The art of starting an argument, and winning itFebruary 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 2 Comments
Tags: arguments, marriage, relationships
So husband and I are having a ‘spat’. At this precise moment I am in the bath with our three year old and we are playing ‘you be Batman and I’ll be a dinosaur mummy’ which is more often than not the game of choice at the moment with our role play obsessed son.
Husband is sitting on the toilet seat and he is rather irritated. This is because prior to being in the bathroom I’d be in the lounge with him debating the frequency of his trips to the gym and the resulting impact on our family routine. Especially at weekends when quite frankly there are far better things to be doing than flexing and lunging.
Having started running the taps already, I huffed off with toddler under one arm for dramatic effect. I may have also muttered something not very affectionate on my way. I knew I was on the back foot anyway as I was yet to announce that we would be stopping into Ikea on our way home from the inlaws later that day. My husband, like most husbands has a severe intolerance to the big yellow and blue outlet, especially on a weekend.
So all three of us are in the bathroom. “But you do work emails and write your blog in the evenings, how is that any different?” says husband from his throne to kick off the debate.
“When was the last time I did work emails at home?!” I retorted defensively. And here in lies the issue of pretty much any argument a couple will ever have – backing up your case.
Flustered, the best my husband could say was “all the time, I always catch you in your inbox”. So, not having had time to prepare, the only option is to throw something back and hope it sticks; “The point I’m trying to make is not how often you do it, but that you have such double standards” he ventures, trying a new approach.
And then he adds “when do I ever go to the gym without asking you first?!” Damn, damn, damn, damn and damn I curse. Of course I can’t think of a time. And even worse why should he even have to ask for my permission. This is so not going well.
We were discussing such tactical arguments with sister in law and her other half this weekend. Having all agreed wholeheartedly with much nodding that bickering, even on a daily basis was sometimes a necessity within any solid loving relationship, we all felt much better and considered ourselves totally ‘normal’ once more.
We also concurred that it is absolutely and totally impossible to think of examples to back up your case in the heat of an argument when faced with a question such as “so when was the last time I did that?!” Being asked to defend your case is maddenning, infuriating and brain frying. It also tends to result in mud slinging and very much un-thought through and regrettable comments such as “you’re a complete arse” or “I don’t know why I bother”, or even “do I have to do everything in this relationship?!” Not good.
By now my extremities are more than wrinkly and three year old has poured one too many cups of water over the side of the bath so I figure that I need to wrap up and more importantly win this debate – pronto.
“Listen, babe,” I opt for – softly softly trick the monkey style. “Let’s not fight, I love our weekends together, as a family – I’m sorry, you go to the gym and I’ll just blog when you’re not around from now on. This is a two way relationship, let’s be more mindful of what each other wants”. Muaw huh huh huh – a surprised and warming to me again expression creeps across husband’s face as he sinks into a more comfortable position on the bog.
“Ah thanks babe, love you; ok let’s do that”.
I’m out and almost dry by now and husband is heading down the stairs with a renewed spring in his step.
“Oh sweetie?” I call after him. “Yes lover?”…
“We just need to nip into Ikea later…..”