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July 09, 2010

Bickering

Is it human nature to bicker and fight or is it something that is learned in early childhood?

No, hubby and I are not arguing, but we do have our moments like all couples.

In past relationships, I believed that if we fought the relationship was not good.

Growing up when I was still around my brother, we displayed a lot of anger. There were four people in that family; two were adults. But there was anger and bickering between all four members of the family. Constantly. Little kids growing up around adults fighting and hitting learn fighting and hitting. What would it be like to grow up in a calm environment?

51 comments:

Donda said...

I couldn't tell ya! My guess is the calm would be pretty uncomfortable.

Rock Chef said...

My wife and I have never had an argument - and we have been together 25 years.

Our kids wind each other up, nit-pick, bicker, insult each other, etc, but most of it is good natured, never really vindictive.

I know that most couples have their moments, but I really can't understand those who seem to argue and fight all the time - if things are really that bad surely it is time to call it a day and find something better?

LL Cool Joe said...

I have no idea either. I went from one house of bickering to another. I've bickered with my partner for well over 20 years! :D

SabiSunshine said...

I do have a lot of arguments with my brother lately and believe me it's not good at all. Later on, we are freinds again.. I still tryiing to understand the relaitonship .. I think when people are in relationship like brother sister or husband wife, or parents .. whoever they are close to get to do argument a lot with each other.. Where there is a love, thers a fight. It balance out .

Love
Sunshine

Shrinky said...

It took me a long, long time to learn what a healthy relationship should be (I didn't marry until I was 30). I think I can count on one hand the aurguments hubby and I have had, we tend to pick our battles carefully. We celebrate our 20th anniversary this month.

Ms. Anthropy said...

No clue.

Gappy said...

My boys bicker constantly. It drives me insane and I end up arguing with them about their constant arguing. I think it's pretty much inevitable that if you live closely with people day in, day out, you will get on each others nerves sometimes, but really big rows make me feel like I've been punched in the gut. I hate them.

Roxy said...

Fortunately I grew up with parents who did not bicker and fight in front of us children... they kept their arguments behind closed doors. My siblings and I (there were 4 of us) did nag, bicker and occasionally throw a few slaps at each other, all part of sharing time and energy in the same space. However, my spouse and I argued frequently around our children, something that I'm not proud of but, nonetheless, it happened. Our children grew up battling each other and even as adults they still fight, even to the point of not speaking. Their behavior disturbs me, but unfortunately, I can not change them. Long story here...

Cinner said...

I have always felt that it was easy to argue and bicker, but that things take a lot more work if we want them to work out. in this marriage we try to do the later, and one things that helps is having our own time.

Beth said...

After my dad left my mother, she was so fragile and seemed on the verge of a breakdown. My sister and I just quit fighting. I think at our young age we realized that she couldn't take it. She remarried but I don't recall much fighting - so I guess calm was pretty good. Most of the chaos came from my step-brother.

Dave King said...

False - probably.

Brian Miller said...

good post. i think that if you have a truly engaging relationship there will be moments of tension, because you are not walking on egg shells avoiding the fight. i think there are some you should avoid, but there are others you should have. we developed fight rules together...setting the boundaries in fighting...such as never making personal attacks in teh fight...never go to bed still fighting even if we have to stay up all night...those things...i think they helped...

Syd said...

I grew up in a household where there was no fighting between my parents. But I believe that my mother was in total denial of my father's drinking. So I never learned about healthy boundaries. I am learning about them now. I don't like conflict but am not afraid to speak up about unacceptable behavior anymore.

DJan said...

I don't think it's possible to live closely with another person and not have disagreements, but bickering and nitpicking are definitely not helpful. We try not to save stuff up and bombard the other person, but deal with our issues with respect for the other. But it's inevitable, I believe.

Ocean Girl said...

Argument is a way of engaging and respect is the opposing force to balance it.

Ina in Alaska said...

Sometimes a person's true character comes out after many years. My hub and I have been married since 1987. He is a nice man basically but he does have some issues that are merely "annoying" and must be tolerated/ignored (probably no different than most couples) But most of the time we get along great. At our age being respectful and tolerant with each other is important.

I grew up in a good house. My parents were together until I was 30 (they divorced when he cheated on her) and made a very happy childhood for me and my 5 siblings. I have very happy childhood memories. My dad is married to the "other woman". I could never figure out their relationship. She is so different from my mom in all ways.... and because she knew he was a married man when they got together I have never ever warmed up to her. xoxo

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

I was an only,.. now i have 4 and somtimes i wonder wth is wrong with then,.. "she is looking at me" I am like omg r you really going to die?

ellen abbott said...

