The Best Argument

I recently had the best argument with my husband.

Okay, so that isn’t something I ever imagined I would say. But it was really lovely and I went to bed happy and amused.

We were discussing some home renovation plans, money and budgets…not a recipe for an easy or fun conversation. It turned into a money argument,. Anyone see that coming? The one where we disagree about the amount we should spend, how we should spend it, what we should save, and will we end up working at Wal-mart when we retire? It got heated as most arguments do, especially between us.We have a history, you see, of being strong-willed, bull-headed and generally, each needing to be right in arguments. In our early history, we would quickly get heated the moment we disagreed, throw out some “always” and “nevers”, dive into past arguments, get completely off track and go to bed pissed. Then it may linger for a day or two until someone relented and apologized or we just swept it under the rug.

All that sweeping led us straight into marital therapy, once after making it through our first child’s first year of life and the second time after our son’s. We learned so much from each term of therapy and have finally, finally learned from our mistakes. And our marriage is a million times stronger because of it. We have been married ten years this coming May and have walked a rocky path but finally have learned how to deal with eachother.

Click for photo credit

In this recent argument, no daggers were thrown and we pulled ourselves back on track when we started to veer into the “you always/nevers” or condescension trap. This is big news. The funny thing is that we are very similar and actually agree on most things but what we don’t agree on, we REALLY don’t agree on.

So, after about twenty minutes of banter over money, we came to some vague conclusions and I asked for a break from the conversation to relax before bed. He politely obliged and we went about our business. Then right before bed, I went to give him a hug and a kiss and said, “Nice sparring with you tonight, how about some action next time instead?  (winking at him) I love you, goodnight”

And I meant it. No marriage can healthfully exist without the occasional argument, it is how we argue that defines the kind of marriage we have. An argument can be a fine way to release tensions and air out disagreements. Arguments can be healthy. And while I don’t enjoy arguing, it was a nice spar because that is all it was, sparring but without drawing any blood. I went to bed so thankful to have made it to this point in my marriage. The point where we expect to argue, my romantic idea of constant marital bliss is normalized and we argue in a healthy way…most of the time. And as Brittany Bullen said in the comments of her recent guest post, “it is what we do MOST of the time that matters.”

 

Photo Credit: The NY Times. Click for article.

Photo Credit: The NY Times. Click for article.

Do you have any stories of healthy or funny relationship fighting?

18 thoughts on “The Best Argument

  1. My husband has the patience of a saint. I suppose you’d have to in order to be married to me. We fight thusly:
    Bicker bicker bicker…. Fight fight fight… Apologize…. Sex.
    I absolutely can’t go to bed with an unresolved argument hanging in the air. Until it’s resolved, I will sit up like a crazy insomniac. And, by default, so will he. I’ll make sure of it.

  2. Kerry, it’s so great to hear you describe how your arguments have transitioned over time to healthy banter versus hurtful winner-take-all fights. Such a testament to the strength of your marriage!

    • Thanks…I am so thankful for it! Pushing through the hard stuff really led us to the gravy. We both had plenty of times in new marriage, especially after the birth of our first child, where we really second guessed things.

  3. Fighting well is such an important skill to have to maintain a happy, healthy relationship. What a great example. We still fall into the trap of ridiculous arguments that go off track, but we are much better at having a good argument these days.

  4. This is so true. Funnily enough I have learnt the art of the argument from Monkey’s dad and our separation. We had to learn to navigate them priperly or they would just keep ended up a disaster. From my end I have become more accepting. I can say if I am unhappy about something but i no longer have to be like a dog with a bone.

    On something totally unrelated…you and your hubby were in my dream last night!!! You were visiting AUS and we took you out for dinner and the place got robbed while we were there. It went on from that with a bunch of strange and similar events and ended with me deciding my next visit to the states would be to visit you in Florida. I wonder if this will ever happen???? I found the whole thing really interesting. I’ve never dreamt of someone I haven’t met before like I know them!! Xx

    • That is good that you guys figured it out too. And I know you guys are totally platonic but you look really good together 🙂
      Wow…that dream!! That is cool! I would love for you to come visit me!!! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award | Life as a Curious Katie

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