Posts Tagged ‘fighting’

photo by: Cambo

Love and war.  Shove and roar.  When we decide to go head to “head” in a heated Battle of the Sexes, we shamelessly fire off any and all ammo we can dredge up from the dark cobwebbed recesses of our minds…be it pertinent, or not…recent, or not…rational, or not.  Emotion knows no rationality.  So, once we’re hurt, we’re eager to return the favor.  All’s fair in love and war, right?  There’s a popular notion that we hurt the ones we love the most.  Novel notion, no?  Although we’re well aware of this tidbit, we’re repeatedly shocked with disbelief when a loved one uses our heart as a dart board.  Why?  Because we’re desperately passionate about the ones we allow close enough to throw those darts.  If we didn’t love them so fiercely, we wouldn’t be invested in the argument.  Wouldn’t care what they thought, why they thought it, or how it affected our lives.  It’s because we feel so deeply that we fight so passionately.  Any time we wage war on our sweetie, our emotions acts as our guns…our words the bullets.  The bigger our gun, the more deadly the bullet.  Words slinging around in the heat of angry battle like tiny grenades waiting to detonate can’t be easily rationalized, controlled, or unsaid.  The experts tell us to talk, rather than fight…to communicate calmly and rationally face to face.  But if we could manage that tip when our tempers flare…and successfully control emotion,  we may also feel the need to capitalize on our newfound powers and TAKE OVER THE WORLD! 😉

The truth is our emotions are powerful…and, at times, dominate rational thought.  When an argument breaks out, our bodies feel attacked, become overridden with emotion, and respond negatively.  We fight back.  We wage an ugly war.  A war so ugly, we sometimes imagine ourselves having an out-of-body experience…hovering and watching from above as our proudest chair-slinging Jerry Springer moment plays out in all its tacky cut-off jean shorts glory…and we watch helplessly wondering who the hell this untamed idiot is.  Personal shame has abandoned us.  We yell, scream, blame, avoid, cry, bully, play the victim…anything that makes us feel justifiably in the right…NEVER the wrong.  Whatever it takes to further our delusion of self righteousness.  Such is human nature.  But when our delusion is challenged, we feel angry, defensive, hurt, alone…all of which tell our body we remain under attack.  So, we pull out the big guns.  We shoot off explosive words and watch them crash into each other like Stephen King’s possessed cars in a dare devil drag race.  Explosion upon explosion.  The intensity!  But maybe there’s a better way to resolve our heated battles…leaving far less casualties in the wake, less blood on our hands, and make-up sex at our fingertips.  An E-fight?  Fighting via email?  U got it!


Couples WILL fight…over finances, sex, kids, finances, sex, family, finances, sex, a lost connection.  And sometimes, we fight over finances and sex.  When we fight, our techniques differ.  Experts say men tend to withdraw while women seek emotional support.  A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family followed 373 couples over a 16 year time span.  They found that the couples’ fighting tactics were a predictor of marital success.  How they communicated their disappointments to one another ~ whether they reached an agreement, agreed to disagree, or fought to the death.  Essentially, it’s not our fighting that’s the problem, but HOW we fight.  The study found the most volatile combination of spouses consisted of one who tackles the problem head on plus one who withdraws and avoids the problem.  They found the spouse who faced the problem head on perceived the other’s avoidance as an uninvested disinterest in the relationship.  An unspoken “f**k you.”  So, if she’s pushing to fight and he’s avoiding the issue, she “rationally” comes to the conclusion that he just “doesn’t love me.”  Sound familiar?  But in reality, he just needs a cooling off period…time to think before speaking.  Probably not a bad thing.  After all, she may not want to hear what he’s thinking at the precise moment she’s rattling his ear drums with each and every fault he has the misfortune of possessing.

A fight is a natural part of any relationship…a healthy part.  A chance for growth if managed properly.  But the instigator sitting on the sidelines capable of destruction and egging it on is none other than EMOTION.  Experts agree emotion is a perception of the bodily state…a mental understanding of a physical arousal.  An event…such as her cleaning like a housewife gone mad while he reconnects his butt to the couch and his hand to the remote…leads to arousal in the body (likely negative).  This physical arousal leads to an emotional feeling…such as resentment or anger.  The emotion leads to a reaction…yelling, for example. Yelling is simply a byproduct of pain… “expressing your own pain through anger.”  Or perhaps, sharing the “love.”  But obviously, yelling is contagious, breeds more yelling, and drowns out hearing.  Emotion has successfully brought about war with both now feeling pain and expressing it simultaneously.  Both want to be heard.  But neither is.  We can’t seem to hear over our own anger.  We’ve reached…an impasse.

But what if we took our fight to cyber world?  A world free of irrational ammo AND emotion.  Send our enemy an email explaining why we’re upset.  No irrational emotions running the show.  No speaking before we think.  The very act of typing out a thought requires us to deliberate on its rationality.  Our tears may short circuit the keyboard, but they’ll be productive tears…healing our pain instead of adding to the strain.  Our thoughts and feelings ~ minus the accusations ~ will be listened to, and heard, in the neutral world of email.  Both parties feel less attacked without our opposition looking us in the eye and combating us.  Therefore, we listen more, contribute more, and counterstrike less.  Win…win!

Whether we E-fight from completely different locations or just take turns on a joint computer, it’s a chance to pour our hearts out to our sweetie without assaulting him/her with every negative emotion that impatiently and inconsiderately spills forth from our mouth.  And as we sit and read our spouse’s thoughts, feelings, and fears…we feel empathy rather than anger.  Come together, rather than forcing a divide.  Listen, rather than yell.  We’re more likely to open up in a calm stream of thought-out emails.  More likely to clam up in a steady stream of “go to hells.”  When we type out our rebuttals, we eliminate the emotional trigger that sends our bullets flying and avoid hitting our spouse right between the eyes with heavy artillery. So, think before you shoot.  If we shoot up today’s enemy, who’ll be tomorrow’s ally?

Next time a war is brewing, don’t go head to “head.”   Send an email and go heart to heart.  Through your glowering snarl and clenched teeth, look your opposition in the eye and growl…

“You’ve got mail!”

Chick Hughes  🙂

Because we can all use a little editing sometimes.

Mr Basmt

It’s Thanksgiving!  The one day of the year we’re expected to do nothing but eat, drink, and be thankful.  Thankful for the small things…too much food to eat, too many material things that treat, and too few unmet needs to meet.  Thankful for the big things…ever-loving families, always-there friends, and shared-heartfelt memories.  Friends and family are what make our lives interesting…colorful.  Sometimes they color inside our lines of tolerance.  And sometimes not…sometimes they color outside our lines, push our buttons, and drag our grown-up psyches kicking and screaming back to childhood experiences we’ve long since left behind.  Those are the days we’d prefer to keep our lives simple…black and white.  NO COLORING PLEASE!  Like it or not, our families represent the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in each of us.  Holidays approach, and we get together in anticipation of Good food, Good memories, and a Good time.  Our nostalgic memories have betrayed us.  They’ve highlighted the Good memories, altered them a bit, and concealed any hint of Bad from our consciousness.  But it’s there…stalking our innocent nostalgia.  Ready to pounce when we least expect it.  Like they say, we have to  take the Good with the Bad.  Apparently.  Fights ensue over how to prepare the meal, who should sit where, and who was right or wrong about the seating/cooking arrangements for the last family get-together.  Siblings suit up, put on their boxing gloves, and take their corners.  Parents begin serving up guilt as a side dish.  And before you know it, personalities are clashing like trains playing chicken on a one-way track to “All Hell Breaking Loose.”   If one doesn’t play the chicken, the two collide, and the party’s over.  This is it…the defining moment…the test to see just how well we can, or can’t, control our Ugly.

It’s official.  We’re Home For The Holidays.  Welcome to the good, the bad, and OUR Ugly.  🙂

Family can be difficult.  To say the least.  But with all the chaos, all the arguments, all the drama…there’s one factor that can outwit, outlast, and outplay the others.


No matter how many disagreements, differences of opinion, or nasty comments are swirling around the dinner table…behind each and every one of them is love.  Our families support us when life snatches our legs out from under us.   When life gets too easy, our family acts as a doormat to wipe our feet on.  When life gets too messy, they’re the door we knock on.  And when life gets down right cruel, they’re the shoulder we cry on.  No matter what phase we’re experiencing in life, our family plays a role…whether that role is “extra”, supporting, or they’re in the audience cheering us on.  Our family is front and center.  They’re our one constant in this whirlwind life of unexpected twists and turns.  Our navigation system.