There was a span of time where my husband and I fought all the time, nearly every day. In front of the kids if they happened to be there. His personal demons which he was trying to ignore clamored louder and louder until the only way he could deal with them was anger...at everyone all the time about everything. He went into a rage one night because I had not cut the green beans but left them whole when I cooked them (never physical though). I refused to be the meek little mouse, refused finally to accept that everything I did was wrong somehow and would meet him head on. My own personal issue was validation which I sought from him, a person who was never happy with anything, had never received it and didn't know how to give it. Recipe for disaster. We did get some great counseling eventually and now all that is in the past. We don't fight now. I had enough of that for several lifetimes. I still get pissed off sometimes as does he but we just ignore each other til it passes now. Our two kids though, they had the usual sibling spats but are very close as grown-ups and were even as kids. My daughter has four kids and it content to let a lot of stuff go by, picking her battles. My son tends to wait out his wife's bouts with dissatisfaction just keeping clear of her.

Casey Freeland said...

There was no adult fighting in my home growing up because my mom passed when I was five. But my sister and brother and I fought hard. I think fighting is something we learn in childhood BECAUSE it's human nature.

Good news is my sibs and I have fantastic relationships now.

In our home we don't fight. We just don't, healthy or not, it's been 16 years and we don't.

And our kids fight. Not mean fight, but they still spar.

I think it's how we learn to compete in the real world.

The big difference with adult fights is whether or not the adults say mean, insulting things to each other. Because you can never take that stuff back. You ladies never forget. And neither do we.

Learned that one in my first marriage.

Cheers,

Casey

Betty said...

I think some bickering/fighting is normal and healthy. I can´t imagine what people do with their emotions, if they never fight, like that one commenter. They really must be saints.
I had parents who never fought in front of us kids. But we (hubby and I) did. I think if the kids see that you can apologize or make up with your spouse, it teaches them how to deal with the arguments that arise.

Jeanie said...

I agree with Betty, above. I think how it is done is what determines whether it is a calm environment or total chaos. Conflict resolution is important for kids to learn, but like so many things, modertion is important.

LadyFi said...

Bickering happens to us all... It's part of the ups and downs. As for a calm environment, it's lovely for kids and adults alike!

Fragrant Liar said...

I can tell you with some authority, growing up in a calm environment occurs when the kids are grown and gone and so is the man. The dog and I never argue about anything.

Kristina P. said...

I definitely think it's normal when you are with someone all the time. We try not to, but it happens sometimes.

TALON said...

My youngest sister and I used to fight like cats and dogs. We still do. But in my own family there's never been any fighting. Not between hubby and me (30 years) and not between my three (now grown) children. There was the odd name-calling, but no physical stuff. Bickering happens - usually the result of tiredness, frustration, stress, illness...but it doesn't last long. I can't imagine a completely harmonious household - even our pets - who have known each other for years and years and cohabitate peacefully - have occasional spats.

lisleman said...

nature vs. nurture discussion.
I believe we are influenced by both. Yes we learn by example but some don't seem to pickup on the good examples.
To never argue or show some negative emotion would be almost nonhuman to me. We are not robots. But there are many good ways to control your emotions and throwing things for example is NOT one of them.

Suldog said...

I grew up with two differing environments. My Mom's side of the family almost never raises their voices, and they also use euphemisms for swear words (shoot, sugar, fudge.) My Dad's side of the family, however, loved a good argument, and would as soon call you a son of a bitch as call you to the table for dinner.

However, both sides had one thing in common: No matter what was said within the family, nobody outside of the family had better try saying such things or else the family will unite and beat the living snot out of them.

Having said that, my own house - not extended family - was very peaceful. I was an only child, for one thing, so no arguments over toys, pets, beds, whatever. And my folks were both fairly calm and intelligent people, so the really loud shouting matches rarely came to pass. They were divorced when I was 15, but almost until the time they were I knew nothing about anything being amiss.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times MY WIFE and I have had any sort of serious disagreement resulting in an argument. I think I have to agree with Rock Chef - if you're arguing and bickering all the time, why are you married?

(I don't mean YOU, personally, of course. But so many people stay in poor relationships for no other reason than they feel it's the right thing to do. What? To deny yourself and at least one other person true happiness is the right thing to do? Bizarre.)

jillsy said...

It's so funny when my 3 brothers and I mention anything to the effect that our parents constantly argued, my Mom takes offense and denies it! She never even realized they did it!

KleinsteMotte said...

