Can we buy happiness? No, definitely not. Can we sell our misery? Ha! Ha! Who will buy our misery? In fact if we don’t forgive and forget then misery grows on us. We blame or get blamed and the vicious circle goes on in the form of arguments and bitterness. Even a small outburst can pinch for long… like for instance … “you don’t understand me.” The hurt makes a person react with accusations … “I don’t understand you. Ha! Only a selfish person can hurl accusations.” …. to this comes another response, “Ah! A new revelation … I am selfish. Oh! I do so much but still…..” We all know that we can go on with the script.
My question is, ‘Have arguments ever given a happy solution?’ There is an awkward silence …Yes! This forced silence speaks volumes, awkwardness that makes food tasteless and living beings lifeless. Uneasy moments follow when the child looks at us with bewilderment as he tries to figure out, “why do such beautiful and loving parents fight or argue?” They worry in their baby minds to feel insecure. Many come and sit in the middle, hold hands with sullen faced ma and pa. Aw! They try to turn around the situation. Their thoughtfulness brings tears of remorse, some may let out a cry in agony and many more are able to see the little one’s spark diminish a little as she tries to bring a smile, wipe the tears and ease out the frowns.
SMALL IS BIG FOR CHILDREN
Our daughter was very small when I realized that even the smallest of arguments or natural difference of opinion between mum and dad puts the child in some kind of a dilemma. Children become insecure the moment parents quarrel. The baffled look in the eyes, the quivering lips and the worried frown on the little face makes such a sorry picture. The moment we cool off to realize how we’ve hurt the baby; we feel awful and so disgusted with our own behaviour.
As children grow a little older, they are able to feel the charged atmosphere in the house. So even if we argue behind closed doors the little minds are affected. In fact they learn to eavesdrop and feel unseen fears. It is heart wrenching when children sit with sullen mom and dad and don’t give them privacy to fight and argue. They try to make them laugh but their eyes search for a truce. Ask the little head and they’ll tell how they fear the sudden bang on the door which symbolises dad’s exit for some time and the tear stained face of their mum. Oh! Imagine how the baby heart is torn apart and the little mind goes in a sudden spin. They are perplexed with the unrest in the environment and feel ill at ease. Some learn to take sides and some grow up in mind to become peace makers.
TRUTH BEHIND ARGUMENTS
As husband and wife we generally don’t argue on issues concerning ‘US’; the two individuals who come together to become husband and wife. So what do we argue about; my mum and your mum or who’s who in the family or friend circle. Sometimes it’s the mess a spouse creates and at other times it’s the constant criticism over something or just anything. We argue over issues where we may differ as a matter of choice or simply because of our different belief system. After all we are not clones.
We also argue because we take things very personally and sometimes like anger even our arguments are misplaced. Yes! A tiff with a colleague or boss may trigger an argument the moment your spouse asks you a simple question, ‘How was your day?’ and your flippant answer; ‘well! All men are the same. If you know one you know the entire species’ and ‘All women are so judgemental … you are doomed with women bosses.” Well! Well! Well! What do we expect after this? Oh! The universal answer is … Only friction, fights and fireworks … that doesn’t cool off but simmer for days together.
But the mother of all truths is that we argue over issues which are not resolved as they require a silent acceptance and at other times just deserve neglect which again comes with silence. Yes! As husband and wife we can soar in love but are doomed once they get into the whirlwind of arguments or temper soaring.
So Why Argue?
The most valid point about arguments that will fetch you a solution is ‘why argue?’ Yes! Just jot down the issues that invite a tussle. I can say with experience that you will realize that we harp on the same issues this way or that way. Arguments come up from the clutter in the mind that we refuse to part with. At other times the reappearance of certain people, unresolved issues and revision of past mistakes digs out the phantoms. When we can’t laugh at the same jokes then why do we harp on the same cribs?
Don’t Argue! It Energizes Negativity
Yes! Argument is inevitable when it happens for the first time. It is simple; we are not prepared. We vent out but still we feel bogged down with a bit of guilt and then a fresh episode of explanation rolls in. Remember one thing most of the time we vent out venom as the intention is to move the person or provoke him or her. This seldom helps. One thing leads to another as we group up issues and multiply them. Exasperation, frustration and blame game are fine till the time the players and spectators are the same. But once children occupy centre stage then allow your differences to sink so that love stays afloat. The moment you sense another irritant that has its roots in the unresolved past, just be silent. Yes! At least one person should be quiet. Just look away, yes! Just try it once and look away. The moment you look away in silence, your spouse loses the energy to go on. It is the revision or discussion that brings back the wounds and the pain.
How to look away or practice silence?
Men are able to practice silence naturally. Many just go for a walk to give cooling time. Now they don’t do so to perturb us. They do this to cool off and give us some time to be fine. Don’t you think he cares enough? Silence works. My husband and I take turns to practice silence. When he is angry I become mute with the confidence that I am not adding fuel to fire. He practices the same and I get bored with my monologue. Believe me silence is golden and it’s been years but we’ve not agued. Our silence may not have resolved some issues but has shrunk them considerably. We live happily in peace as we know the truth that we energise arguments to make them unresolved issues. We also realize that some things and people don’t matter much as what matters the most is our peace. The point is that arguments just don’t crop up when we practice silence. Don’t encourage fights keeping in mind the cliché that couples who love each other fight the most. Fights and fireworks destroy love and the congenial environment that can at the most bring to light mushy moments every now and then. First empower yourself with love then real peace and genuine happiness rolls in for the child. Don’t just live together for the child but rekindle love in your relationship to be the best role models for children. This lasts a lifetime as mutual love gives the needed strength to a relationship which is the solid bedrock for parenting.
The Way Out
Differences exist everywhere. Look at the global scenario nowadays. Progressive nations are sinking their differences and the general public all over wants peace. People at war look like victims of their own doings. Let’s learn the game changing rules to strive for peace in our homes. Bury the hatchet and concentrate on areas where love shows up through great memories and peaceful times. YES! when the present is bad enough then the sweet memories from the past come to our rescue. The past is not always in a poor light. Embrace the good memories of the past to fuel a beautiful present and a promising future. Pick photos of the glorious past to energise your present. Yes! It works, music, candle light dinner on the terrace or breakfast in bed… Yes! When either of you rise to shine in the morning to serve tea and cookies with a smile to the other still in bed. The moments when the one in bed gets up to adjust the pillows, balances the cup and saucer and SMILES. Ah! It’s like the click- click moment when together you look at your baby who sleeps in the crib.
Make an attempt and give love a chance to see that just everything works wonders once you resolve to break the pattern that triggers arguments. This way we recognize we have a lot to embrace and a few repetitive angry moments to ignore. It’s EASY and I love you for rising above petty things to make life a delightful journey. You are The Winner as love reigns supreme.