Father Tony

When you argue, and you will argue....

Filed By Father Tony | April 16, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay relationships

Dear Father Tony,

My partner and I spend all our time together arguing. We try to stop but it's impossible. I dread going home because I know what's waiting. Yesterday he told me that he feels the same. It's just about the only thing we agree on. He also said "You're not the person I moved in with." I think he meant to say "You're not the person I loved" but he couldn't bring himself to say it. We are so tired of this and we want to change it.

DeVane and Moonchild

PS: If you're ever in Miami...

My video response after the jump.

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Thanks padre. Your comments are both insightful and delightful. Although my wife partner and I tend to sulk and pout more than argue; your guidelines strike me as practical and productive. I'm grateful for your advice, and hope we can enjoy a relationship as fruitful as yours.

Wonderful response, Father T. I loved the video format. You could be the next Dr. Phil. But gayer. And better.

Venomous? YOU? Please elaborate on why we should trust you on the new archbishop. The first thing he said was marriage was under attack and he was not even installed yet. Is that the bite of a garden snake FT? I promise never to be involved with anyone that cannot pour coffee. Nice Tshirt by the way. May we now hear your partners response to all this. lol I thought your video was excellent and very caring. Is it possible to go from a snake to a snake charmer?

curiousgyrl | April 16, 2009 4:11 PM

should you really talk to customer service people like that either? no.

I concur.

I have a comment about couples who don't argue. I think it is a matter of definition in most cases. It's not that there isn't disagreement. There is. But these couples have more quiet conversations in which they follow the basic rules of arguing as you present them here. It may not sound like an argument because it isn't loud. The impassioned aspect of typical arguments may be missing, especially in people with mellow dispositions. Is it still an argument? Or is the typical (fair) argument really just a loud discussion?

I am curious about the follow-up. What happened with the guys who wrote to you a couple of months ago? Did they take your sage advice? Did it help? Where will Moonchild and DeVane be in their relationship in a couple of months?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 17, 2009 3:43 AM

Now I understand why I have seen people screaming at their windshields on I-95! :)

Beautiful Fr. Tony, arguing demonstrates communication and clarification in ways unavailable otherwise. We have always argued and it is good for both of us and it is done constructively--until I win. Unless, of course, I am wrong and then I apologize with the same vigor with which I have argued.

There's an additional "arguing" thing I can add to this.

If you're arguing ALL the time, I'm betting many of the topics over which you're arguing are NOT the real reasons at all.

IMO, there are often deeper issues at play which are difficult to talk about. Things like "I'm unhappy with how are relationship is going". Or, "I think he doesn't love me anymore and won't tell me". Or even, "Why haven't we had sex in months?"

And because these topics can be (for some, like me) difficult to approach, it's far easier to argue over what to cook for dinner or some random issue over which two friends would never get heated.

I definitely felt that in my past. And it's upsetting because with all that energy spent arguing about the toothpaste cap, in the back of your mind you know the real things that make you sad are simply not being addressed.

So, I suppose the answer there is to go for the heart of it - argue, or discuss, the real issues (once you figure them out).

Anyways, my 2 cents.

hi, l try to read your comments every week as well as your personal blog. But. I live very isolated in France and l can't recieve You tube or vids. Can you please put down a written comment too ?
Thanks, Joe H

And never go to bed angry. Isn't that in there somewhere?

Alex, I decided not to include that bit of advice because most people don't believe it is possible, and when I say that in 25 yrs my husband and I have been able to do exactly that, it sounds suspicious and incredible. There were a few times when it took until the wee hours but we have always managed to get into bed with at least the resolution to work out the problem at hand and the reminder to selves that our relationship was bigger and more valuable than the problem. So, yes, I do believe in the rule of "Don't sleep with anger on the pillow."