Hello, this is Roland. I wrote the book on arguing in marriage. It is a classic. Later I'll tell you where you can preview it free or order it in paperback or eBook. But now let's talk about arguing.
I've been giving advice on relationships for over 20 years on my radio advice program, and this is one of the most frequent issues I am asked about.
I cannot tell you that I can help eliminate arguing, but I can offer tips that will make it bearable.
In fact, if you can argue in the right way, it can be a positive thing! Sometimes arguing means that both people care. If they didn't care, they could just shrug their shoulder and walk away.
My advice has three steps to it.
- Step One. I can help you learn to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. This is done mainly by watching for and letting go of resentment.
Without resentment, the anger, irritation, frustration and hurt feelings diminish.
This is good for you, your state of mind, your emotional health, and your well being.
- Step 2 Learn to argue in the right way. Abraham Lincoln said that people should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
"Argue in the right way? Are you kidding me?"
No. It is possible to argue in the right way. Think about a high performance workplace. People are involved. Everybody feels free to speak their mind. Ideas are put on the table. There is spirited debate. There can also be a spirited debate in a relationship over important issues.
- Step Three. Book camp. That's right, boot camp.
Most people have the wrong idea about marriage, sex, love, and what marriage is all about. We tend to think that it is about having our needs met and so on. Actually marriage is a framework within which to work out our differences and learn to be unselfish. Some explaining, examples, and a little history of the relationship between the sexes is needed.
Before I tell you about where to read some of the book free, I want to tell you about my Ask Roland service.
I've been answering questions on the air for 21 years. People send in questions, talk to me on the air, or email or phone me after hearing me on the radio.
Now I answer questions right here. There are two levels of service.
- First flight service is professional counseling and advice at my virtual office at LivePerson. There is a modest charge for this service.
- Second tier: Free chat (texting) by clicking on the link in the right sidebar.
The free chat service is for short questions and brief answers. If you have a quick question for a short answer, I'm answering questions on Sunday and on and off on other days. This is free. Of course it is for educational purposes only. For counseling or for detailed feedback, Liveperson is best.
Go to Scribd and preview the classic first edition of the 180 page book My Husband and I Argue All the Time--time tested truths for healing relationships
You can order it there in eBook.
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When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, "Ruth and I are happily incompatible."
-- Billy Graham
Marriage is an institution in which to learn to be unselfish. It is a framework within which to work out the the ancient mystery of why couples fight.
Here's an issue I hear all the time--
My wife and I fight all the time. I would like your insights.
Obviously, I don't know your personal circumstances, so I can only speak in generalities.
There is a profound aspect to humans--we are more than just physical forms, we also have souls. And the coming together of two humans is not a casual thing.
For one thing, humans are very sensitive creatures. Another thing: people have a history and bring baggage into the marriage. Finally, there is something between men and women that began back in the Garden of Eden. Since we are all humans, none of us escape the legacy of Adam and Eve.
Marriage is thus a setting in which to work out our differences, learn to be unselfish, and discover the meaning of life. Roland
Men, I estimate that 95% of the visitors to my site are women. Therefore I have to congratulate you for looking for answers.
Everywhere women are suffering because their men have failed them. First their father failed them, then boyfriends, then their husband.
I know this is a hard teaching, but do you want the truth or do you want me to lie to you and tell you that bringing her candy and flowers will solve everything?
Okay, you want the truth. You will have to read some of my blogposts and articles, read my book and listen to audio to get the whole picture.
But in a nutshell, father has a very important role in the family. he stands in for God in the eyes of the children. That is why he must be principled, honorable, longsuffering, patient and wise. he has to stand for what is right and make what is right more important than anything.
Your wife married you hoping that you would be the noble knight in shining armor. She hoped that she could tempt you and you would never fail. But you did fail. You fell to lust and then to anger and resentment. Anger does not work--it reveals weakness and tempts everyone to hate you. But appeasement does not work either. The appeasing husband makes being liked and having peace more important than principle. Everyone has contempt for him.
So you see, when you fall from reason, grace and the inner ground of principle, then the only alternatives are the extremes of anger or wimping out, with lots of resentment.
Perhaps now you can see that there is a right way to fight and a wrong way. A bad argument is a battle of the egos with resentment--where who is right tries to win.
A good argument is when what is right wins, rather than who is right. Ideally the husband and father should represent what is right. When he stands for what is right and reasonable, without anger or resentment, then when reason prevails, it is a win win for everyone.
Gentlemen, the more unreasonable your wife is, the more reasonable you must be. If you stay the course and do not fall to resentment or anger, but hold your ground and make your points without anger, you will become the man that she can respect and one day love.
You must learn to fail less, and then eventually one day not fail at all. The early part of marriage is for having some fun, starting a family, establishing a career and so on. But there comes a time when more is needed. your family needs something very special from you--agape emotionless love. As time goes by, you must learn to be more fatherly.
Here are a couple of suggested readings
Just how important is Dad, part 1
What is the number one reason for divorce
Look inside my book which has in depth discussion and solutions