Frivolous arguments are inevitable in any marriage – whether it’s to do with who does what chores, or not living up to an expectation, or making a comment that was deemed inconsiderate. When two people are living together, friction is simply unavoidable. However, the way one spouse deals with stress can sometimes compound the problem, and propel a trivial dispute into a serious argument. Having an understanding of the way men and women deal with stress helps to alleviate some of the pain.
Men generally deal with stress by thinking through the problem – by withdrawing into an imaginary bubble (some have called it a “cave‟) and having some silent time to reason through the issues. Women on the other hand, want to talk through the problem with someone and reach a solution via communication.
If a petty argument occurs, typically the woman wishes to communicate her feelings in an expressive manner, which irritates the man and causes him to leave the room. This is a recipe for disaster. Whatever issue the couple was arguing about becomes secondary. What goes through the woman’s mind is “I can’t believe he left me in this state! I’m trying to solve the problem with him and he just walks away!” The man, on the other hand, thinks to himself: “I can’t believe she got so emotional. I need to leave this stressful area, calm down, and think things through!”
During a heated argument, the last thing a man wants to do is talk about the issue. And the last thing a woman wants to do is not talk about the issue. So what is the solution, as both want opposite things?
- Men need to understand that when they walk away to be alone, the woman feels that he is acting heartless and therefore doesn’t love her anymore. To her, communication equates to love. The time that he is silent and alone is the most painful time for a woman.
- Women need to understand that if a man stops talking and leaves, it just means he needs time to himself to think things through. It does not mean he doesn’t love her or doesn’t care; in fact, if he didn’t care he would not be stressed and would not need to think things through! For a man, staying and talking about things will make it worse and cause him more stress.
Such scenarios can be dealt with by each spouse communicating his or her needs. The husband tells his wife that he wants some time to think things through, that insha Allah the two of them will work things out, but he can’t concentrate on a solution when she is so emotional. The wife, in turn, understands that his wanting to “withdraw‟ is his way of trying to solve the problem, and asks for a time when the two will later talk over the issue. This way, the man gets his space, and the woman knows that she will get to a conclusion.
Of course, throughout all difficult situations, Muslim couples should always turn to Allah and ask Allah to make their affairs easy for them. Remember that ‘duaa’ solves all problems if done properly! And remember what Allah has promised in the Quran to couples who have a serious argument, and yet they are sincere in trying to reconcile and take all the proper steps:
“…if the both of them truly desire reconciliation, Allah will bring about a reconciliation between them” [Nisaa; 35].
Source : Like A Garment Email Series by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi