Do All Couples Argue? Yes, says Roland Trujillo in Radio Interview

Mike: Welcome to the program. Today we have a real treat. My guest in the studio is Dr. Roland Trujillo and we're going to talk about fighting in relationships. First of all, welcome Dr. Trujillo, what shall I call you?

A. Thanks for inviting me. Just call me Roland, please.

Q. Okay, Roland. I'd like to give the listening audience a little biographical information first. If I get something wrong, please correct me.

A. Sure.

Q. It says here that you have a Masters Degree in Human Relations and a Doctorate in Pastoral Psychology. Is that right?

A. Yes. But what I have to say is based on 20 years of observation, research, and above all common sense. And I always ask people to run what I have to say by their common sense. I don't want people to be wowed or awed by my degrees.

Q. We have a very intelligent audience, so get ready for some tough questions.

A. I look forward to it.

Q. I want to get right to the important stuff so I'll just say that you have had a radio advice program for 20 years, taught graduate and undergraduate courses for 20 years, have written 11 books and have three blogs dedicated to relationships. Is that right?

A. I've been busy haven't I?

Q. (laughter) Indeed. And finally, are you married and do you have kids?

A. Yes, we will soon celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary, and our son is in college.

Q. Great. Okay, here goes. What percentage of couples argue?

A. 100 percent.

Mike: You mean my partner and I are not the only ones?

Roland: Mike, let me assure you. You have lots of company.

Let me explain. Somewhere along the line ALL couples argue.

Mike. 100 percent?

Roland: That's right. But I want to clarify. First, I have to rule out the marriages on paper only--you know, the so-called marriages of convenience. They don't argue, but they also don't care!

People don't argue unless they care. Secondly, I have to say that in about half the marriages you don't see arguing because one side has wimped out and then keeps quiet for peace (so the kids don't see arguing, for example). So on the surface you don't see arguing, but there are hidden resentments and unfinished business underneath, which contribute to stress, unhappiness, physical symptoms, and occasional big arguments.

Mike: Wow

Roland: I also want to quickly say that it's all very repairable. I'm very positive and solution oriented. The secret is understanding and then in the light of that understanding, learning to argue in the right way.

Mike: Tell me more about what you have seen happening in typical marriages.

Roland: Most relationships have lots of fighting interspersed with periods of calm. The average marriage begins with bliss. Then when the honeymoon is over and the halo wears off, there is typically a period of vying for power in a game of ego one upsmanship. Finally the couple either breaks up or settles down to some sort of accommodation. There are good times and bad times, with a series of arguments and making up.

Some marriages eventually settle down into a modus vivendi where one side tends to give in most of the time, and on the surface everything looks fine but there are resentments and unfinished business underneath.

Mike: Wow. You just described my parents' marriage. Dad was kind of quiet. He let Mom be pretty much in charge of everything. He didn't say much. Mom complained about Dad quite a bit. Everyone thought they had the perfect marriage. But I have to say that Mom told us kids that she was unhappy.

Roland: Well, there you go. So what I am trying to do is help people like your mom and dad. In other words, basically good people. Since they are both good people, it is a shame that they should be secretly unhappy. I want them to be happy and stay married. "Married happily ever after" is what I would like to see and I think it is possible.

Mike: Roland, I have to tell you that I'm married. My wife is wonderful and we've been married 6 years. I do find myself clamming up quite a bit.

Roland: Do you have kids? Mike: Yes. We have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Roland: And you don't want the kids to see you fighting, so you tend to give in for peace?

Mike: That's right. Roland: Now you know what your Dad felt like! But for every dad that clams up for peace there are moms who do the same thing. And can you see that if you are--pardon me I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just saying this because it might help some of your listeners. . . .

Mike: Sure.

Roland: . . . . if you become wimpy by failing to speak up, you give her the power and she becomes in charge. When things go wrong, you can secretly blame her. But can you see how saddling her with the responsibility and failing to be strong in a fatherly sort of way--she is tempted to resent you and have contempt for your wimpiness?

Mike: Wow.

Roland: Then in your weakness, you eventually become just like your dad and she will be unhappy just like your mom!

Mike: I think it's time for a break! (laughter) When we get back I will open the lines for callers. We've got about a minute before the break. Is there anything you would like to add?

Roland: Yes, Mike. I have to say that my biggest disappointment has been the way most visitors to my blog just show up for about 15 seconds and then leave.

Mike: Why is that? Answer: It's because that's the average time that people stay at one place before they click on something else. But here I am with all these resources and help, and they miss it.

Mike: If there were one thing that you would like them to know before they leave, what is it?

