Quantcast
Till Petty Do Us Part: How Arguing Changes In A Marriage

Till Petty Do Us Part: How Arguing Changes In A Marriage

Marriage

This past summer, a Jewish couple moved in next door. The first few weeks, my husband and I would see them in passing as we carried groceries or our napping three-year-old into the house. They'd be sitting on their front porch watching their three young boys rough house on the lawn, each with a yarmulke securely fastened to his head.


By late autumn, the arguments began. Through the paper-thin walls of our old West Philadelphia row homes, I could hear the wife screaming on several occasions, "You're a nobody and that's why nobody respects you." His reply, "Respect isn't paying bills or allowing you to be a stay at home mom."

It was typical arguing that any couple faces, particularly when two parents reach their breaking point every few months when it all becomes too much. As entertaining as the arguing could be at times, it reminded me of a gem actor Will Smith dropped on wife Jada's Facebook live show Red Table Talk while appearing as a guest on the season premiere. There he made a decent point about the ground rules he had made for the marriage after witnessing domestic violence in his own childhood. Already having one divorce in the works upon meeting Jada, his rules included the banning of profanity and violence in the household, a rule he jokes that wife Jada responded to by cussing him out. It made me think of the concept of "struggle love" as it refers to going through dark times with someone and helping them grow from unhealthy ideas vs. recognizing someone just isn't on your level and when you need to leave for your own self-care.

Marriage doesn't mean you completely know someone or accept all their flaws, but it does mean you're committed to working through difficult times with them.

Arguing changes when you're in a long-term relationship and building a life with someone, especially one that involves children. Before I got married, I didn't understand that living with someone day in and out, you'll routinely have periods when your partner just irks your soul. I recently spent a whole weekend trip slightly annoyed because my husband forgot the Spicy Funyuns I set aside. It wasn't a big deal, but he did manage to remember his Twizzlers, which I hate. And every time I saw him gnawing on red licorice, it was a reminder of how he rushes through things and sometimes forgets small details. Yes, all that over some onion-flavored corn snacks.

Arguments are unavoidable in a relationship, but every disagreement doesn't have to end in a battle royale, destroying one another's character and self-esteem. The next time you find your inner petty rising to the surface over your partner bringing the wrong road trip snacks, take into consideration the following:

1. Find a Partner Whose Arguing Style Complements Your Own

If you're "Shared Netflix Passwords" deep into a relationship, it may be too late for this, but it's important to find someone you can resolve conflict with, even after trading insults and expletives. When I am angry, my tongue needs deliverance. In the past, I've dated men who would trade F-bombs with me until what started as a minor disagreement ended in thrown toiletries and tears. (I almost blinded my ex-boyfriend with a stick of Suave antiperspirant). Those arguments were clearly unhealthy and got nowhere. When I met my husband, the one thing that stood out is that he wouldn't go blow for blow with me. He'd walk away until we both calmed down. It left me with some prime insults that will never see the light of day, but it also led to a healthier way to resolve conflict and kept me free of a criminal record.

2. Choose Your Battles

The dishwasher they forgot to unload. The dirty socks laying right next to the laundry basket. The fact that he left you on "Read" for twenty minutes. If I chose to tap into my inner petty every time I became slightly annoyed with my husband, I'd be the Savion Glover of arguing. In all seriousness, a stroke is third leading cause of death for Black women. Not every minor inconvenience is worthy of raising your blood pressure.

3. Address Issues When They Arise.

Like I said before, if you're packing your bags because your spouse left his beard hair in the sink for the fifteenth time, more than likely, your leaving has less to do with his shaving routine and more to do with much larger issues. In addition, what may be a problem to you may not be on your partner's radar and something they may not even be doing purposely. Sometimes taking time apart to cool down makes it that much easier to work through problems, but it can also be a form of procrastination if you're not careful. If you can discuss it calmly in the moment, don't wait to bring issues to your partner's attention.

