Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Brief Guide to Great Fighting Between Spouses.

No, I promise you that Dr. Phil will probably not endorse this.  I also promise that there is nothing in here that will tell you how to incapacitate your Hubby or Wiffy.  If that is what you want to do, I suggest using a cast iron skillet while they are sleeping, but you didn't hear that from me.  With that said, here's the real post.

I know that no one ever agrees on everything with their spouse, but as parents we have to be willing to compromise every once in a while.  Sure that doesn’t stop the arguments from happening in the first place, but that isn’t a really big problem if you follow some basic rules to happy fighting between spouses that don’t involve abusing each other.  I know.  Bummer right?  Well, you can’t have everything in life.  Anyway, here are the rules that I ignore constantly.  They aren’t official or anything.  I pretty much just made them up as I went along, but they seem to make sense.  The first rule is that you can’t involve people who are not directly involved in the argument.  This is so not fair.  The second rule is you can’t bring things up from the past.  Let’s let bygones be bygones.  The third rule is you have to keep it civilized.  Yeah I know.  This is never going to happen.  The fourth rule is that you should keep the kids out of it as much as possible.   This is the most important rule because a lot of the time children think that it is their fault that you and your spouse are fighting, and it is awfully scary to see the two people that you love most in the world screaming at each other like howler monkeys.  For all the kid knows, poop will start flying through the air next.  What is scarier than that?  So please, think of the children.  After that, the next most important rule is number three.  Keep it civilized otherwise someone is waking up dead the next morning.  In my case, it would be me because, believe it or not, I am a bit of an asshole.  At least try to act surprised.

As important as it is to follow these rules for fighting it is equally important to keep a little sense of humor alive when you fight with your spouse.  As long as you can see the humor in random things, you will be doing alright.  For my wife and I parenting isn’t all that hard by any means.  We love it!  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when it gets frustrating.  I don’t think either one of us has ever gotten irritated with our son, but boy do we get pissed off at each other on occasion.  I won’t lie, and I am not ashamed of the fact that my wife and I argue.  We all do.  It is only natural.  Unfortunately, like most people, we don’t follow the rules every time we argue.   That’s when things really get heated. 

For my wife and I, more than likely one of us will say something unduly harsh.  Ok, ok it is usually me, but I would like to pretend that both of us do it occasionally.  Anyway, this breach of etiquette will most likely start an entire meltdown of composure.  This is when the humor part has to kick in or things start to get really bad.  In my case, it is at about this point in the argument that the most creative insults spout from my wife and some of them are completely hilarious, and no matter how angry I am, there are times when I can’t stop from giggling like a school girl when she utters something like, “Don’t get saucy with bernaise,” or “I’ll smack your sassy ass,” or “How dare you use my words against me!”  These are the milder things that are stated during our arguments.  Her insults and tauntings get so creative that I can’t even think of uttering anything in my defense because nothing can top what she has said already.  I would type a few of the better ones out for you, but I honestly can’t remember them in their entirety and to just tell you pieces of the put downs wouldn’t do them justice.  But, trust me they are pretty hilarious and almost always make me want to laugh.

Anyway, it is at this point that the argument usually starts to wind down because my heart is no longer into it whether or not she is finished yelling at me.  As for the other three rules, they should be obeyed in order to keep a lively discussion from becoming an all-out war.   Unfortunately, I can never follow the rules.  I might have tried at one time, but I failed miserably.  For instance, I might say something like, “Well you remember that one time when we first started dating…?”  That isn’t fair.  Chances are that I don’t even remember the occasion I think I am remembering.  Sometimes, if I can’t think fast enough I blurt out scenes from a movie and hope she doesn’t notice.  That is always a mistake.  She’ll without a doubt call me on it and start laughing.  One time I got the scenes mixed up between Erin Brokavich and Jerry Maguire.  I thought I was doing well until she said, “Dude, that was straight from Jerry Maguire or Erin Brockavich.”  Uh oh.  So, this always happens next.  I turn the argument to personal assaults.  I’ll say something like, “If you weren’t such a meanie head poopoo face I wouldn’t have to…”  Lame right?  Yeah I know, but I get cornered and have no other options.  I’d rather start a brawl then admit that I was wrong in the first place.  My manhood depends on it. 

So, I break rules two and three immediately.  However, rules one and four last a lot longer.  I don’t like to bring up other people because it just isn’t fair.  They aren’t there to defend their honor or anything.  So I really do try not to bring anyone else into the conversation no matter what they have done in the past to piss me off.  I also don’t like to argue in front of my baby boy.  It just doesn’t seem right. I don’t want to scare him, and I know it has got to be pretty scary for a little guy when his mommy and daddy sound like they are going to kill each other.  Ok it doesn’t ever get that bad, but I am sure that the baby would get confused and frightened if it did.

So these are my simple but hard to follow rules on fighting with your wife.  I probably wouldn’t follow my advice though if I were you because, as you can plainly see, I don’t have a clue as to what I am talking about.  Plus, if I can’t follow my own rules then how can I suggest that you do the same?  That’s lunacy.  Absolute lunacy.  

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