Normally I stay out of parenting and relationship discussions, for two reasons 1. I’m underqualified to give advice, and 2. My sister is the expert in the family.
That said I came across an article (see below) and for the first time in a long time I can say I thoroughly DISAGREED with all the advice given.
So In Bold below you will find my annotation on the assertions made in the article.
‘Don’t fight in front of the kids’ and other advice you can ignore
By Fernanda Moore
PARENTING.COMThe world is full of advice for married couples, newlyweds or not — some of it commonsensical, most of it well-intentioned, and much of it wrong. In the 14 years we’ve been married, my husband and I have broken all the rules at least once — and when I copped to friends, most of them gleefully admitted they’d done the same.
YUP – we all break the so called rules, and sometimes with successes but often the failure of these actions comes back months or years later, so beware that one time fight over who takes out the garbage (because you were too lazy too) is still in you partners memory.So I asked them to go on the record as we figured out the biggest myths about marriage. With the help of a few experts (themselves veterans of long, kid-filled relationships), we’ve decoded what bits of conventional wisdom are worth tossing — and what are worth tweaking — from the suggestions we’ve all heard since walking down the aisle.
Myth: Never go to bed angryIt sounds reasonable — why risk letting a fight smolder overnight only to flare up again the next day? Better to resolve things, sleep soundly, and start fresh.
What we say: Just agree to disagree until morning — especially if it’s midnight, there’s no resolution in sight, and you’re dying on the vine. After all, not every argument comes with a built-in time limit.
When Brooke Kline of Rohnert Park, California, and her husband wave a temporary white flag and hit the sheets, they see the issue more clearly in the morning. “We aren’t so caught up in our emotions,” says this mom of a 9-month-old.
Alternately, agreeing beforehand to make up can take the edge off a disagreement. Rachel Kincade of Fort Hood, Texas, says when she can’t resolve a conflict with her husband, they have to spend the next day saying or doing nice things for the other person. “By the end of the day, you feel so pumped up on compliments that you just can’t stay mad!” Parenting.com: Love and war
Of course, going to sleep angry isn’t great. But here’s the bright side: “Even if you go to bed mad and sleep in separate rooms once in a while, you’ll be OK — and so will the relationship,” says David Wexler, Ph.D., author of “When Good Men Behave Badly” (and a dad of two who has been married for 24 years).
Sounds like good advice but in general I find unresolved issues tend to fester. If they aren’t festering then some one may have conceded for expedience and that is never good it means some one in the relationship is subjugating themselves. This advice is enduring and usually advice like this will not endure unless it has some validity.Ephesians 4:26 – Weymouth New Testament
If angry, beware of sinning. Let not your irritation last until the sun goes down;
Myth: Having a baby brings you closerWhen my older son was born, my normally reticent husband and I suddenly had a million things to talk about. (Of course, we spent most of our time talking about one subject: the baby! The baby! And did I mention the baby?)
But then my husband went back to work, the traitor. And the baby got colic. And the thrill of nursing all night and staggering around like a zombie all day began to wear thin. Naturally, I couldn’t take my frustrations out on my precious tiny bundle… but I had to blame someone. Guess who?
What we say: Having a baby is the ultimate bonding experience. But it also puts enormous strain on your relationship. One solution? Simple acknowledgment — couples tend to have problems when they expect everything to go smoothly.
You’ll also definitely need help with the unbelievable physical labor babies require. “Delegate. If you’re good at the bedtime routine and your spouse loves bathtime, you can divide and conquer the tedious parts of parenting,” says Karen Reivich, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, coauthor of “The Resilience Factor,” and — most important — a mom of four who’s been married for 14 years.
It helps to get away from the baby on a semi-regular basis. If a formal “date night” makes you cringe, or the logistics seem impossible, opt for something more low-key. “We don’t leave the house because we can’t afford a baby sitter, but every Wednesday night, after the kids are in bed, my husband and I have a glass of wine together as far away as possible from their bedrooms,” says Reivich.
Most of this sounds reasonable but if they are trying to prove this a myth they have failed as they say “Having a baby is the ultimate bonding experience.”Are they just calling this a myth so people read the article and intellectually back tracking when the page is open? I suspect so.
Myth: Spouses should be best friends as well as romantic partnersIt sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? After all, you and your husband know each other better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t he be your best friend, too?
What we say: “Romantic relationships are different from friendships. One person can’t be everything to you,” says Andrea Smith, a mom of two in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
In other words, don’t beat yourself up if it sometimes feels like you’re closer to the mom next door than to your mate. “It would be great if your husband is someone you have fun with, respect, have great sex with, work well with as a parent, and is your soulmate. But almost no one gets all that in one relationship,” says Wexler. And if you and your partner manage some of these things, “you’ve been blessed,” he adds. The trick is to keep your bond going on some level. “Stay involved in your partner’s life. When you separate in the morning, make sure you know at least one detail of each other’s day — and ask about it later,” says Wexler. Parenting.com: Secrets of a made-to-last marriage
It helps to be grateful for what you do have. “Rick and I have been together since high school — and he’s not my best friend,” says Deborah Coakley, a mom of three in Ridgewood, New Jersey. “But after everything we’ve gone through, he’s definitely my most constant friend.”
