Radio silence, screaming matches or sex?
My husband and I had a huge fight last weekend.
It was about the washing up, as most of our arguments usually are.
Fortunately we don’t fight very often. There’s a tetchy word now and again, but full blown fights are few and far between. They’re short and sharp. Usually one of us storms out in a flap. (Okay, usually me.) We both stew for a bit. The one left at home does the washing up. The other one comes back home feeling like a bit of an idiot. We tentatively reach out to one another and apologise and talk it through.
I’ve noticed that, of my friends and colleagues, how couples can get through fights is a sign of how successful a relationship is likely to be. I asked around, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed this.
“My brother and sister in law had absolute humdingers but also, had the tendency to make everyone else feel like shit in social situations when they carried it on. They are now divorced,” says my colleague.
Which begs the question, what’s the healthiest way to fight and make up?
I asked some girlfriends how they fight with their partners. Then I put them to Sue Yorston, a manager with Relationships Australia.
I love to stew and escalate things but he always apologises first and wants to talk about it. Reminding me we are getting married and it's important to talk this stuff out because the most important thing is that we love each other. Ugh. It drives me a bit crazy because I'm used to yelling, slamming doors and possibly breaking up. He's so fucking mature.
It usually starts like this Him: "Have you got the shits with me?"
Radio silence for 2 days.
Sue says, “there’s a gender difference in the way we argue. Men tend to argue in the moment and move on from it. Women tend to keep a bit of a tally. They bring up something a while ago and something before that. Suddenly, they’re arguing about something from ten years ago.”