Friday, November 7, 2008

How men and women view a fight

It's funny how different a man's perspective and a woman's perspective can be...

(Us arguing at a restaurant in Lake Placid, New York)

The other day, Pete and I had an argument. It wasn't a huge fight, but it did stir up a little drama between us. Afterward, I felt like Pete was acting cold toward me, and he didn't seem to want to talk or cuddle at all. That in turn colored my mood, and I was touchy and irritable all night, and went to bed troubled and sullen.

During work the next day, I spent my time complaining and commiserating with my friends and coworkers about the previous day's fight. We women agreed about men and their mysterious (but aggravating) ways, and everyone sympathized with my plight. I could think about nothing but our fight all day, and it colored my mood in deep, dark shades of gray and black. When it was time to pick Pete up after work, I was withdrawn and somber as he got into my car. He, on the other hand, was fairly chipper, happy, and affectionate. Pete seemed genuinely confused as to why I was so quiet. When I told him why, he said, "Really? I didn't think it was that big of a fight." And then he lapsed into discussions about the Ford Motor Company and Shelley Fabares (not necessarily together). He pulled out his iPhone and started reading facts to me from the Internet about car engines and corporate politics while I sat there, stunned. Then showed me countless images of famous pop starlets from the '60s while I nodded absentmindedly at his commentary about each woman. I thought about this man, my husband.

I was flabbergasted. Why wasn't he upset like me? Why didn't he brood about our fight all day long, like I did? Why was he able to just snap out of his funk and be happy again? Didn't he realize how emotional and traumatic this was to our relationship?

No, of course not. Because that's the key difference between most men and women that I know. Women take so much to heart. They worry about pleasing others, about what others think and feel, whether their relationships are still okay and healthy and normal, and so on. Men? Men worry, but they worry more about the actual yelling and fighting. And after a short period of time, once things seem to be okay, they move on with their lives and file that fight or argument away under "Resolved."

How do they do it? I don't know, but I certainly can learn a lesson from how men behave, including Pete. Not to say that I shouldn't worry about any issues that stand between us, but I should realize that hey, we're married, and we've been together for years. If some minor argument can come between us and have a huge impact on our relationship, then we have problems. The fact that we have weathered so much together says a lot about us and why we're together. We work things out and have a laugh about it later. And yeah, fighting is normal, even healthy. Plus, making up can be so much fun, if you know what I mean...


Georgia (AKA g-bug) said...

those pictures are great!
so telling.

Anonymous said...

oooh! they can be SO aggravating, can't they? my huz has this habit of wanting to settle an argument right then and there, to get it over with and then move on happily like it hadn't happened...whereas I need time to wind down and let my anger fade. you can imagine how many times we've gone from arguing about whatever the issue at hand was, to arguing about how I'm still mad and he just wants us to get over it. Which of course just makes me even LESS likely to stop being mad!


But you're so right to remind us that for married couples, a small argument pales in significance to what we've been through together. A great post, Chris! (and hilarious pics, too :)

nadia said...

it's a mystery! love this post and oh so many times i think how can he just act like nothing happened-the frustration is that it's not an act-they just put it under the rug!!!