The problem is definition here. If your partner is not your best friend as well as romantic partner, how are you defining friendship. The author calls her partner “my most constant friend”To me my best friend is my “my most constant friend.” If you judge your friendship by home warm and fuzzy you feel with them, then are they really your best friend? I have had people that fill this role but when we moved apart no matter how much I tried to keep in contact the relationship died.
Myth: Don’t worry about your (lack of) sex lifeIn the first months of babyhood, hormones, exhaustion, and what the baby books call being “touched out” — a polite way to describe wanting to scream if one more human being comes within three feet of you — all conspire to make sex seem only slightly more appealing than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
What we say: At the risk of sounding unenlightened, after you’ve had a baby (and especially after the second child), sex becomes absolutely critical to your relationship.
When you’re busy, stressed, and seeing about one-tenth as much of each other, sex is the quickest and most rewarding way to reconnect with whatever scraps of the unencumbered and madly-in-love people you both used to be.
“My husband and I snap at each other nonstop when we haven’t slept together in a while,” says Coakley. And, sure, it’s easy to put off sex — after all, you live with the guy and tomorrow is another day. But don’t. As a friend so memorably put it: “There’s nothing like an orgasm and an absurdly grateful husband to improve your outlook on life.”
You also don’t have to fall for the notion that good sex requires an elaborate romantic getaway with your spouse — that just sets you up for disappointment. It’s better to take advantage of frequent stolen moments. “Embrace the quickie — and widen your repertoire of what counts as good sex,” says Reivich. Even if you don’t go, as they say, all the way, physical contact of any kind is its own thrill.
I tend to agree here, always worry about your sex life. Sex may not be the glue that holds you together (if it is you have a problem) but it sure helps. That said, if is seems lacking at times it is not the end of the world, acknowledging that your partner may not be sexually interested for a time is also good. Especially if she has just passed something the size of a watermelon through her vagina in recent weeks. Myth: Don’t fight in front of the kidsWhen moms and dads fight, it’s scary. Babies can tell when you’re angry (and will probably get upset) and bigger kids will worry that the two of you are on the verge of a divorce.
What we say: It can be valuable for children to see their parents work through a disagreement with good will. Kids also need to learn that even people who love each other don’t get along perfectly. “It’s unrealistic to expect no conflict,” says Smith. “If you never have a difference of opinion with your spouse, then you’ve obviously found someone who agrees with everything you think. How boring!”
In other words, it’s fine — even healthy — for kids to witness your arguments. But there are caveats. (Aren’t there always?) “When you argue in front of your kids, it’s important to fight fair,” says Reivich. “Instead of shouting ‘You’re a lazy slob!’ say ‘It really bothers me when you don’t take out the trash.’ Take issue with the action, not the person, and don’t hurl insults.” So if the fight is too intense, or there’s no resolution in sight, table it until the kids aren’t around.
Sorry here I really disagree. You can disagree with your spouse there are a million signals that you are not happy that you can use without fighting in front of your children. Go somewhere else wait till they are asleep (but don’t yell) and then argue if you must. The author notes that you should always “fight Fair” I hate to say it unless you are holding in feelings, fighting fair is not so easy and fighting in front of the children tends to get out of hand whether you like it or not. Sorry I think the author is used to the polite middle class Ozzy and Harriet Nelson type of argument, not the Billy-Bob and Thelma Alcoholic trailer park type fight. Myth: Never take your spouse for grantedThis is the secret of happy marriages, right? Because taking someone for granted means you’ve stopped appreciating that person.
What we say: Taking your beloved for granted in a marital context can actually mean you know you can count on him, depend on him, trust him — that you are, without question, absolutely there for each other.
MayoClinic.com: Health Library
This might mean you’ve accepted certain roles within your family. “My husband and I definitely take each other for granted,” says Jillian Waddell, a mom of one in Princeton, Massachusetts. “Scott works full-time — which he never complains about, even though it’s sometimes stressful.” When you’re married with children, feeling secure enough to lean on your spouse without worrying can be immensely liberating.
However, taking your loyal spouse for granted and treating him like dirt aren’t the same thing. Simply expressing gratitude goes a long way. “My husband cooks dinner every night,” says the incredibly lucky Reivich, “and though I’m used to it, I’m smart enough to know what a deal I’ve got. So I say, ‘Gee, I don’t even have to think about cooking dinner anymore, it’s so wonderful, thank you,’ every once in a while.” And that’s a piece of advice we all should follow. E-mail to a friend
Sorry again I disagree most people interpret “never take your spouse for granted” to mean he/she will always be there even if I act like a schumk or ignore them. Wrong when you or your spouse start to feel like you don’t care if they’re there or not that is not a good thing for any relationship.There interpretation here is just semantics to discredit a myth for the sake of discrediting it. And that is the case of most of these. If you are going to write an article to prove a point do so, if you are writing an article to draw people in to read it by shock value or incredulity your wasting your effort and I am not sure this isn’t the case here. Pop advice may be popular but is not always right.
One thing studying history has taught me, if you are going to be a Myth Buster you must be able to prove your point completely.