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The Ultimate Guide to Winning an Argument with Your Spouse

Posted Aug 24 2008 3:18pm

In perfect marriages created in La-La-Land by the Queen Fairy Godfather couples never fight and never hurt each other.

However, sometimes in real marriages there are fights. Sometimes those fights are started by the man, sometimes the woman. Sometimes one feels like winning these arguments. Last night was one of those nights. I engaged in (some) of the following tactics to win that argument:

- You Started it. Sure, the other person started it. And you had nothing to do with it, right? Does it matter? Will figuring out who actually started the fight result in a sudden unification and an international peace accord? "Excuse me Mr. bin Laden, but if you'll just admit who started it, we can get this thing settled."

- Clamming up when you know you're Wrong. A personal favorite of mine, I do this one well. It works best when you get really angry and start shouting things that make no sense. Then, when your spouse points out how what you're saying is incomprehensible, just stop talking. Don't do anything else, just keep walking, watching TV, playing Xbox, and ignore the enormous elephant that just walked into the room.

- Force the Issue. So what if your spouse doesn't want to talk about it? If you force them to talk about it, then it will get resolved, and that is the most important thing. Score extra points by following your spouse through the house, nagging them until they "talk" by exploding in your face.

- Beat a Dead Horse. At some point your spouse will probably give in and say you won just to stave off further fighting. That's not enough. Make sure you drive the point home, continuing to reiterate your points in meticulous detail until your spouse either walks out the door with their luggage or bows down to you and says yours is the penultimate opinion.

- Blackmail & Extortion. Two words: Withhold Sex.

Reader Suggestions for additional tactics:

- Compare & Contrast. Let your spouse know how poorly they perform compared to an ex-spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, in law, or parent. Make it crystal clear you prefer the other person over your spouse. Thanks Kevin.

- Raise the Dead. Bring up past issues. Bring up something your spouse said 10 years ago to make a point. That thing you promised to never discuss again? Hit the divorce home run by making a really solid point with that one. Thanks again Kevin.

- Go Non-responsive. Men do this one exceptionally well. To quote Jia , "Continually just say, 'Kay,' in response to anything she says. Or just stare at her blankly."

Unfortunately I won and you know what? That victory was stale indeed.

Perhaps you can help me. Are there are "winning" behaviors that I failed to mention that we can list here, so I can then print the list off and tack it to my forehead so that every time I look in the mirror I can remember not to be a boneheaded idiot?

Your thoughts, comments, and suggestions are welcome.
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