Last night my husband and I had a fight. For sake of word count the bottom line is, I needed his attention and he wasn’t giving it to me the way I wanted it. So I said it, I said the words I knew were going to cause hell to break loose “It bothers me that…”and that was the beginning of our fight. He was angry and frustrated, I was hurt and frustrated (at least we had something in common). I felt completely misunderstood and he felt judged. I tell you, this relationship/marriage thing is way too complicated. Men are from another galaxy. I used to think they were from another planet but the longer I’m married the more I believe in life in another galaxy “The MENaway”. Anyway, back to my story.
We got over our stupid fight (well not really it takes me 24 hours to a month to get over it and if it overlaps with my cycle we could be talking about two months easily :)) and went on with our night. We had dinner, kids watched some tv and then went to bed. My husband retired to our bedroom and I went to the living-room to do some reading and watch HOMELAND with Gin – a very light gin and tonic to relax after a frustrating fight 🙂
I sat down, turned on my iPad to get to my nook app where I have the book I’m reading, but instead, I decided to go on the Internet. When I opened my Internet application, I noticed there was an active google search that read “How to make your parents stop arguing”. Our kids were searching the Internet while my husband and I were arguing. I sat there staring at the screen and feeling like the worse parent on earth. As I started to indulge in my own guilt, I couldn’t help but think about my own childhood. Would you believe if I told you that growing up I NEVER SAW MY PARENTS ARGUE? NEVER! But one day after being married for 25 years they were ready to get a divorce. That for me, at the age of 24, was the biggest shock of my life. I felt betrayed by my parents and felt like my whole life had been a lie up to that point. Thankfully they worked it out and have noe been married for 40 yrs.
They never argued in front of me because they wanted to “protect” me. They wanted me to think and believe that everything was perfect – talk about a mask. (refer to “Unmasking The Mask” post). That didn’t help me. It only made me want a “perfect marriage” that can’t exist because the components of a marriage are not perfect. It made create false expectation, unrealistic expectations, not to mention the pain I felt when I found out they weren’t really happy and finally after sh– hit the fan they wanted to call it quits. This memory was a way of God saying to me “yes, you are little messed up, but you are doing a heck of a better job than your parents did.” By the kids seeing my husband and I argue (within guidelines of course) they see real people. They are not growing up expecting their spouse to be perfect. By letting them see that, I’m being REAL with my kids and that’s part of letting go of my mask.
Yes, I believe we must be careful about how we argue, making sure we don’t cross the line of respect. However, I actually think that some arguing is healthy. Today I asked them in a playful way, “so, somebody was searching online last night about how to make your parents stop arguing, ha?” My son answered laughing “oh yes, and you know what it said? STAY OUT OF IT! hahahahaha”
I went on to explain to them that it was totally normal and reassured them that mom and dad are ok.
As per Gin and I, we had a lovely evening
So tell me, What do you think? Is some arguing healthy or not?
til next time,
- Is Arguing Really Bad for the Children? (psychologytoday.com)
- Knowing How To Argue (sincemydivorce.com)
- Should You Argue in Front of Your Kids? Study finds it doesn’t matter how parents fight – as long as they make up. | Babble (babble.com)