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Marriage 101: The Silent War

When Marriage Becomes The Silent War
3 min read

It’s a universal truth that a husband and wife fight. It could be over massive issues that test the fabric of a relationship or it could be something as small as dishes in the sink overnight… that can still test the fabric of a relationship.

With a new child and sleep deprivation thrown into the mix, there is a fair chance neither of you will register why you suddenly look at each other with nuclear contempt.

In those deathly silent moments that settle on that battlefield before the first shot is fired is where an early treaty can be reached.

This is fertile soil to grow and cultivate what could become an argument from which there is no return.

You could be those lucky few who explode into 90 seconds of diatribe but end up at a resolution so everyone can move on and grow from the experience, then possibly use that excess energy to make a sibling for your young cherub.

However, it’s more likely you’re in the majority of couples that will be faced with an issue (reasonable or otherwise) and stew on it like a Shakespearean witch for days, if not weeks, staring at the perpetrator and adding to their list of faults with every movement they make.  

These pressure cooker moments, if left unchecked, can suddenly unearth all manner of deep-seated annoyances that will begin to click together and the result can have dire consequences. Obviously, that’s the worst-case scenario, usually for guys, because women seem to have an innate ability to instantly recall dates, times and people nearby when you did or said something stupid to piss her off. Yet we men-folk have to try and distract her with eye rolls and dismissive headshakes so we can send anyone who is available into the empty filing cabinets of our memory to find anything to use in retaliation.

In those deathly silent moments that settle on that battlefield before the first shot is fired is where an early treaty can be reached.

If you notice the thunder cross her face after an imperceptible slight, take the moment to actually ask “Is something wrong?” Say it earnestly and expect a response… it probably won’t happen the first time. It’s more likely you’ll get a straight bat back with ‘Nothing’, but in an age where we need to work on our resilience more than ever, go back for a second round.  You’ll likely want that simple answer so you can apply steps for a resolution, but there is a chance that whatever you did is not the problem, just the straw.

It could be that she’s overwhelmed with motherhood, maybe her job sucks at the moment or it could be that all that broken sleep finally broke her and you not closing the back door and letting in that fly was when it all snapped Then again, perhaps it is because you don’t fucking listen and she’s sick of repeating herself. In any event, let her know you can see something is bothering her and she needs to let you know because getting silently angry at you is just making it worse.

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Strap in. Here is where it cant go in a multitude of directions:

  • You get hit with the avalanche of everything that is happening in her head.
  • She could take a few reflective hours alone and then come and talk to you.
  • Get ‘Nothing. It’s fine’ again and she will work it out on her own.
  • Or the ‘Nothing, It’s fine’ and she won’t be able to work it out on her own.

The last one is the danger one. The reddest of flags to ever flag. The others have their resolution, with or without you, but in the current climate of parenting, responsibilities are still a little muddied (see Ostracised Dad) While Dads are fast becoming primary care givers, Mums are heading back to work earlier and longer. They still have the heavy mist of past Mother’s thats almost a genetic contradiction to their role and can make them think they aren’t being the best Mum they can be. Leaving babies as young as six months most of the week with strangers is becoming painfully common. This is new territory for a large number (not all, I know) of women and if it gets too much there’s not an easy way out. Leaving work may not be financially viable, so everyone is feeling a bit stuck.

It may not be the standard for your relationship, but just try letting each other know what’s going on, what small thing they just did that annoys you but most importantly ‘why’, that way you don’t seem like you’re flying off the handle but you have a tangible reason for being a nutter. Neither one of you have the time or energy to read the tiny cues you think you’re leaving, so please, for the love of God, if you’re annoyed…  say something.

Cam Mann

Written by Cam Mann

Cam has been attempting to write anything anyone would want to read for a few years now. Trying his hand at small film scripts and sports articles, but once his son, Billy, was born he found his niche writing about the ridiculousness of Fatherhood. As he watches his kid enter each Developmental Leap (and Developmental Face Plant) he will look to avoid the ever-present terror we all know and wring out inappropriate laughs wherever he can.

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