Happy marriages are made up of happy, good-humored arguers. An arguer who can meet his wife’s chastising of “why on earth can’t you ever put the toilet seat down?!” with a guilty grin…or better yet an offer of a cookie and a hot cup of tea (you might try to stay mad at your husband after such an offer, but I can tell you from experience that it’s ridiculously difficult).
Frequent arguing isn’t always indicative of an unhappy marriage. Couples who have the ability to maintain respect for each other and a sense of humor, even when they argue, tend to report having a good marriage in spite of all the squabbling. It’s the couples who display true contempt for each that often have a relationship in serious trouble. Happy couples typically view arguments as tiny fractures that are eagerly and happily repaired, which allows them to preserve the positive feelings that they have for each other.
Couples who rely on humor and affection to diffuse arguments can do so because they genuinely like and enjoy each other. These couples truly are friends. They recognize that spouses sometimes squawk at each other, both deserved and undeserved, and they have learned to handle it with a graceful lightheartedness. And a cup of hot tea with a cookie can’t hurt either.