The most common rivalry known is probably the oldest rivalry. Being a snotty child, I thought that it was between a parent and child. I wish that were true. As a soon to be parent, I have come to realize that it is nowhere close to the rivalry between a husband and wife. I have been married for only a short time, but in those couple of years I have managed to lose sight of what it meant to be a good husband.
At first I thought a good husband had to give his wife everything. I thought for sure that if I gave my wife 100 percent of me to her and vise versa, there would be no possibly way that we could ever find ourselves in talks where divorce seems like the light at the end of the tunnel. Most couples that were together longer than us scoffed at that. My response would always be, "When did you start loving yourself more than your spouse." In truth, that is what it boils down to. Every decision is what does she want verses what do I want. The easy decisions are the one where both see eye to eye and the best option is accepted by both parties. The trouble really comes in when you are on two different pages of two different books that are in two different countries in two different worlds! The obvious choice in my eyes is seen as the worst possible path in my wife's eyes. LET THE ARGUMENT BEGIN!
I have figured out many things that help tremendously when the wife and I get in a bind. Just because we found good techniques that help with our arguments doesn't mean that we use those techniques. It would seem that more often than not I look at those helpful hints, and do the exact opposite of that. I am not a terribly emotional person on the outside, and when I am mad or upset I just get real quiet and let my wife finish everything thing that she is saying. This is a prime example of how I do the opposite of what is crucial in us making progress. I know that I should communicate with my wife about what is bothering me.
To make matters worse, is that people in general go to extremes when arguing. Silence is on one end of the spectrum, and on the other is the person who cannot stop themselves from pointing every little thing that bugs the crap out of them. The best one that I have heard so far is, "When you sleep, the way you breath is annoying." I can understand if the person snores or something, but the "annoying" part is that the person was exhaling... that was it! it is hilarious in hind sight, but in the moment it is the icing on the cake that is screaming YOU ARE NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!
Of course it isn't just the way someone breathes that drives the wedge between a couple (unless they breath like a Pug...then it's understandable). But rather it is thirty things that are constantly overlooked every day that just bother you a little more and a little more and on that one starry night... you breathed. I wish that it didn't happen, but it does. People get mad at other people all the time. The only difference is that with others, you haven't invested your entire life with them, you haven't made them your first priority. Whereas with your spouse, you have. That person is your everything, the one that you are jealous of because they seem to be perfect in some areas, and you want to be a part of them and share a life full of love and happiness and well... just plain be fulfilled by the presence of that special somebody.
I tell you the truth when I say that my wife is like hitting a grand slam in the seventh game of the world series in the bottom of the ninth, and let me tell you why. She cares for me, she tries to make me happy on a regular basis (on the same note, she usually desires sex more often than me! JACKPOT), and most importantly she steps outside her comfort zone(s) to be completely vulnerable with me. She is the woman that I love more than anything (including myself). Talk about lucky.
A parting word of advice, women be more like my wife and make those characteristics your characteristics, and your husband will be a happy man. For the men, protecting the feelings of your vulnerable wife may seem like the best option, trust me just be honest. One last thing for all, most times there is no right and wrong, so try not to make the point that you are right and they are wrong. Just know that you both are invested and investments do better when the company is working as a team towards the goal. Divorce is a path that no one wants to walk. So work it out, and TRY to be reasonable and sensitive to the person that you love the most.