while arguing with him – a totally dangerous situation. We stayed far enough behind them to be “out of the line of fire” and I worried she might accidentally drive into someone so I watched from a distance once we got underway again and I was very happy they didn’t precede us into the bank!

  5. Not to make any one cry but I was once in a very abusive marriage, It did not matter what I had said or did there were even times I was afraid to sleep at night in fear of my life, you must be wondering why I did not leave this horrible man, 1 I was very afraid he would tell me that if I left he would harm our children and then I would be next. once I tried to call for help and he picked up the phone ripped it from my hands and proceeded to hit the side of my head with it. 2) I had no one to turn to no family nor any friends. Well I was able to get a job and met a very nice customer and he noticed bruising on my arms and he knew that it was more than a “fall” He and I became friends over the 6 months that I worked there he came to me one day and handed me a prepaid visa card and a his phone number told me to call him if I can and get me and my kids food. Well one night after being ripped out of my bed by my hair I picked up a glass vase in my room and told the POS jerk that if he would not let me use the phone that I would hit him with it, he did not believe me and I threw it at him it hit his head and I ran to the phone and called “my friend” it was 1am in the morning he came over ran into our house told the POS leave her ( me) alone and if he came near me again he would not live to see another day. We grabbed the kids and some clothes and never looked back, That man that literally saved mine and the kids life is now my husband and great father to my kids and he has never ever raised a hand at me nor do we hardly ever argue and for the past 6 years I have slept at night not having to fear for my or my kids lives
    I almost don’t know how to respond to this. I know you from our many bloggy interactions, emails, and tweet sessions and I love you dearly. When I wrote this post it was like 99% of my other posts; smart-mouthed, tongue-in-cheek with just a hint of truthfulness. It never occurred to me it would hit a nerve with an abused spouse. I understand abuse – believe me – I was in an abusive relationship at one time but I was fortunate enough to get away before any real damage was done (except to my self-confidence). I am thankful that you met someone who was able to help you and that you are now blessed to be married to him and happy as you deserve. There is always help available to anyone who is in an abusive relationship; it is not always easy to avail oneself of that help – too many circumstances. It’s difficult to grab your kids and run off in the night when you are being totally controlled by another person. And no one understands this difficulty unless they have been there. L-I’m sorry if I brought back those horrible memories to you through these last two posts. You know I would never hurt you for the world sweetie.

  6. That sounds like really good advice, one tip I heard was “Always try to see the other persons point of view” which I liked.

    My brother-in-law says recognising that one look my sister gives has saved him quite a few times.

    Talking about arguments I always remember waiting to be served in a shop when two little old ladies nearly came to blows about who was next in the queue. It sounds funny now but at the time I was getting quite worried.
    A look can say alot. Devoted Spouse and I each have mastered “The Look”. LOL

  7. Oh honey you did no such thing that was all in the past. With lots of love and affection those “memories” no longer haunt me. If any thing they just made me stronger. I have witnessed men and woman yell at their significant other in public places and a time or two I have spoke up and told them if you fight like this in public think about the damage that you are doing to each other, Walk away and leave each other alone I also have been told to mind my own business and I tell them well if you wanted it private than why the hell are you in public. I know that you would never hurt me and I love you back 🙂
    Whew! *wipes brow* thought I had really stuck the old foot in the mouth big time. Yeah, when I see fights in public, I get out of the way fast – I don’t interfere but I’m glad you have the guts to say something because it might keep a couple from really hurting one another. I’m too chicken because too many people carry weapons these days. And I’m a gun advocate, mind you…but I only trust Devoted Spouse and me with guns! Hugs to you and yours!

  8. I once was stopped at a signal light and the couple ahead of me was arguing like crazy, I too thought the guy was going to attack the lady. But in my case the guy was driving. We then turned to get on the freeway and the guy started driving like crazy. I called 911 and reported them to the CA Highway Patrol. I asked them if I should be calling about this and the Officer told me that we should always call if we think that someone might get hurt by someone else. She said it is better to be safe than sorry. I do not know if they ever caught the guy and I am sure if they did that the lady would be upset that anyone called, but at the same time, I think that maybe I saved her life because the guy was driving insane.

    Okay, now as to who to have wild passionate sex with. Well the answer to that one is: Whoever you want to!!! I mean, just ask Tiger, but then if you do that, you might need to see a divorce lawyer. So if it is not with your spouse then be very, very, very careful. Oh and the other obvious answer to that question is to just have safe sex with a vibrator thingy or a rabbit thingy or any sex thingy. I learned that they have those thingy’s on the show Sex and the City. And the men can use those “hand thingy’s”. Okay, I need to stop, well maybe not yet, cause I forgot about those jelly thingy’s.

    All right, I have to say that one of my friends and I had too many conversations after watching her DVD’s of Sex and the City. We would be laughing so much that we would barely be able to not pee our pants. And I am sure that when we drive and have these discussions that people probably want to call and report us for drunk driving. Can you see us getting stopped by a cop and him asking us what we were doing. Uh, we were “sex talking” officer and then laughing so hard we couldn’t drive straight. Can you just imagine the officer going back and telling the other officers.

    God bless.
    Apparently making that decision to not watch Sex and the City was a good one. ROFL Rabbit thingys? I don’t want to know. Truly.

  9. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to nurture a relationship.
    Also, it’s sometimes good to go to bed angry. It could lead to some wild “make-up” sex.
    Woot!

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