So after writing my last post I’m still in a happy bubble. Apparently this lasts up to 2 years, and is “like a security blanket” for Sharon Aris in her book ‘Being Married.’ It seems that sometime soon this love bubble is going to burst though. Apparently 1 in 10 brides suffer from PND- post-Nuptial depression (although it can affect men too), and I should expect a sinking sense of dread (‘Being Married- Sharon Aris.) Ah good, I look forward to that then.
It’s worth mentioning that Mr B suggested I rename this post to ‘My first marital grump’ (mine, not his)…
So our first marital falling out was whilst we were still on honeymoon.
Mr B and I had (or I thought we had) previously agreed that we would have a relaxing few days, lounging around and doing very little. He decided to take me on a walk and afterwards justified it as “I didn’t think it would take that long.” He told me I was wearing ‘inappropriate footwear’- yes, that’s because I haven’t packed for a walking holiday have I. This was our first falling out as a married couple. We didn’t argue, but I sulked and didn’t talk to Mr B for some time.
When we walked past the Sewerage farm, an hour before the falling out, alarm bells should’ve gone off for me.
Later on he informed me that he doesn’t remember at all, agreeing to the ‘no walking rule’ on minimoon. And on the way back to the hotel in the car had said “but I didn’t think that counted as walking, we didn’t start at 8am and walk all day.” My response- “It was up a cliff side and it was a good 3 miles, it’s walking.” I did later apologise for having a strop.
Mr B apologised and said he had been selfish, my reply was “mmm hmm”. I was annoyed. At one point I considered pushing him into some stinging nettles in the hedge. I actually had a debate in my head, weighing up reasons to and reasons not to. In the end I decided not to as it wouldn’t achieve anything, other than to satisfy my annoyance at the situation of cliff walking in pump shoes.
Near the car he reflectively said to me “I’m in big trouble aren’t I?”
“Yes, yes you are” was my reply.
I did some vintage reading on marriage, the advice I found included:
“Don’t ever allow yourself to be angry at the same time as your husband” and “Never allow yourself to drop into the vulgarity of shouting at your husband…” This is only allowed when the house is on fire or someone is in grave danger!
“Don’t forget that there is nothing which destroys beauty so quickly as a bad temper.”
(How to be a good wife.) All this was written in 1914.
Back in more modern times, Catherine Blyth- The art of marriage: “So if he picks a fight, you could say that, in his clumsy way, he is sending a powerful message that he cares and wants his marriage to improve.” If a husband knows how to argue well his marriage will improve.
Apparently arguments can be positive and the key is in respecting the other person’s right to a differing opinion and to work out what the row is really about.
To resolve and calm an argument we should:
1) chill- take a break from arguing.
2) make nice- show you’re listening eg “I understand”, complain about the issue not generally criticise.
3) focus on solutions.
4) create incentives rather than bully your spouse into what you want.
5) mentally stand in the other person’s shoes and decide if actually it’s not that important and is quite petty.
Apparently there are 10 issues which every couple will never resolve, marrying somebody else just brings us a different set of 10 issues! (Being Married- Sharon Aris.) Her research has also shown that fighting can be good and positive as it clears the air, but only if we fight fair. And only if each fight is taken on its own merits and not where every other little recurring thing is drawn into it.
Gary Chapman (‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married’) says that apologising is a sign of strength not weakness.
Back home, a few days later, we were opening all our wedding cards and unwrapping presents, which we had saved to give us something to look forward to on our return. My mother, as a jokey present, had given us both books entitled “How to be a good wife” and “How to be a good husband.” On receiving these I randomly opened mine up to a page, just to flick through and get a flavour of the book- here is the first sentence I happen to come across- “Do be careful, if going for a weekend in the country, not to let your wardrobe consist entirely of frills and furbelows. It may upset your husband if you can’t visit some beauty spot on which he is keen, because your shoes are only suitable for pavements.”
Mr B loves this joke and has reminded me of it several times since; I have had to eat my words and admit I didn’t take proper shoes (although I’m digging my heels in- pun intended- that it was not meant to be a walking holiday!)