Post # 1
I would really appreciate some help!
I come from a big family where hardly anyone is divorced. DH has never lived with, or seen close up a fully functioning married unit.
In my background emotions during conversations are par far the course and mean you were passionate about what you were saying (even if is just a silly chat about your favourite Simpsons character!). DHs family never emote- even if someone dies (I’m not joking). He thinks that when I express myself with passion – if any of that is negative (even if I am just ranting about a news item, or venting about my work day) – then we are arguing. Because he doesn’t emote I don’t find out until ages after that he perceived it that way.
We have what I would call an argument (one of us has pissed the other off and we are angry with each other/feelings are hurt) maybe once or twice a month. It’s more than I would like but rarely over important things so I don’t sweat it. But between what I call an argument and what he thinks of as an argument, he thinks that we are an unhappy couple, likely to break up. Even though he admits we are happy he doesn’t think we are “happy enough” because if we were we wouldn’t argue so much! His basis for us being ‘unhappy’ is purely based on a numerical count of arguments – not how severe/meaningful they were or how we get along the rest of the time!
My upbringing and experiences tell me that most couples lock horns a little, that emoting (positively or negatively) is just part of communicating and fine, and that unhappiness is usually based on severity and meaningfulness of arguments. I am, however, prepared to be wrong! DH has no role models for marriage so doesn’t know really what “normal” is and I think he thinks normal should be in monotone and a disney/Hollywood happy ever after. Maybe it is?
So I just wondered – how often do you ‘happy’ bees argue with your SOs, and what do you and do you not classify as arguing? What do you think is ‘normal’?
I’d really appreciate hearing any experiences you’d be willing to share!
Post # 3
@moonfairie: FI and I are dont argue that often, maybe once a week or so? I wouldnt even call it proper arguments, it’s more like we are discussing different things. FI is more sensitive though, he will say that I shouted at him even when I barely raised my voice. He is the kind to become very quiet during a discussion while I turn into speeches…
Proper arguing for us would involve bringing up old stuff, having to leave the room for a few minutes to calm down and tears. Fortunately that does not happen often.
Could it be that your husband went to a boarding school by any chance? Or non-state single sex school? People I have met who boarded from a young age hated arguments and would avoid them at all costs.
Post # 4
SO and I are kind of similar. He’s a very loud, passionate, emotional person. I certainly have and show a lot of emotions, but I don’t express them like he does. He is also a ranter. I often have to try to cut him off several times because he starts on a tangent and he works himself up and with me trying to calm him down it starts to seem like we’re arguing. I ask him to stop because nobody is arguing back about what he’s saying, so he should calm down. When he is upset, he also seems angrier than he actually is. When we argue for real, I get scared that he is insanely angry with me when he’s really just annoyed. He’s just so loud.
He thinks we argue rarely. I think we argue relatively often. But that’s because I consider every negative interaction somewhat of an argument. Earlier today I was in a bad mood and being a little unreasonable for like 10 minutes with him on the phone. He got annoyed with it as he should have. In my mind, that was an argument. But it has absolutely no impact on our relationship because it was over by the end of the call. These things are totally normal in a relationship. When I interact with one person so often, there’s no way for me to just be rational all the time! With anyone else in my life, I just keep to myself if I’m in a bad mood and am known to tell people to not talk to me or not listen to what I say if I’m in a particularly bad mood and can’t isolate myself. But SO has to deal with all sides of me and sometimes his reactions to it make it seem like an argument. I understand this, and therefore I don’t really let it bother me.