Soon you’ll sit down to give thanks and eat like there’s no tomorrow.  Enjoy!  But don’t let the Bad outweigh the Good and bring out your Ugly.  If personalities get on the fast track to clashing, think before you speak.  That turkey may not be the only thing needing to be stuffed.   On this day of thanks, keep your differing opinion to yourself, take a heaping spoonful of dressing, and…


Happy Turkey day!  🙂

Chick Hughes

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey


He’s mad.  She’s mad.  He yells.  She rebels.  He decides to call it a night.  She demands they stay up and finish the fight.   None of us is unfamiliar with the best marital advice this side of a divorce.  Drum roll please… “Never go to bed angry!”  It’s said that if we don’t hash through a disagreement before our head hits the pillow at night, it’ll lead to resentment and ultimately dismantle our relationship.  Well, I don’t know about the rest of the married world…but if I had to resolve every marital argument before going to sleep at night, I’d quickly resemble a zombie from the Thriller video.  And on that laughably inadequate amount of sleep, I’d be much less passive…think cross between “Zombieland” and “NightBitch On Elm Street.” Yeah, this is what happens when I “Never sleep again.”  🙂  But it turns out sleep-deprived fight nights and  groggy dark circle-eyed days don’t pave the spit-swapping way to make up sex.  So, in the event of a night brawl, should we stay awake and duke it out…or put our head to pillow while we internally shout?  Is “never go to bed angry” sound advice?

Psychologists say NO…it’s a myth.  They say couples are afraid of fighting…when, in fact, fighting (in moderation) is a sign of a healthy marriage.  We all fight.  It’s inevitable.  Spending minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day with the same person WILL lead to disagreement from time to time…unless you’re a deaf-mute…and even then the sight of their annoying breathing pattern may eventually tip your tolerance scale.  We coexist, therefore, we fight.  😉  Sometimes over our passionately differing viewpoints…and sometimes over mundane little details of our deceptively delightful days.  Whatever we’re sparring over, experts say the fact that we’re sparring at all is a good sign.  It means we’re comfortable enough with ourselves, AND with our partners, to disagree.  That we won’t go along with whatever the other says just to avoid an argument.  They say it’s THIS bobble-headed “whatever you say” attitude that leads the bobbler to, one day, tire of nodding his head and leave the marital bed.  So, go ahead…speak up!

If you do speak up one late night opportune moment, emotions are running high, and the argument is going nowhere…pushing the issue while both partners are emotionally and physically drained will be more harmful and counterproductive than going to bed while angry.  When we’re exhausted and seething furiously, the last thing we want to do is LISTEN.  And just as important as sharing our opinion is LISTENING to that of our partner.  Listen, share, listen, share…compromise OR agree to disagree and move on.  But none are likely to happen in the middle of a war with lots of ammunition and little rational thought.  We’ll just keep hitting lower and lower below the belt trying to make our point.  In the end, we’ll still go to bed as our heads boil over with tears…however, now more damage has been done…and that damage cannot be undone.  This emotional unleashing is due to what psychologists call “flooding” …when we’re so overwhelmed with anger and emotion, all rational thought has evacuated our firehouse head, our hearts are pounding, and we lose all ability to fairly and justly resolve an argument.  It’s better to table the discussion until  morning and go to bed mad.

When you find yourself head on with a night fight, remember the three R’s:

Recharge: Go to sleep, get rest, and recharge your battery.  The issue at hand will be clearer with a rested mind.  With rest comes rational thought.  With rational thought comes perspective.

Regroup: Think about the point your partner was trying to make.  Was it valid?  Was yours?  More often than not, with a fresh perspective, we realize the argument wasn’t ALL THAT!

Revisit: Choose a time to revisit the issue with your partner.  Discuss it with a clear mind and emotions in check.  If the issue remains ALL THAT upon revisiting, then more discussion is needed.  If not…then let it go, apologize, and get geared up for make up sex.  Established emotional and sexual connections are the ties that bind our love.  Heated fights will unravel those ties.  And failure to reestablish them will burn the edges so they may never bind again.  So, manage your relationship and “tie” it up with a pretty little bow.  🙂

We all fight.  It’s not a sign of the end times for our marriage.  It’s simply a sign that we’re together every day, we have our own opinion, and we’re comfortable enough with one another to vocalize that opinion.  A healthy couple will fight.  A smart couple will fight when the time is right.

So…go ahead.  Sleep on it!

