Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why We Argue

My husband and I argue. We try to not do it in front of the kids. But we do argue. And I complain about him sometimes. And he complains about me -- but I have to say that I'm much worse at this than he is. He is amazing in his patience with me.

I love him more than I ever thought possible.  And yet we still argue. But here's why:

It's how we work things out. It's how we come to realize the real issues. That what's behind the small complaints (I leave my glasses all over the house) is really about me not picking up the kitchen when I should have. Or how a big complaint (You don't respect what I do all day) isn't truthful, it's just a build up of some smaller items (dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is empty, changing channels when I'm watching something).

After 10 years of marriage I've finally realized  that we argue to hash things out. That I'm not always forthcoming with what's bothering me, so I let it build, and then we argue. I'm working on that. My husband, for the most (large, huge) part, just doesn't get angry at me until I react to something he's done, or not done. He's very tolerant that way. I know that because we argue it doesn't mean we love each other any less or have a more dysfunctional marriage than others.

I also know that we complain and tease each other about things we do. He'll be the first to tell you that he can track my movements by where the glasses are in the house (I worked on the computer: a half empty glass of water. I knitted: a half empty cup of coffee. ) and I'll roll my eyes. Then come back with how he doesn't believe anything he hasn't seen before (especially bothersome when planning our wedding. "Throw flowers, not rice? You can't do that. I've never heard of that. You can't do it." Uhm, yes, we can.). But then we laugh. Because you can track my movements around the house based on my drinking glasses, and he really does think things don't exist if he hasn't seen them.

I've been around other couples who don't argue, and I think that's great - for them. It's how they communicate, how their marriage works. But I realize that- after 10 years-  my husband and I have to argue to get to the root of some things. Not everything. There are many things we just discuss, but many others that are hot ticket items and cause us to actually argue.

I also admit that he's a much better communicator than I am. If I'm doing something that is upsetting him, he just comes out and tells me, then is done with it. I stew and think and convince myself that whatever is happening, he's doing it just to bother me. He never is.

So. We argue.

Do you?