In his famous “love lab”, the Family Research Laboratory, John Gottman observed more than 3,000 couples during three decades of research, analyzing their discourse, including arguments, and recording their physiological responses.
What he concluded wasn’t whether people fought — 69 percent of his subjects never resolved their conflicts — but how they fought.
The relatively happy couples did not escalate disagreements; they broke tension with jokes and distraction and made “repairs” after arguments. When wives raised issues gently, for example, neither partner’s heart rate exceeded 95 beats per minute and the ratio of positive to negative comments during a fight was an amazing five to one. …more at MindHacks
“When wives raise issues gently…”?? Whassa that?!? I mean, like, hey! It’s accepted that men can be defensive regarding emotions, but it’s not difficult nor impossible to grow.
A Sufi tale:
A lover came to the dwelling of the Beloved and asked to be admitted. “Who is there?” the Beloved asked. “I am here,” the lover answered. The Beloved refused to admit the lover. After wandering in grief and longing for years, the lover returned to the Beloved and begged to be admitted. “Who is there?” The lover responded, “You alone are there.” The door opened.