Everyone in a relationship argues. Even in wedded bliss, newlyweds are bound to bicker. Most normal people, if they are around each other every day, there are going to be disagreements now and then. There are going to be bad days. If the problems have not yet arrived, then get married. This does not make marriage some sort of horrible thing but simply the formality of life.
Whether it is healthy or not depends on how the couple solves such bickering.
Those who have been in marriage can confirm this eventuality.
It is simple; we are different people with different moods in different environments. A touch on the shoulder that is usually accepted with a smile can get your head bit off the following day.
You can ask your husband to make you tea and he will do it today but might not like the same tone of voice you use the following day.
The simplest thing to understand here is that it does not take much to turn something small into a fight. The basic fights in a marriage are that of money, family, children, intimacy, time, priorities, jealousy, religion, politics and the past.
The above are listed as basic because they may come up now and then. But how about petty dynamite fights that can equally evoke a quarrel? Things like who makes the bed, who has control over the TV remote control, washing the dishes, not saying ‘thank you’, buying things for the house without consent from the other partner and others. Small things made big.
Small things made big
It is human phenomena that our moods change and as such, it does not take much to shift from one to another or for couples to be on different pages at times. Fights can come out of big and small things.
“Just like your friend, sometimes you are happy to see them, and other times you do not even want to see them. These things are bound to happen and one can only understand them once they talk,” says relationship counsellor, Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi.
The other is that of time and women have become victim to it. Women are naturally known to take their time when doing things. According to mood change, Karuaihe-Upi explaines, just because it is okay for the husband to wait for 5 minutes today, it does not mean he will have the patience to wait the following day.
“My wife would usually ask me to go with her to pick up papers at her friend’s house and it would only take less than 4 minutes. But yesterday it felt like she took the whole 15 minutes. The other thing that we would fight about now and then is how she takes long to get ready for work. I’m never late for work but I just don’t like waiting every time,” shares Tekula Itamaloh, who has been married for three years now.
To balance the time issue, forget not the adage that says when a women says she will take just 5 minutes to finish something, it is equivalent to a man at a bar saying he will be home in 5 minutes.
“I sometimes don’t like it that my husband just sits in front of the TV waiting for food and he does not even want to help out cut the onions. Sometimes I just want to see him work too. Take a cloth and dust off the TV or just do something.”
“Sometimes I just want to be appreciated with a simple thank you for cooking for the family. If he doesn’t say it, I feel like a slave.”
“I will cook when I want so my wife should understand that.”
“We should even discuss who is cooking today.”
The above are sentiments from couples who say the mentioned issues come up now and then. Sometimes it brings tension in the house, as the partner has expectations of the other that the other does not consider worth taking to mind.
“Sometimes I can do something out of duty and sometimes out of desire. As a couple, you must never forget that you are partners and not competitors. When people fight, mostly they fight for power. In a healthy relationship, we need to share power,” says Karuaihe-Upi, adding that couples lose focus when they start trying to balance chores. “It is not a competition, it is about serving each other. We should not count who made the bed how many times this year; who drove how many times or who did what the most.”
Karuaihe-Upi adds, “When I make the bed, I make it for us. It shouldn’t be that when I cook today, you should do it tomorrow, no.”
He also advises men to participate in house chores, refereeing to a report that says when men participate in household chores, the relationship, atmosphere and children are better. He says men need to stop using power because women will always scream out that they never help.
“There is no single men who has lost his penis because he made up a bed.”
Talk to each other…
Misunderstandings are born out of the lack of communication. Marriage in itself brings people of different characters and those with wisdom have long advised that it only works under the theme on communication.
Karuaihe-Upi points to unrealistic expectations as key in bringing petty fights to the table. “And all this can be solved if the couple communicates feelings at all times. It’s okay to always check on each other and couples always need to check up on the other if they are fine even with the ‘simplest’ things.”
He concludes, “Women want to be complimented for everything they do. And sometimes we take it for granted that it is her job. Say thank you, talk and understand each other.”