"My Husband and I Argue All the Time"- thoughts from a 25 year counselor

"All couples argue," says Roland Trujillo in a recent radio interview. Read the whole interview

"All couples argue. Because you have two different people with different needs and different opinions, arguing is inevitable.

In fact (and this is controversial) men and women live in different worlds. So again, disagreements are to be expected.

If it is any consolation to you, arguing is very common in marriages. You could almost say that all the squabbling and arguing are "normal." I would venture to say that if a couple isn't arguing--something is wrong.

If there is silence, then it is usually an eerie silence, with buried resentment and hostility underneath. Or it's a marriage in name only (like some celebrities get married just to further their career). Or perhaps one person has completely capitulated and has become a repressed doormat.

Arguing is par for the course. Men and women are different and live in different worlds. Someone once said that a good marriage is a good fight. Yes, there will be arguments. But there is such a thing as a good fight.

A good fight is when what is right wins. A good argument is when-instead of sniping, anger, violence, or a game of one upmanship--reason prevails.

There is an ancient mystery between men and women going all the way back to the Garden of Eden. And there is a legacy of misunderstanding that is passed down from one generation to the next. It is hard to convey all I wish to say in just a few paragraphs, but I can provide a few hints to get you thinking along these lines.

Divorce is not the answer. What is needed is understanding.

Abraham Lincoln once said that two people can disagree without becoming disagreeable. Arguing, especially if done in the right way, gets things out on the table and is better that the typical eerie silence with resentment and secret hostility underneath. If one person is unreasonable--it should just draw forth more reasonableness in the other. Remember: what is right is more important than who is right. When right prevails, then it is a win-win for both.

We must also wake up to see that we have been resenting and blaming the other person. Most of us are basically selfish. We have an agenda we want to impose on the other. When our needs are not met, we become resentful and begin to look elsewhere.

The truth with love is supposed to set us free. But few of us have the love to set others free.

I once had a listener who could not understand why she so resented her husband. He was decent, hard working, honorable, always there, and kind. But he lacked something special (a love that comes through him from God). I explained to her that she was looking for something from him that he could not give. He cannot give what he does not have. This was a profound insight for her. She realized that he had not found love from God. Thus he too was empty and suffering. When he was a little boy, he was hurt and damaged; and he never fully recovered. He could not give what he did not have.

An insight like this, if realized deeply, can lead to being able, for the first time, to drop resentments against the other person.

Ladies, you cannot make a man into a man. Even if you were to succeed, he would be in your image, with you as his god.

Men, do not look for love from your wife. Give love instead. Become more fatherly. Look upon others as if they were naughty school kids. Set a good example. Be forthright, but kind. Do not have expectations as to what the other person should be like or do. Be there for your family.

If your partner also develops understanding, then your relationship can become heaven on earth. If only you become more aware and mature in your understanding, you are still much better off because you will be able to deal gracefully with situations, and spare yourself the upset, frustration and emptiness you now feel.

Roland Trujillo, MS, D. Pastoral Psychology, is the author of 18 books. He is host of a radio advice program that currently airs in Southern California and around the country for 25 years. 

Listen to Roland's 1 minute sound byte about his special offer and The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage
In his new 350 page book Putting the Forever Back in Love Roland reveals little known secrets to marriage success.

It All Began in the Garden of Eden

I know, people say that the Garden of Eden story is a myth.

But I can see that it is not a myth because all around I see relationships recreating the Garden scene over and over again.

We all start out thinking that our marriage will be heaven on earth, but something goes wrong.

Soon there is arguing and hurt feelings. Then a break up. Everyone suffers, especially the kids.

So I wrote a book about it.

If you can see what is going on and just what your part is in what is going wrong, you might be able to save your relationship and perhaps even live happily ever after.

Here's a little video I made on the topic.