I’ll admit it; I’m wimpy when it comes to confrontations.
I don’t like people getting mad at me. So oft times, I go out of my way to pre-appease them; assuming they won’t like something and sidestepping the issue all together. Yes, I realize I’m co-dependent and yes, I’m trying to stop; I even tried to form a support group for co-dependents but no one would give me per-mission. (Insert rim shot here…)
What this means is that I become concerned that my politics or opinions might show through my writing, resulting in me being harangued by internet “trolls” who have nothing better to do than spend every waking hour scouring the interwebs waiting to pounce on anything I write. (Self-importance much?)
In fairness, my concern is not without basis.
I’ve been flamed because of my views on guns, political candidates, and even negative communication styles (obviously missing the irony). The column that garnered the most hate mail was a humorous piece where I postulated the theory that, based on a trip to New Orleans, the only foods allowed in the south must be deep-fried. (I was even accused of trying to re-ignite the civil war; really.)
Anyhoo… my concern with attempting to avert these curmudgeons can — at times — cause me to pick and choose my topics and words with extreme care. After all, someone a thousand miles away, reading my piece two weeks after I wrote it might feel awkward and shoot negative vibes toward me. Goodness knows! I wouldn’t want that to happen.
Like I said: co-dependent.
This piece however might cause a ruffle or two much closer to home, including in my own household so I now begin to tread in dangerous places.
New and recent findings, published in the journal Emotion, show that long-term marital satisfaction depends on wives — more so than husbands — regulating their emotions during arguments. Researchers from two major universities found that the happi-est marriages, in both the short and long-term, were those where the wives were able to regain their self-control quickly after disputes erupted.
The lead author of the study (whom I point out is a woman) said,
“Our study suggests that if spouses, especially wives, are able to calm themselves, their marriages can continue to thrive.”
As it turns out, marital satisfaction was strongest when women were able to utilize “constructive communication” to help settle disagreements. And — I don’t know what this says about men — they found out that the husband’s ability to control his emotions had “little or no bearing on long-term marital satisfaction.”
Another take might be that women are more willing to let things roll off their backs, are more mature, or that men are simply unaware of how they act; maybe it’s all of the above. Yet the bottom-line, as men have intuitively understood for years is, “When the wife is happy, everyone is happy.” Keep it in mind fellas.
However, let me address my gender with a couple closing warnings.
First of all, tread lightly after reading this column. Do not — under any circumstances — “spike the football” by cutting it out, highlighting it in yellow, circling it with red felt marker, and “accidentally” placing it on her side of the bed. I might be an oblivious male but I assure you taking those actions will send you nowhere you want you want to be. Secondly, suggesting to your dear, sweet, lovely helpmate that she should “calm down” or “get over it,” is never, ever, ever, ever a wise idea — unless your definition of a happy marriage is spend-ing countless hours by yourself, sleeping in separate rooms, and communicating through attorneys.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a Motivational Communication Expert and Motivational Weight Loss Speaker, as well as founder of www.21DayHabitChange.com, guaranteed to help you change a habit in just 3 weeks. He is available for coaching and speaking at 707.442.6243, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/ThisTimeIMeanIt.