A. That resentment underlies 99% of the negative emotions in a relationship. That's why I make people aware of the underlying dynamics, so that they can see--really see--what is going on. They will then be able to have some compassion for their partner and for themselves. They will also see that we are all in the same boat, and understanding will help them forgive their parents too.

Mike: Go ahead. We have another minute before our break.

Roland: I love couples. I think relationships are the greatest thing, and I am saddened when I see little disagreements and hurt feelings between two good people snowball into big unfinished business or even divorce. Marriage was not meant to be a picnic, but it is an ideal setting within which to bring children into the world and in which to learn to be unselfish. I think I can quickly help ailing relationships by pointing out somethings that very few other counselors really understand or talk about. Moreover I know what people can do to solve their issues and start loving and appreciating each other again.

Mike: In the 30 seconds we have left, give me a couple of examples of things most counselors don't talk enough about.

Roland: For one thing: resentment. It is absolutely the most overlook thing that contributes to unhealthy arguments and breakups. Arguing is not a bad thing necessarily. Like I said--we all argue. In fact, if arguing gets things out on the table, and people can have an animated discussion without resentment--it can be positive. Getting back to resentment--most people do not realize how destructive it is. Many don't even know they are resentful. And when they discover it, they don't know how to give it up. We're running out of time, so I want to mention Adam and Eve.

Mike: Adam and Eve!?

Roland: That's right. Read my books and your eyes will be opened. You will see that you and your partner are "Adam and Eve all over again." After over 20 years of helping couples, I can see how we all repeat the old Garden of Eden story, and then what started off as a marriage made in Heaven becomes just the opposite.

But all it takes is a few insights (such as people will find in my book) and a willingness to be more forgiving, and a troubled relationship between good people can be restored. And a good relationship with a few issues can become a marriage made in Heaven.

Mike: We're out of time. How do people get your book. Roland: It will soon be available in quality paperback at But right now it is available for a reduced price in eBook. Folks can just go to my Healing Relationships website and there are links to preview it there and download it to their computer or mobile device.

Mike: Thanks Roland. .

Hello everyone. These are two books that I think you should have on your shelf (or on your computer, android or Kindle).

The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage is my most popular book and it covers the basic important stuff like no other book.

Putting the Forever Back in Love is a follow up to The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage.

 Putting the Forever Back in Love has advanced strategies. If you have been married for more than 10 years and your marriage is in trouble, this is the book you will want to read.

If you have kids and want to have some advanced insights and strategies for parenting, then Putting the Forever Back in Love is definitely going to be on your shipping list.

Now here is the good part!

 Remember that I have a long standing offer. You can get any one of my ebooks sent to you by email as a token of my appreciation when you make a donation of any amount.

Many people don't know that I am a volunteer. I buy the airtime and internet time in order to be there to help people. Soooooo, any donation (yes, even a small one like $2 or $5 is really appreciated by me).

So to take advantage of this offer, get a free eBook, and help me out--all at the same time--just click here and choose a book. then make a donation at safe and secure Paypal and you will get your gift eBook right away!!!

Why do couples argue?
How can we put the sparkle back in our marriage?
How can we communicate better?
I’m a Christian but my boyfriend is not.
What is the difference between courtship and casual dating?
My wife asked me to leave.
Why are men the way we are?
What does my wife want?
Can we reconcile?
My wife cheated on me – now what?

Based on over 20 years of counseling couples and answering questions on the radio. Roland tackles the tough questions with humor, discernment, and refreshing honesty. From the Garden of Eden to the 21st century, he’s got relationships covered.

Click here to preview the paperback edition at

"Roland, thank you so much for your book. 
When I heard that you are a pastor, I hesitated to order it because I'm not into religion.  But because I wanted to learn more about why I can't stop resenting my husband so much, I went ahead and got the book. I'm so glad that I did. The advice is very practical, and the book is filled with some beautiful spirituality too. I spent over a thousand dollars to register and fly to an out of town seminar  I could have saved the thousand and got your book instead."  Suzy - San Bernardino    

Now available in Kindle!

Putting the Forever Back in Love - Advanced Concepts in Relationship Building

Click here to preview and  download to your mobile device or iPhone

This book contains advanced concepts for coping with and resolving difficult relationship issues. 

If you liked The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage you will love this book.  

Been married for many years and have some issues? This is the book for you. 

Based in 24 years of research and counseling, Dr. Trujillo presents new insights and strategies for healing relationships and resolving stress and unhappiness. Partners, parents, couples considering marriage, and adult children of dysfunctional families will find both practical and spiritual principles to help them move forward to happiness.

 Want Putting the Forever Back in Love in paperback? Click here to see it at Amazon

Get a free eBook, and help me out--all at the same time--just click here and choose a book. then make a donation at safe and secure Paypal and you will get your gift eBook right away!!!  

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