Bickering Over Silly Things

Dear Hal-
I am 67 and have been living with a woman for two months.  We both lost our spouses several years ago and both feel fortunate to have found each other.  While we were “courting” we never argued.  Now it seems like we are bickering over silly things more and more. I confess that I can be stubborn and can hold a grudge.  I want this to work out, however, as I do care for this person.  Any advise?
Martin
Dear Martin-

It’s almost inevitable that Suddenly Solo couples, who have each been through a lot in their lives, will find themselves at odds over any number of issues.  After all, we’ve outgrown the puppy-love stage of a relationship that used to make us more likely to forgive and forget.  But on-going bickering, where neither one of you gives in, can lead to very hurtful consequences.  A study done at the University of Minnesota showed that of 73 couples where one partner took the lead in defusing an argument – and the chilled out – were more likely to stay together. It took just one partner to end an issue, mainly be acknowledging the other’s position, without getting defensive.  So take the higher ground when things get hot . . . state that you understand her issue . . . and then agree to cool off for a while.  It’s a perfect time to go out, wash your classic car, and think things over.

Remember that being the partner that makes the effort to re-establish harmony never makes you less of a man!

Hal

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