4. Understand Tears Don't Solve Problems

They do however have a way of shelving the larger issue. When people are overwhelmed by emotion, it can often come out as tears or profanity, but if you're getting all misty-eyed as a means of manipulation, it's no longer about problem-solving. It's about winning or playing the victim. You're allowed to get emotional, but keep in mind that pulling out the Kleenex alone can't solve problems. Just like time, all they do is put the problem on hold.

5. Avoid Belittling and Name-calling

As tempting as it may be to tell my spouse, "He isn't s**t," or "F**k him and his entrepreneurial dreams," the fact is the low blows are unnecessary and furthermore, I don't believe them myself. During more challenging moments of conflict, it can be all too easy to get distracted by wanting to hurt your partner as they may have hurt you and totally forget about communicating and processing feelings. Focus on finding resolutions, not being crowned "The Queen Of Condescension."

6. Take Into Consideration the Example You’re Setting For Your Children

Parents often take consideration not to argue in front of their children, but honestly when it comes to learning conflict resolution, in many ways you're modeling the behavior you want them to one day display. We're all different people with diverse backgrounds and opinions, so conflict is inevitable. Think about the lessons you're teaching your children, particularly when it comes to communicating with the people they love. How can we tell them to not disrespect others in the world if we're setting the example to demean the very people they call family?

Related Articles

I Discovered My Husband's Love Language And It Changed Everything – Read More

How To Fight Fair In Your Relationship – Read More

I Didn't Become A Wife Until A Year After I Said "I Do" – Read More

Featured image by Getty Images.

Your July 2022 Horoscopes Are All About Happiness, Release & Divinity

July is the month to focus on allowing yourself to receive. There are beautiful opportunities for blessings this month when you can get out of your own way, and release self-doubt. With Cancer Season here, emotions are flowing, love is showing up, and home is wherever your happiness is. The power of attraction is strong this month as Pallas enters Gemini on July 4 as well, and deep insights are prevailing. July is the time to gain the clarity and answers you have been looking for, and decide where to move forward from there.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
How To Focus Less On Who You Attract In Dating & More On Who You Entertain

The law of attraction is tricky. A few years ago, I felt something was deeply wrong with me because I kept attracting people who hurt me. No matter how hard I tried to fix myself, and alter my energy, the same type of people kept coming my way. I'd talk to my friends about it and ask them, "Why do I keep attracting this type of person? Why do I keep having the same experiences?"

Keep reading...Show less
Here’s What’s Streaming On Netflix And HBO Max In July

There’s nothing like finding a good TV series or movie to watch on your favorite streaming services. The summer is the perfect time to explore what’s new and exciting or revisit an oldie but goodie. Both Netflix and HBO Max have some exciting and new releases for July. From HBO Max’s Rap Sh*t, which is presented by Issa Rae to the season three premiere of Ludacris’ Netflix animated series Karma’s World, there are plenty of options to choose from. So get your streaming on below.

Keep reading...Show less
Kelis On The Importance Of Having Black Women On Her Team

As a Black woman, Kelis knows how important it is to work with other Black women, help each other and give each other opportunities. The “Milkshake” singer has always been a voice for female empowerment with her popular female anthems like “Caught Out There” and “Bossy” and in a chat during Refinery 29’s Unbothered Presents The Glow Up festival, Kelis opened up about the Black women behind her legendary career and how Black women should create safe spaces for ourselves.

Keep reading...Show less
10 Romantic Date Ideas That Absolutely Bring The Heat

As you may know by now, the summer produces some of the best and most nostalgic soundtracks of our lives. The mood is set by fun and light sounds of the past and present, giving you the playlist that you need for the summer you want. Summer, no matter how hot, is a magical season where anything can happen, especially in the romance department. Long nights and short days act as a backdrop to new beginnings, summer flings, and the possibility for more (depending on what you’re looking for). But it doesn’t mean the romance has to be dull, regardless of the timeline you’re hoping to create. Like I said before, summer is what you make it so the options are limitless.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
A Black woman looks into the camera and gives a closed-mouth smile. She's wearing a black turtleneck

Miss Diddy Kicks Off BET Awards Weekend With 'A Toast To Black Hollywood'

Her annual event to celebrate the culture has a new name and more intention than ever before

Latest Posts