Jim Plocker

Mistakes Made in Arguing: You Be the Girl, and I’ll Be the Guy

For some reason I have come across a plethora of articles about how married couples should argue. For one, the “experts” all agree you must disagree on some things, and work them out. Fighting is good, they say. But, you must fight fair.

The following “fighting fair” articles have made their way to my e-mail inbox, one way or the other:

Mistakes Men Make in a Fight

Mistakes Women make in a Fight

So, I decided to cross-check these sets of advice. (Because, you know I don’t have enough to do already.)

Interesting. Here are a few of the cliff notes.

Men should

- be aware of their tone, especially condescension, anger and “glib-ness”

- avoid offering solutions versus listening first,

- not play “tit for tat” (i.e. don’t try to “one up” our complaint with one of your own), and

- avoid just giving in, though display terrific resentment for doing so.

Basically, listen. Kind of like Oprah.

Women should

- avoid showing too much emotion,

- only share what is helpful (avoid rhetorical questions, over-talking, etc.)

- not expect him to respond like a woman,

- not bring up old issues, compare him to the past or (shudder) another man,

In other words, only say what is absolutely necessary. Kind of like Spock.

So, in essence, when fighting, I should be more like a guy, and Husband should be more like the girl.

Oh, but we’re supposed to be ourselves.

I am so confused.

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