He says, she says…on arguments

Married couple David and Lisa disagree about a lot of things. But they don’t have many major arguments. Here’s how they keep the peace, and when things do go awry, how the dog helps diffuse the situation

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WHAT WE FIGHT OVER

Lisa: I remember my mom saying once that most marital arguments are about money. I’d say I agree with that, especially since our paycheques all go into one account. I’ve also learned to realize that when you say something like, “I need to buy an iPhone” or “I think the dog needs a new pea coat,” you’re just day dreaming out loud. So I’ve stopped getting upset.
David: Actually, there was a study last year that found that couples have roughly 182 arguments a year, and that most of them involve household chores, not listening to each other or lack of sex. Maybe it’s a good thing that we’re arguing about money. Speaking of which, I’d like an iPhone.
Lisa: Don’t get me started.

ON LOSING

David: I must admit, I don’t like losing. That’s why I sometimes pause the argument, in order to recoup. I’ll say, “You know, you might be right,” then as soon as you’re not looking I’ll race over to the laptop to Google it. When you don’t hear back, it’s because you were right.
Lisa: I would love to win once in a while. Then I can stop picking fights where I know I’ll win.
David: Maybe you ought to get Google on your side.

ON WINNING

David: That same survey said that dating couples manage to avoid arguments by jumping into bed together. I think we should try that.
Lisa: That would work for us. Seeing as you’d be asleep and snoring exactly three seconds after your head hits the pillow.
David: Speaking of which, is it okay to go to bed angry? Personally, I secretly enjoy being banished to the couch. Until you let me get HD in the bedroom, it’s the only chance I get to watch late night TV.
Lisa: Do not get me started.

THE VENUE

Lisa: The best setting for an argument is somewhere where you can escape the other person if necessary. The car in the middle of the highway is not the place to discuss feminism or why we need HD.
David: The bathroom. I read somewhere that it’s better to have arguments when you’re sitting down, because your muscles stay relaxed. That’s why I like to shout my side of the argument once I’m fairly certain you’ve just sat down on the toilet.

THE NUCLEAR BOMB

David: Only once have I ever compared you to your mother. That was the only time in our marriage that I worried one of us would be arriving at work the next morning with a black eye.
Lisa: That would never happen. I think the most intense it ever gets is a tickle fight. Which I know drives you crazy.
David: Rrrgh. I hate that.

THE BUILT-IN PEACE TREATY

Lisa: A dog can be a great equalizer. He can’t take sides. (Though it does seem that he’s always against me – what have you said to him?) But he can try to make us laugh by running around, stealing socks and trying to kiss us with his gross breath. Humour is the best tactic for diffusing arguments. A couple I know use the line “Why do you hate me so much?” said with an exaggerated sad face (an inside joke), whenever things got tense. Silly, but it works.
David: I tried that with the dog. It doesn’t work.