Chick Hughes

“Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.”  ~Lyman Abbott

photo by: wikkedhill

A chore is, by definition, an unpleasant or burdensome task.  Sarcastically translated – action everyone desperately wants a piece of.  So, it’s easy to see why couples get so combative when they aren’t allowed their fair share.  These are, after all, life’s little treasures, aren’t they?  Who doesn’t love to prepare meals three times a day, do dishes twice a day every day, wash, dry, and put away load after load of laundry, or dispose of trash that just keeps reappearing?  If this list seems short, allow me to confirm… it IS.  An actual list of daily household chores (especially households in which children reside) is so ongoing, so tedious, so perpetual…one may begin to feel like throwing in the damn towel rather than washing it ever again.  Chores are no fun as it is.  But when one spouse is doing most of the chores without help, the tension can become so tangible that it seems to evolve into yet another mess that needs “mopping up” before the day is done.

This scenario may sound familiar:

She’s had a long day with the kids and work.  She’s exhausted, but sees no end in sight where the chores are concerned.  The kids need to be bathed, dinner needs to be made, dishes need to be done, a load of laundry awaits, the garbage is overflowing, the phone is ringing, the dog needs to be fed and walked, the kids are arguing, her head is spinning, her sanity is wavering, and she looks over to find her “partner” dozing in the recliner.  She goes from feeling overwhelmed to feeling angry and resentful in a split second.  Why is it her sole responsibility to tend to the needs of everything AND everyone in the house?  Why isn’t her partner helping her?  Of course, resenting him takes time…time she doesn’t have at the moment.  That argument will have to wait.

As for now, dinner, dishes, kids, baths, garbage, and bedtimes are jackhammering her patience.  Once everything is done and the kids are in bed, she can finally sit down for a break.  However, that anger is still lingering just beneath the surface waiting to explode like a shaken soda bottle – all he has to do is open the top.  She’s drained of energy (mental and physical), and suddenly, he’s alertupstairs AND down.  He suggests they go to the bedroom.  Bottle top opened…instead of the warm reception he hoped for, he gets slammed with each and every way he made her night miserable.  The argument that had to wait before is now fully engaged.  May the best man, or woman, win.

He was most likely unaware of her frustrations.  He feels completely blindsided by her ranting, just as she felt alone and taken for granted while he rested.  Her anger has gotten the best of her, and she’s attacking him.  He goes into defense mode and attacks back.  Neither hears the other.  Because he didn’t attempt to help her with chores, she no longer sees him as a partner.  Women will never come out and tell men this,  but when left to take care of absolutely every chore the house demands and every need the kids demand (as if it’s “her” job alone), she feels she’s lacking a partner and her spouse becomes – in her mind –  another “child” or “chore” to tend to.  Is it any wonder she’s not interested in having sex at the end of the night?  Not only does she feel a lack of connection, but she’s seeing him as a chore, rather than a lover.  What was the definition of a chore again?  A burdensome task.  So, when he approaches her for sex after she’s completed EVERY other need in the house, she begins to view that as just another “job” to do before she can relax and go to bed.  Her sentiments may include:  “I did all of this alone…you can do that alone.”  :0  Now he feels rejected, angry, and refuses to help the next night.  The cycle begins.

A marriage is a partnership.  Household chores are the responsibility of both husband and wife.  There are chores inside and outside the house.  And believe me, they’re not going away…ever.  Whether laundry or yard work needs to be tackled, both partners need to help each other and participate.  “Your job” or  “My job” shouldn’t be part of our vocabulary.  All chores fall under “Our job.”  Otherwise, lines are drawn, those lines are crossed, and battles erupt.  The battles erupt because one partner feels shorted.  Tension and resentment replace affection.  And the argument becomes a contest of “who does what every day” and “who did it last.”  When both husband and wife are helping, both feel appreciated, both feel equal, both feel connected.  When both are pitching in, chores are finished sooner.

No one feels unappreciated or taken for granted.  She now sees him as her partner and feels closer to him because they shared the work.  On this night, we don’t have one partner who’s rested up and ready to go and another who’s drained of energy and ready to rest.  On this night, we have two partners who are in the same place physically and emotionally.  They understand how tired the other feels from doing the housework, and they’re emotionally connected because they shared the experience.  Now guess what other experience they’re likely to share?  Because the emotional connection is there, she feels a true partnership.  The groundwork is laid.  Now it’s his turn.  Sex is no chore tonight.  When he approaches her tonight, there won’t be any ranting …maybe a little panting, though.

So, keep in mind…the house, as well as the kids, belong to both of you.  The responsibilities belong to both of you.  The chores belong to both of you.  Remain a team, and avoid nightly wars by sharing the nightly chores.

