Why do husbands and wives usually argue?

A couple having an argument at their home

Arguing couples


She needs to air feelings. He wants to give solutions. The millions of marital arguments down through time may have had many different tunes, but they have often been variations on a few basic themes."

Understanding your mate’s different perspective or communication style may help reduce these blazing forest fires to glowing charcoal in the hearth of a happy home.

Let us consider the variation the arguments take:

“Don’t Run My Life!”


The stereotype of the domineering, nagging wife may hit home with many, a husband who finds himself hemmed in at every turn with advice, requests, and criticisms.

 A wife may make a request that her husband silently resists for reasons unknown to her. Thinking he didn't hear, this time she tells him what to do. His resistance stiffens.

A nagging wife and hen-pecked husband? Or two people who simply haven’t communicated clearly?

From a wife’s perspective, she best expresses her love for her husband when she offers helpful advice.

In her husband’s view, she is ordering him around and implying that he is incompetent. “Don’t forget your briefcase” is for her a statement of caring, making sure he has what he needs.

It reminds him of his mother calling out the door after him, “Did you take your lunch box?”

A weary wife may gently say, “Do you want to eat out tonight?” really meaning, “Won’t you take me out to dinner? I'm too tired to cook.”

But her devoted husband may seize the moment to praise her cooking and swear that he prefers it to any other.

Or he may feel, ‘She’s trying to manipulate me!’ Meanwhile, a wife may resentfully say to herself, ‘Why should I have to ask?’

“You Don’t Love Me!”


“How can she think that?” exclaims a frustrated, perplexed husband. “I work, pay the bills, even bring her flowers sometimes!”

While all humans need to feel loved, a woman has a special need to be repeatedly reassured of this.

She may not say so aloud, but inside she may feel like an unwanted burden, especially if her monthly cycle is dealing her a dose of the blues.

On such occasions her husband may withdraw, thinking she wants some time to herself.

She may interpret his lack of closeness as a confirmation of her worst fear—he doesn't love her any more. She might lash out, seeking to force him to love and support her.

“What’s Wrong, Honey?”


A man’s response to a stressful problem may be to seek a quiet place to ponder over it.

A woman may intuitively sense some tension and instinctively react by trying to pull him out of his self-dug hole.

However well-meaning these efforts are, a husband may find them intrusive and humiliating.

As he retreats to consider his problem, he glances over his shoulder to see his loyal wife trotting behind in hot pursuit.

He hears that persistent loving voice: “Honey, are you all right? What’s wrong? Let’s talk about it.”

If there is no reply, a wife may feel hurt. When she has a problem, she wants to talk it out with him.

But the man she loves doesn't want to share his feelings. “He must not love me any more” may be her conclusion.

So when the unsuspecting man finally emerges from his inner world, content with the solution he has found, he also finds, not the concerned loving mate he left behind, but an angry wife ready to challenge him for leaving her out in the cold.

“You Never Listen to Me!”


The charge seems ludicrous. It seems to him that all he ever does is listen.

But as his wife talks, she has the distinct feeling that her words are being screened and analysed by a computer solving a maths problem.

 Her suspicions are confirmed when, right in the middle of a sentence, he says: “Well, why don’t you just . . . ?”

When a wife comes to her husband with a problem, very often she is neither laying the blame on him nor looking for a solution from him.

What she wants most is a sympathetic ear that will hear, not just the cold facts, but her feelings about it.

Then she wants, not advice, but validation of her feelings. That’s why many well-meaning husbands trigger explosions when they say: “Sweetheart, you shouldn't feel that way. It’s not that bad.”

Often times, people expect their mates to be mind readers. “We've been married for 25 years,” said one man. “If she doesn't know what I want by now, she must not care or is not paying attention.”

“You’re So Irresponsible!”


A wife may not say so outright to her husband, but she can imply it just as clearly in her tone of voice. “Why are you so late?” could be seen as a request for information.

More likely, though, her accusing look and hand on hip says to her husband: “You irresponsible little boy, you had me worried. Why didn't you call? You’re so inconsiderate! Now dinner is ruined!”

She is right, of course, about dinner. But if an argument erupts, is their relationship at risk as well?

Most arguments occur not because two people disagree, but because either the man feels that the woman disapproves of his point of view or the woman disapproves of the way he is talking to her.

Conclusion


Some are of the opinion that at home one should be free to let the words fly unrestrained. But a good communicator seeks to work out an accord and achieve peace, considering the listener’s feelings.

We might roughly compare such talk to serving your spouse a glass of ice water as opposed to splashing it in his or her face.

We could say the difference is all in the delivery. But how can this be achieved? Please read the following article: Improving husband and wife communication.

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