My parents rarely argued. But my brother and I did. I don't think we learn from parents. I think our ego cuts in and we want our way. Likely learning to be unselfish is the skill to help curb arguing.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

An argument means make-up sex...nothing wrong with that

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

An argument means make-up sex...nothing wrong with that

Opaque said...

My parents rarely argued. But, there were times. But, they are still together. I laugh at how people fear that if there is an argument, then it is not meant to be. Why aren't circumstances considered? It is not always the personalities, but sometimes the circumstances that trigger such arguments.

Regardless of the parents being monks OR samurais, people will behave as per their attitude. They will notice their parents calm/arguing, but that does not guarantee that they shall turn up that way.

Growing up in a calm environment will increase their expectations and they shall not be able to completely relish and appreciate calmness as they have not experienced the other side. So, when they do, they panic!

Snappy Di said...

Hubby and I are not the arguing type. We just say what we feel and then let it go. Bickering solves nothing. I have seen it in other married couples and always feel uncomfortable being around them when it occurs. Can't we all just get along!

Di

CherylK said...

When I was growing up my parents never fought in front of us kids. But they DID fight. And I knew it...sometimes I heard them at night.

So it might have been a calm environment to all appearances but it was just as stressful as if they'd battled it out in front of us. It was fake calm, if that makes any sense.

Mrs4444 said...

My kids bicker, though not constantly or anything. Mr.4444 and I almost never argue, but I'm pretty good about nipping things early; I'm not usually a "stuffer" of my emotions. Anymore, that is.

Unknown Mami said...

I have no idea! I have been known to pick fights. I'm not bragging. I'd rather pick bliss.

The picture is perfect.

Kazzy said...

I think those kinds of angry and contentious feelings are part of the animal in us that we need to tame. I didn't grow up with fighting parents. That would have been tough!

Mama Zen said...

Couldn't tell you!

Bernie said...

In a perfect world it would be wonderful, pure bliss but we all know we don't live in a perfect world........:-) Hugs

Mr. Stupid said...

No idea. I guess arguments are part of a relationship. Everyone has them. Though, I would love to know how it would be to grow in a Calm place.

Jeni said...

Growing up, by the time I hit my teen years, the tension between my Mom and me was ferocious and it stayed that way until she died. Rarely did a day pass that we didn't have some kind of conflict/argument. It was the norm; accepted as a fact of our lives. With my children, for quite sometime I was appalled at their squabbling over petty things and frequently, over sharing and such, then came the "I hate" accusations they would fling at each other and that, I really couldn't understand. Having been an only child, who always wanted just one thing -a brother or a sister -I just couldn't fathom why these kids couldn't appreciate each other. Or so it seemed that they didn't have feelings like that. But eventually I realized their conflicts were normal and that deep inside, they would defend their siblings to the max -then and now as well. And you know the thing I have missed the most since my Mom's death a little over 30 years ago? Those daily arguments!

otin said...

You cannot agree with everyone all of the time! Some of my best friends ended up being my friends after we started out fighting!

I tried commenting on the post before this one but there is a problem with the comment section.

Kathy M. said...

We behave the way we're taught, don't we? I know I found myself doing the same things my mom did. Things I couldn't stand. It takes a lot of time and effort to deprogram and learn a new way. Great photo, BTW.

Maggie May said...

At first it would be lovely and peaceful.
Maybe it would get boring after a time.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

We keep trying over here. I think we are doing fairly well considering both Son and Hubs have anxiety problemos.

The house I grew up in ? Good grief.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Keeping our resentments to ourselves is not in our constitution, so my wife and FREQUENTLY leave our cards on the table... It usually gets excited and loud then at some point if evolved into laughter. If it's really contentious the "make-up" can be particularly intimate.

My wife and I have conflict resolution down to a science.

anne h said...

Calm environment - would love to know!
Maybe in my next lifetime!

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

I never was born in a calm environment. But I like quiet places though.

Makes me think clearly.

secret agent woman said...

I grew up in an aggressive household. In my own family now (me and the kids) we may yell and bicker, but NO hitting allowed.

blueviolet said...

I've always been of the mindset that it's ok for kids to see healthy arguing between parents, because it's realistic. However, it's vital that they also see those parents make up.

Hope said...

I learned as a child that it was every person for themselves. I brought that attitude into my marriage without ever questioning whether my husband was a foe or not. I just assumed he was.
This many years later we have finally learned how to communicate peaceably. It's a very rare thing for me to raise my voice. It used to be a very rare thing for me not to. It still seems like a miracle.