Chick Hughes

“Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload and remembering to carry out the trash” Dr. Joyce Brothers

You love your spouse, but have trouble sleeping alongside him in bed.  Do you dare venture into the unchartered waters of “separate beds?” Will he feel threatened, abandoned, or relieved?  Will your marriage be labeled as “troubled” if you sleep separately?  Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night trying to peel your way out of the octopus-like grip of your clingy spouse.  Maybe you find it impossible to go to sleep while the reading light blasts through your pinched eyelids.  Maybe your spouse’s bedtime snacking (you know it…the slow, methodical crunching of chips or the slurping noises that make you secretly fantasize about snatching the cup and pouring it over his/her head) make you wonder if you’d get better sleep in the bathtub.  Maybe it’s just the snoring that’s keeping you awake or the tossing and turning.  It could be any myriad of things making your otherwise quiet and peaceful night of sleep seem like a myth…always referred to, but never actually proven to exist.

On the one hand, your bed partner is your “friend” when you’re feeling frisky.  Although sex can be had, and enjoyed, anywhere, the bed seems to be its home base of operation.  No one wants to muddy those waters.  But on the other hand, when you’re trying to sleep…let’s face it…you just want to be alone, and your bed “friend” can quickly become your sleep “enemy”.  No hand-holding.  No cuddling.  No breathing in my ear (this is my no. 1 pet peeve…breathing near my face will only instigate my hellish torment of anticipating every subsequent breath.)  No snoring.  No cover hogging.  No anything!  Just blissful sleep.  Please!

Until the industrial revolution, couples routinely slept separately.  In fact, it was a sign of prosperity.  But once the movement into industrialized areas began, space became an issue.  Combining 2 twin beds into 1 full bed was more efficient.  So began the trend.  However, the idea of separate sleeping is  beginning to flirt with us yet again.  We are realizing that being compatible in our sleeping arrangements isn’t a prerequisite for compatibility in marriage.  We’re wondering if it’s ok to bring this taboo topic up with our spouses.  Some marital partners will be threatened by this idea…others will be thrilled and relieved.  Studies show that your partner’s response will depend on the stability of the marriage.  If he feels secure in the marriage-no impending problems- it may be a non-issue for him.  However, if he feels there are already issues within the marriage, this can be threatening and seem like a precursor to divorce.

Doctors insist that a good night’s sleep is more important to a healthy marriage than sleeping together.  After all, once asleep, does it matter if you’re in the same bed?  An average of 7.5 hours of sleep is recommended for optimal rest.  Proper rest brings more energy to devote to quality time with your spouse while awake.  This will, in turn, lead to a happier, more connected marriage.  After a long day of work, kids, and chores, we all need to be properly recharged before the next round.  Without that “much needed” sleep, guess what becomes the path of least resistance for neglect…our relationship with our spouses.  Kids, work, bills, chores-these won’t stand for neglect.  But time for connection with our sweeties…now that will give without our awareness.  Before you know it, the marriage suffers.  If the marriage crashes, the others will soon feel the waves and separate beds will be your new normal after all.

Every couple should find what works for them.  No two are the same.  But don’t confuse marriage stability with sleep.  Lack of sleep is not well tolerated while trying to keep up with the challenges of our multi-faceted lives.  Sleep is the one selfish thing we should do for ourselves, for the sake of all who have to smile politely while we flash our mentally and physically exhausted “devil” face at them.  It seems, though, that one flaw has been overlooked for us not-so-morning people.  Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that the alarm is screaming in your ear.  Your spouse doesn’t respond, as usual.  You now have to wake him.  With one bed, you can reach over and punch him in the arm with minimal  movement.  But if you’re in separate beds, you can’t reach him.    Now you have to, dare I say, drag yourself out of bed for that punch.  Hmmm, does he prefer one bed and a punch to the arm or two beds and an alarm clock to the face?  🙂

Chick Hughes

“Don’t smother each other.  No one can grow in shade.”  ~Leo Buscaglia

Male/female arguments will sometimes be worked out quickly and rationally due to give and take.  But often times, the argument will stop dead in its tracks and she’ll walk away in silence.  This is when a man knows (or should know) that all hell is about to break loose.  One of two things can happen from here:  he can go after her and try to diffuse the argument (this I strongly suggest) OR he can be stubborn, let if fester, and allow his accounts payable to double with each stomp through the house, eye roll, tear shed, and huff and puff she utters.  Any of this sounding familiar?

