Today’s topic is one that is close to my heart and it is one of the biggest problems that couple’s face. This is true for both new couples and especially old couples that have been together for a long time. The single biggest mistake that puts a wedge in a couple’s relationship is arguments. Specifically, unresolved arguments.
Hi, I’m Andrew from the Foolish Couple.
For decades, all I remember about my parents are their arguments. Throughout my childhood, I don’t think there was actually a single day that my parents did not have a fight. What they fought about was always something very trivial. But as a kid, I thought that it was normal for couples to argue all the time.
The fighting, arguments, and the bickering never stopped until more than 4 decades later. And that was when my dad’s Parkinson’s got some bad that we had to put him into a senior assisted living home so that he can get the proper nursing care that he needed.
Almost overnight, I noticed that my parent’s relationship changed.
My dad spent over 10 years in the assisted living home. Every day, my mom would cook some of his favorite dishes, put them into little lunch boxes, stuff those boxes into a bag and then go and take the bus for an hour to go visit him. And the times when I was in town, I would take my mom to visit my dad.And what I saw, now that I was in my 40s, was something that I had never seen in the past 40 years of my life.
My dad’s eyes actually lit up when he saw my mom. They would smile to each other, talk about the news and whatever was happening with the family. There were no arguments, no bickering.
So why am I telling you the story about my parents?
I am telling you the story about my parents because it is so important to resolve arguments as soon as you have them. Too many couples argue over the most trivial things. Mostly, these arguments revolve around children and finances, but then it could also be as trivial as what movie to watch or which parking space to take at Costco.
Recently, I had lunch with some friends and we were talking about arguments between couples. The conversations were interesting and sometimes a little heated, and mostly, Minna and I just sat back and listened to everyone’s input.
The one interesting thing that I noticed was that the men said they would always be the first to say “I’m sorry” to their wives. More interesting, most women would agree that the arguments usually started with the men, and that their husbands were always the first to say they were sorry. Even more interesting is that the women in that table claimed that it was rarely their fault that the arguments started.
Except one of our dear girlfriends. What she said was so enlightening, and I hope that all the others caught it too, because it is the lesson that I am going to teach you today.
She said that she never started any of the arguments that they rarely have with her husband. The reason was ever since the last argument that she was wrong, she owned up to her mistake, explained why it happened and said she was sorry that the argument happened. She also made sure that she never made the same mistake again that caused that argument. This was gold and every couple should do this.
Let me explain what I mean by unresolved arguments.
For the men out there, it is not enough to say I am sorry so you can sleep with your wife in the same bed that night.
Just because you said you are sorry and you don’t actually own up to why it’s your fault will hurt your relationship. That wedge between your relationships will slowly build over time.
For the women out there, it is time for you to own up and say sorry when it is your fault.
The men do not always start the arguments, it is not always our fault and we should not be sorry for something we didn’t do.
All these unresolved arguments that ended with just a simple sorry is like a boiling pot of water. Eventually the water will pop the lid and boil out. That is what happens with relationships. All these unresolved arguments leads to bickering over the many years through decades, like what my parents experienced.
Worse, it is what your kids experience growing up thinking that it is normal and do the same when they get married and have their own children. It is almost like the “Circle of Life” in the lion king but a Vicious Circle.
So the lesson today is. If you make a mistake that caused an argument, there are 4 things you need to do to resolve it.
Let’s stop all the bickering in our life’s and concentrate more about the things we love about each other to strengthen our relationships. Don’t wait till it’s too late to realize how lucky it is that you have each other like my parents.
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