Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wifey’s Weekly Q and A
My husband and I don't have a lot of fights but when we do it’s hard for us to "kiss and make up." Both of us seem to be stuck in the mode of proving the other person wrong and making sure that our point is heard. We have a hard time listening to each other and feeling empathy for each other's position. Can you give me some tips on fair fighting and on making up afterwards?
- Mrs. Fair Fighting
Dear Mrs. Fair Fighting:
Kudos on recognizing the problem, sometimes that’s the hardest part. This type of fighting is very common, especially with new millennium couples. Many wives are often so concerned about being right and maintaining their independence that they end up in competition with their spouses. We should be striving to align with our partners, not trying to conquer them.
My suggestion is for you to take the lead and make a conscious decision to break the competitive cycle. If you take a new, positive approach to fighting eventually he will follow suit. Be patient and strong, it can be difficult in the beginning – especially if he is still showing little empathy — but hang in there, your relationship will be better for it. Also, don’t announce your new plan of action. He might get defensive so just make it happen. Here’s a few Do’s and Don’ts to get you started:
Do put yourself in his shoes. Think about things from his perspective and really try to understand his point of view.
Don’t go below the belt. He’s your husband, remember that you love him and he should be the last person that you want to hurt.
Do agree to disagree. Sometimes you have to call a truce and let it go.
Do say “I feel” instead of “you did.” Even if you know it’s his fault, finger pointing will only make things worse.
Don’t over analyze. Listen to the words that are coming out of his mouth. Most men don’t have hidden agendas, they are straightforward and to the point.
As for making up, once you’re fighting a little fairer this will come easier, too; until then, give each other space to cool down and do your best to leave the argument in the past. “Kissing and making up” might be the perfect incentive to fight fair faster.
Winks & Smiles
I have the classic problem: my husband forgets to put the toilet seat down. I’m tired of going to the bathroom and falling in the toilet. I’ve asked him a million times to try and remember, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. What should I do?
- Mrs. Toilet Trauma
Dear Mrs. Toilet Trauma:
The answer seems so simple to me now, but I remember a time when I, too, used to stress over silly stuff — it’s so easy to do! I continually come across so many women who give too much energy to things that don’t deserve it. So many that I decided to address it in my new book “Help! I’m a Newlywed…What Do I Do Now? Wife-Saving Advice Every New Bride Must Know to Survive the First Year of Marriage. Here’s what I say:
Don’t harp on silly stuff. Who cares if the toilet seat is up or down, or if the cap is on the toothpaste? Get a grip, or your own toothpaste, and let the gripe go!
It’s so cliché to even address some of these stereotypical gripes, so I’ll be really brief. Life is too short to give the toilet seat so much of your precious time. Once you get into your marriage, you’ll realize that there are bigger fish to fry, hills to climb, battles to pick (since I’m being cliché, why not go there?), and that it really doesn’t make much difference if he lowers the toilet seat or not. The following is probably the simplest piece of advice that I can give: if you go to use the bathroom and he left the toilet seat up… put it down.
Winks & Smiles,
Want to weigh in? Don’t be shy, leave a comment and share your thoughts. Got a question? E-mail Wifey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.