I’ve read, and heard, many thoughts by men on exactly why women give them the silent treatment during a fight.  Most of them are wrong.  From my understanding, men think that women are just being juvenile, throwing a “tantrum” to get their way, and simply need to get over it.  This couldn’t  be further from the truth.  This hypothesis should be scrapped and more thought applied.  Women are much more complicated than that.  Let’s examine a man’s perspective…A fight has erupted.  You have your opinion, she has hers.  The two are on tracks on the opposite sides of town and have no chance of meeting.  You argue relentlessly for a short while.  Then you realize you’re talking to yourself.  She has disappeared before your very eyes.  She’s now busying herself-probably cleaning something-with a look of disgust on her face, possible tears blurring her eyes, but not a word escaping her lips.  Your thoughts are likely somewhere along the lines of “What just happened?”  “Why did she leave?”  “I wonder how long this will drag out.”  You try to speak to her and ask her what’s wrong (never ask this!).  She refuses to answer, just stomps around staying busy-ignoring you.  Or she may answer “Nothing.”  Nothing is ALWAYS something.  After a few minutes of trying to figure out what happened, you decide (being competitive by nature) that you are perfectly able to reciprocate.  “You don’t want to speak to me.  FINE, I can play that game too.”   So, now the dead silence begins.  Hours, sometimes days, go by-neither side is giving.  The silence is having no effect on you any longer.  It’s just a waiting game…she can’t hold it in much longer…she’s bound to come around soon.  Right?

Now, let’s look at it from the woman’s perspective.  Same fight has just erupted, two completely different viewpoints, no way of meeting.  She tries desperately to get you to see her side, but soon realizes that it’s impossible, useless.  Do you know why it’s useless?  Because you don’t understand her.  If you can’t understand her view, then maybe you don’t really “know” her as well as she thought you did  (Admittedly, this is somewhat irrational, but still exists in her thought process).  She’s beginning to feel emotionally disconnected from you.  “How could he say that to me?”  “Why won’t he listen to me?”  “How could he not  feel the same way I do about this issue.”  “He won’t even try to see my side.”  “Has he always been this ‘mean’?”  That’s it.  She’s left the conversation.  She is now hurt, no longer just mad.  Because she’s hurt, her anger is growing.  Becoming silent serves 2 purposes:  (1) she can now think this through without your input  (2) She’s giving you a chance to prove that you do, in fact, care that her feelings are hurt.  Take this chance and run with it.  If you don’t,  she’s now thinking…”If he really cared, why would he ignore my pain?”   If you come to her affectionately and try to somehow validate her feelings (you can validate without agreeing–this simply means telling her that you understand..”I can see how you would feel that way.  I feel this way”), she will see that she was wrong.  You will resume your place as hero in her heart.  WARNING…the longer you wait to do this, the deeper your hole becomes.  With every moment you remain stubborn and insist that she’s being childish, you’re confirming her worst fear…You DON’T care after all.  This gives the disconnect a license to dominate.  I hope you enjoy your hole.  🙂

Maybe if men and women understand where the other is coming from, the silent treatment would be drowned out by apologies, kisses, and make-up sex (by far the best part of the fight).  When fighting, both of you want to be heard, understood, and validated.  “I understand how you feel.  Here’s how I feel.  Maybe we can find a middle ground.”  This will steer you down the desired road during a fight.  “You’re wrong!  Why don’t you listen to me?  This is the way it IS.”  This will dock you in silence harbor until further notice.   Men are able to have an argument completely void of emotion…women, unfortunately, are not.  Emotion is her ever-present companion.  Women do not become silent to “punish” you–at least I hope not.  Women become silent as a defense mechanism to deal with the pain of disconnect.  Note to women:  The silence is more painful for you than it is for him.  Men can compartmentalize the fight and put it away until you come around.  Women, on the other hand, can’t and will continue to convince themselves what a jerk they married.  This, of course, is not the case–just a reminder of nature’s colossal joke-men and women will come together, but speak completely different languages in order to complicate life.   Marriage is about give and take.   When fighting, men get stuck in “being right”  mode and refusing to “let her have her way.”  While women would undoubtedly like to have their way (as is human nature), it’s her perception that he has disconnected from her that induces the silent treatment.   So, next time a fight erupts in your marriage, listen, validate, and meet in the middle.  Remember to ban the power struggle from your fight and focus on validation…unless you prefer the icy silence.

Chick Hughes

“Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.”
Samuel Johnson