Why married people fight!

I’m thinking of opening my own marriage counseling service. My wife and I have been married for close to three decades. Now I would need to tell anyone who came to me that my wife is the brains of the outfit. Outside of that, what qualifications do I bring to the job? Oh, absolutely none.

But, I’ve walked into an enough fights and have seen enough people fighting to know that if you communicate and find a way to compromise on a few topics, you, at least increase of your chances of surviving the day. If you keep at it, then you increase your chances of surviving the week, month, year and eventually making your marriage work. If you don’t avoid these few areas, then all bets are off, you’re looking for trouble. Here we go:

Image by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

Newlyweds: Divvying up the chores? Who washes the dishes, who tackles the laundry? Who makes the bed, who dusts the bedroom? Mess up this one and you’ll come home one night, find your bags packed, and find yourself sleeping in the doghouse.

New parents: Who changed the last diaper and who’s going to get up with the baby in the middle of the night? Tired from a long day, it doesn’t matter. You better be prepared or you could be on permanent diaper duty! (Trust me on this one: you don’t want permanent diaper duty. It’s not a fun job.)

Five to ten years of marriage: Danger zone, danger zone, danger zone. We all need a red flashing danger zone light to warn us from looking too long at the sun. We need the same type of warning in relationships when dealing with questions like where to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas and other holidays? Or even better yet, asking your spouse what they talked about with someone from the opposite sex:

  • What were you talking about with that hunky guy at the convenience store?
  • Why were you talking with that cute receptionist at the doctor’s office?

Ten to 20 years of marriage: Forgetting a birthday or anniversary. If you forget a birthday in the first few years of dating or marriage, it’s bad, it’s not a good thing, but it’s not the end of the world, you can make it up. When you’ve been together for awhile though, you could be looking at something worse than the doghouse: you could be looking at the silent treatment.

Image by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

Empty nesters: The house is quiet. You don’t have the little pitter patter of children running afoot anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you’re off scott-free. You face the toughest question in the world: Where do you want to go out to eat? You start to tell your spouse to pick, but she comes back with “No, you pick!” You think okay, I’ll make a choice. You remember that you’ve been hungry for Beef Fried Rice or even Kung Pao Chicken, so you pick Chinese. You think you’re home free, then your spouse says, “No, not Chinese again. How could you make such an awful choice.”

Good grief, you’re in trouble again.

Like walking in a field of land mines, you have to be careful where you step. One more troublesome spot to watch out for: never, ever, forget to say I love you when you start and end your day.

Yea, but what do I know about marriage counseling, I’m just a guy trying to avoid the doghouse. Ha, ha. Good luck.

A few more words on marriage:

“The perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other”
—Kate Stewart

“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”
—Winston Churchill

“Where there is love, there is life.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
—Maya Angelou

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”
—Andre Marois

24 thoughts on “Why married people fight!

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  1. This brightened up my morning, Brian. I am hitting the 15 year mark in my marriage and was interested in your section covering the 10 to 20 years of marriage. I’m finding the silent treatment is much more unsettling than the doghouse. I may be coming to you for some advice in the future. The Kate Stewart quote sums up marriage perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, for me the silent treatment has always been worse. At least with the doghouse, I eventually find out what I’ve done wrong, what date I’ve missed, where I’ve screwed up. The silent treatment you never know. Ha, ha. Coming to me for advice! Yikes! I’m as clueless as the next person, but fortunately, my wife like the Stewart quote, has refused to give up on me. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote from a married perspective since it’s what I know . . . but you’re absolutely correct in including common law/long-term relationships. Glad you included them. It’s not a linear journey with lots of ups and downs. I think it makes a lot more sense when I look at it as taking one step at a time, day by day. You take enough steps together and it starts to become more natural and they start to add up. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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      1. It’s true. I’ve been with the same person for 20 years (house, kids) but as common-law. Just last week we were in the food court at the mall with the kids. He asked me what I wanted, I said “same as you”. I was hoping for Greek. Did I say Greek? I did not. Why? Because I expected him to read my mind. 🤯

        He brought me Pad Thai. I said thank you, ate it, it was good but I wondered why I didn’t speak up.

        🤷‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not sure if I shared this link on your blog before, but it has been helpful to see problems as a stage. My husband and I felt it was the outside looking “perfect” marriages that fall apart while airing our differences, sometimes loudly, kept them from building up and becoming a problem…I guess I feel heard even though he usually wins, lol. Cheers to 30 years as that is also our next anniversary! (I opted for an alternating 2 birthstone bracelet after reading William’s first ring to Kate was a birthstone…they even have bracelets/necklaces/rings with more stones to include the kids—I like to pick my own jewelry. 😜) https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/relationships/7-stages-marriage/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, I try not to make too many assumptions on relationships/marriages, because a relationship can look strong from the outside, but be mush on the inside. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses. Some just hide them better. My wife and I have been together for close to 30, but we have our good and bad too. I try to remind myself that no one is perfect.

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