Can you take classes to learn how to fight with your spouse? I’m serious, because I suck at it, and though my husband and I rarely argue, when we do, I always lose. And I hate losing. Our most recent rumble is the perfect example.
Quick background: Doo and I drove to New Orleans last minute to see the Louisville versus Kentucky game in the Final Four. Doo, an Indiana University alum, wore Wildcat blue basically to irritate me, since I’m a huge Cardinals fan. Sadly, Louisville lost, and post-game, Doo celebrated with gin and tonics while I succumbed to fatigue, hunger, disappointment, people-overload and hormone fluctuations.
I’m not exactly sure how exactly our conversation headed south, but the row that followed will go down in the annals of Wilson history. Without going into details, I soon found myself bawling in the very busy valet lot of the Louisville basketball team’s hotel and shouting, “I’m not getting in the car with you!” Meanwhile, Doo taunted me with his chain-smoking. The yelling ceased only because our crappy minivan arrived and I had to drive us back to where we were staying. I cried myself to sleep while Doo drank the night away with our Katrina-surviving host.
Despite the fact we were both laughing about our “disagreement” the next day, I hate that I was such an unworthy opponent. As is typical, I allowed Doo to steamroll me into feeling both guilty and responsible, inevitably leading me to apologize for everything. How unhealthy is that? Because even though I was 50 percent to blame for the argument, my husband was equally guilty. And yet for some reason, when I get into an emotional confrontation with Doo, rational thought leaves me. All I want to do is finish the fight as quickly as possible and have him like me again.
He’s not much better. Doo’s so stubborn he rarely admits he’s wrong, and never during a debate with me. And I’ve yet to hear him say “I’m sorry” in the midst of an argument. The apology usually comes a day or two later after he’s cooled down and had time to think everything through.
So back to my original question: Where can I learn to fight more effectively with my husband? Do I need counseling, or is there a club I can join? A marital fight club, perhaps? Because I really don’t like losing, ever, and especially not to my spouse during some stupid spat. Peace out.