Is it really arguing or bickering? And how can it be that after being married for decades we still argue almost daily? In thinking about the upcoming holiday approaching – Father’s Day – I started thinking about what I love most about my hubby.
Then, those thoughts erupted into thinking about how much we bicker about the silliest things that make us who we are. I could feel the smile on my face expanding. I couldn’t help but ask, why after all these years do we argue or bicker over such nonsense?
I don’t really classify these moments as arguing – but rather a decent bicker! A flood of thoughts came racing into my mind and begged the questions – do all married couples do this? Do we bicker too much? How much is “normal” and how much is too much?
I found a compelling quote that fits how we feel about arguing.
Maybe I’m strange and perverse, but I’ve always thought there was something sexy about a compelling argument.
Therese Doucet, A Lost Argument
I think I happen to agree! There is something very sexy about connecting with your spouse when you have a compelling argument or even a silly one!
Let me preface this by saying how much I dearly love my hubby. He is the best father and husband I could have ever hoped for. OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest I feel better about criticizing him! Of course, I say this in jest, I don’t classify this as a criticism but rather a journey into the pieces of him that culminate all of my reasons for loving him so much.
My Side of The Story: I’d like to start with my side of things of course. First, I’d like to list the top three silly things we bicker about. Yes, let’s call this bickering as it sounds much nicer than arguing!
- His OCD
It’s really interesting to see other people’s reactions when we bicker in front of them. Our bickering usually lasts all of under 30 seconds. It’s not like these are long intense arguments, but more so they are akin to the words of listening to two teenagers argue about who is more popular – Justin Bieber or One Direction.
Some folks get noticeably uncomfortable, and the expressions on their faces changes to worry immediately upon hearing us – others chuckle with amusement as if they were watching Frank and Estelle on an episode of Seinfeld duking it out.
It’s interesting as I’ve never really viewed those moments as arguing but rather like the pieces of what makes us interesting and allows us to be totally comfortable with each other. Let me provide you with a typical example of one of these “episodes”.
Technology – a hot topic for us. I understand since I’m a geek and he is a Luddite, I’m a bit, well let’s say – impatient!
Hubby: How do you edit contacts on this new phone again? I think I just accidentally deleted two people.
Me: For God’s sake! I showed you how to do that at least 4 times already!
Hubby: I know, I know, but when I clicked where you said, it didn’t work, so I tried it the other way now my contacts are gone.
Me: I know third graders who can use a smart phone more effectively than you.
Hubby: Listen, if you don’t want to show me again than don’t.
Me: OK, but this is the last time so pay attention!
It seems harmless enough, right? Well, you ‘d be surprised how many folks actually classify this as an argument. I guess that’s what surprises me the most is other people’s reactions to a typical conversation such as the above. Does that classify as an argument?
I beg to differ – we are not angry at each other, it’s forgotten about two seconds after it’s over, and there are no hard feelings. Although, he does occasionally throw that conversation in my face when we have the same argument again which by all accounts happens two days later when he asks me the same question.
Television – Another bickering session looks like this.
Me: Can you please lower that darn TV. Why does it have to be so loud? I’m sure the neighbors are also enjoying it too.
Hubby: I can’t hear it because you are always on the phone yakking in the background.
Me: It’s always on loud even when I’m upstairs. All the birds flew away from the area in fear because they can hear it too!
Hubby: Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Again, no hard feelings, over in 30 seconds, and always makes me chuckle. Yet, when I have this type of conversation in front of others they view it as an argument, and politely say something like, “now now, let’s all just get along” – as if we weren’t!
OCD – yep! Hubby has some OCD issues.
Me: You just checked the car doors. They are locked. Do you have to sweep around three times to check them again?
Hubby: Well, I’m just making sure.
Me: I think the second time around was classified as making sure.
Hubby: Yeah, and then when someone breaks into the car, you will be bitching.
Yep, again, not an argument to me. Just me trying to not implode over his compulsion to recheck everything! You should see him with the stove!
His Turn: In all fairness, I’ve got some issues too that he can surely write a book about. If I asked him, the number one would be my obsession with cleaning. Poor guy and people in my life. I know how truly annoying it is to put up with it. I’ve been guilty of dust-busting his pants when I saw crumbs on them!
Cleaning Obsession: Here’s an example of what that bickering session looks like.
Me: I just cleaned that counter. Can you at least clean up the crumbs you just made?
Hubby: Geez, let a guy live in his own home would ya? I know how to clean it, and you never give me a chance to get it done before harping about it. You’re a harpie!
Me: Bull! I know you were going to walk away and leave them there.
Hubby: Yeah, you know everything. You are perfect. Harpie!
I always laugh after this type of “argument”. Yet again, I think I can speak for him and say they are not actual arguments – but rather a moment in time when we can be perfectly comfortable with who we are and what’s on our minds. I think so much so that we tend to forget when we are with other people and these little bickering sessions take place.
The bottom line is, thankfully, our actual arguments are few and far between. You know, the ones that are like little earthquakes – that rattle your soul and yes, can wake the neighbors.
These little bickering moments in time, when we are “at” each other for the silliest of things, are the moments I will always remember lovingly. They are the moments that lasted a lifetime and connect us on a level no one can understand. If they choose to see an argument, well then, let them. It’s what we see that counts.
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