I was watching a reality show the other day, and a man entered his home. Before he could even get his shoes off his wife started yelling. They went back and forth for a while and finally the man put on his shoes, grabbed his coat and walked out the door. His phone started buzzing, beeping and binging, alternating between text messages and voice calls. It was his wife blowing him up. The camera then showed her at home, pacing the floor, mumbling and cursing under her breath. Rapidly dialing on her phone to unleash her fury at no only the initial problem, but now the physical absence of her life partner.
I looked at my sweetheart. He shook his head. He said, “When will women understand that all a man wants is peace in his home and when there is no peace he won’t be there?” He then talked about past relationships where he was in a similar predicament as that character and the last place he wanted to be was home… It seems like people all around us are suffering from a lack of peace and my husband and I decided that in the beginning, no matter what, our home would be our refuge. Even when we’ve been very angry at each other, we’ll go to separate rooms of the house (like boxers going to our corners). Eventually we come back together when we’ve cooled off. Our home is a place of respect, tranquility, warmth and familiarity.
Last night I was watching an episode of Basketball Wives (don’t ask!). Jennifer Williams and her husband Eric Williams, a former player for the Celtics and other teams, had a huge disagreement that eventually lead to a discussion about divorce. He had been out all night, and wouldn’t answer his phone. When he finally came home, they started talking about how unhappy they were and he told her that she had a choice to either leave or stay, and that “if you ask me to come home, I’ll come home.” While there argument was much more civil (no yelling or cursing) than the other couple, it highlighted similar problems.
No man wants to be with a nagging woman. To nag is to annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging. How do you curb nagging in your relationship?
- Choose Your Battles – You do not have to argue about every single thing that bothers you. Really ask yourself is it worth arguing about?
- Timing is Everything – Sometimes guys need some emotional distance before they address an issue. After a long stressful day at work, the last thing you want to do is compile more stress on top of that. This doesn’t mean that your concern will disappear, but you should find a time when the emotional tension isn’t so high to address it.
- Sandwich Your Sourness – When criticizing your partner be sure to introduce something positive (e.g. “I love you with all my heart”), put the sour stuff in the middle (e.g. “Sometimes I feel like I’m doing all the housework and I’d really like for you to pitch in) and end with something positive (e.g. “You know, we’ve built an amazing home together, look at how far we’ve come.”)
- Be specific! – Be specific about whatever is bother you, and discuss the behavior, not the person. (e.g. It really bothers me when I call you repeatedly and you don’t answer because I feel like I’m being ignored). Rather than (“You’re ALWAYS ignoring me.”)
- Know When It’s Time To Let Go – a la, Basketball Wife Jennifer Williams. There is such a thing as an irreconcilable difference! If you can’t communicate, don’t have trust, and one person seems to be the only one concerned with improving the relationship and continues to disregard the other’s feelings and desires, then the relationship is unhealthy and it’s time to go! It’s takes two willing people to make a relationship or a marriage work.
And finally, one for the road. Make sure your moments of happiness, celebration and comfort outweigh your moments of disappointment, frustration and agony. You have to invest time and energy into your relationship and being married or moving in together is not an excuse to abandon the building process. Go on dates, flirt, send sweet texts “just because” and hang out as friends. Peace doesn’t just happen, sometimes you have to sign treaties, engage in a lot of dialogue and compromise and/ or involve outside counsel to make it happen.