One of the most common questions we’re asked in this new little blog is, “what about the fights?”
Indeed, if you haven’t had some serious, heart-pounding disagreements in your relationship, you’re probably not in a serious, heart-pounding relationship yet.
Disagreements are inevitable in any long-term relationship, and sometimes they can be very spirited ones. Let’s face it – if you’re going to be married, you’re going to fight sometimes.
We think the difference between a marriage that remains strong after a fight, and the one that is damaged from it, is how you fought. In 1579, poet John Lyly wrote that “all is fair in love and war,” but when love is war, we can’t stress enough how helpful it is to have some rules of engagement.
We’re going to cover our Twelve Rules for Fighting Fair, our “Dirty Dozen”, as it were, over two blog posts. This week, you’ll get the first six, and next week’s post will cover the rest.
One thing we should note before we begin:
We are most definitely not talking about enduring abuse of any sort, including verbal and emotional abuse. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, you need to seek outside help immediately. Here is a hotline for victims of domestic abuse that will help you get out, and stay safe. Or, in a moment of violence, immediately call 9-1-1. Do it!
That said, here are our first six rules to fight fair:
Men are wired to decide what they want, go look specifically for that thing, hunt down that single thing, and return home victorious. On the other hand, women were programmed to go looking for lots of the same thing. They had the time and patience to be choosy on which ones they took (whereas a passing antelope might be the only one that day).
That makes perfect sense to us.
If a man feels cold, he goes to the store, really any store will do, to buy a coat. He finds a coat on the rack and tries it on. If it fits, he proceeds to the checkout, pays for the coat, and leaves the store. The hunt is completed; he has his coat. Now to hurry home before the game starts.
A woman will start foraging for a winter coat as soon as they’re out on racks… in July. Then they need to try on every style, look at every color, and find the best price in eleven different stores.
So it’s just our biology. Women love to forage. Men love to hunt one thing, kill one thing, and go home. (There’s probably a game on, anyway.)
Fast forward to the modern era, and we see this truth played out in hilariously predictable scenes at every store in the country. Bored, frustrated men drag painfully behind their attentively-price-comparing wives. Fitting rooms in ladies’ departments always have husband chairs. Or, husbands get dropped off at the row of couches and benches in the main part of the mall, to be forgotten for hours on end.
We’ve had our own man-mall moments, too, but usually, Jeremy tries to put a fun spin on them. Behold, a real Facebook post from 2014, as he sat waiting for Kari outside a fitting room (with a massive storewide sale going on):
And here is yet another from 2018, when he reminded the entire world that he was hungry and she wouldn’t stop trying on bras so they could go eat.
After giving it a whole afternoon (there wasn’t a game on), Jeremy can’t answer this question. We wonder how many men who do go with their wives might have a reason.
“I honestly don’t know. I think it’s because we don’t see all that much of each other all week, so when the weekend finally shows up, Kari usually has a long to-do list that includes shopping. To spend time with my wife, I tag along. And then I hate every minute of it, and I make her miserable in the process.” – Jeremy
As our bevy of photographic evidence will show you, Jeremy is definitely not alone in repeating this traumatic cycle.
So what’s the solution?
Ha! You think we, your humble bloggers, are going to solve this one for you?
Not a chance. There is no known cure for this relational disease.
The obvious answer (that no men seem to follow anyway) is, men, if you don’t like to shop, don’t go with her. Kari assures you that every wife reading this will gladly give you permission to stay home.
So guys, let’s commit to let our wives shop in peace in 2019, while we nap someplace cozier than the sticky local mall “pleather” couch.
Question: “Help! We’re engaged and have very different interests and hobbies. Is our marriage doomed?”
That’s a very good question! And while we both will chime in separately and give a “his and hers” flavor to the discussion, we both agreed that it is VERY important to have your own interests, and to encourage and celebrate those in each other. Read on: