My husband and I have bickered since he came home from work. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens, I’m not going to lie; a good marriage has its arguments, and we have a good marriage. Why this swing? This swing happens to be him coming off night shift, and it’s also a swing that was cut short, and so we have no idea what’s going on for Christmas. Add to that I’m emotionally stuffed from the previous swing, and so we have bickered.
But let me tell you, this bickering business, its shite.
Bickering is emotionally draining. It’s tiring. I love my husband but man I wish the stars would align because mending fences constantly, is physically tiring. I don’t know how couples who live this way do it forever, this bickering dance. Tip toeing, avoiding eye contact, avoiding contact, not holding a conversation for both long and short periods of times; to me, it’s like being underwater, arms flailing everywhere. All I want to do is through my leg over the man, whisper in his ear I love you, I’m sorry, but I can’t because we have been or are in the full crescendo of the bickering dance.
Now I’m not a fighter. I will apologise for the hurt, for the tone, for the sass but what I can’t do is the holding. I don’t hold on to things it useless, and it creates a gap.
And this bickering if you let it go on too long, will squeeze the love out and allow grudges in, bickering when left too long starts a crack between you. Until it eventually makes the gap so wide it’s not just a gap but the friggin grand canyon and there is no Thelma and Louise moment going to see you through.
Fortunately for my husband and me, I’m a bad dancer, and so the bickering dance doesn’t last long it, is however replaced with another dance that squeezes the love right back in where it should be and that post you can read all about here.
But four tips on how to stop the bickering in the mean time:
- Listen instead of talking over your partner. “Research has found that unhappy couples tend to repeat themselves out of desperation to be heard, which isn’t productive. They wind up talking at each other instead of having a dialogue,” says Benjamin Karney, Ph.D., codirector of the Relationship Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.
- Go to bed angry. If your bickering because you are tired there is no point in continuing the argument. Read more here.
- Don’t make it personal. In the heat of an argument, the gloves often come off. The problem, notes Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., director of relationship education at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, is that once nasty insults start flying around and feelings are hurt, nothing will be resolved.
- Decide if it really matters. This time tomorrow will it really matter? About the tone your partner had in their voice when they asked you to take out the rubbish.