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Hey, Dads: Is this really worth arguing over?

My husband and I were friends for years before we became a couple. All those years of friendship added up to lots of funny stories about mutual friends and was a great way to determine how compatible we are. Since the time of our transition from buddies to spouses, we've had relatively few arguments. Sure there are areas where we don't always see eye-to-eye, but overall, we are on the same page.

We knew that being a united team was important before having our son. I had no idea how significant it would become for his relationship with our child.


Lots of parents either avoid fighting in front of their children, or they will let their children hear them fight "fairly" using non-blaming language. (Or so I hear...I've never seen this successfully used in a real world scenario - just on TV shows and in movies.)

But when parents do fight, there is negative spillover for their children. And, as it turns out, these negative feelings strain a child's relationship with their father much longer than it will with their mother.

A study had moms and dad keep separate diaries of their lives for several weeks. When analyzed, they found that the father's relationship with his children after an argument with mom were more adversely affected for days afterward. Moms, on the other hand, were able to deflect the negative fallout much faster. The researchers who conducted the study believe that moms are better equipped to compensate for any marital tension than dads are.

Now, I am not saying that spouses shouldn't argue, because that is unhealthy and sometimes you need to air your feelings, but maybe we should be asking this question first: Is this worth arguing about?

I'm thinking that in most cases, the answer will probably be, "No," and everyone can go about their day a little happier.

Money, sex and housework are three of the top subjects couples argue over. What is one of the more ridiculous things you've argued with your spouse over? Tell me in the comments.

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Comment by Lauren Markman on August 20, 2014 at 6:30am

Thanks for the comment, Kimmy. I've read lots of studies that it is actually ok to argue in front of children, as long as parents argue fairly and also although children to see the resolution of the argument. I just think that it is a really hard skill for anyone to develop.

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