There are three different strategies that a person can choose from when they get embroiled in a controversy with someone else:

Win-Lose Strategy: In a win-lose strategy, a person’s goal is not only that they win, but that their opponent ends up being stomped into the ground and totally devastated.

This is a poor strategy for anyone to use in an argument with one’s spouse, since it only drives a permanent wedge between them.

Lose-Lose Strategy: In a lose-lose strategy, a person doesn’t care what happens to themself as long as they bring down the other person. This arises from a situation filled with bitterness, hate, and vindictiveness. Nobody wins. What good is that?

Win-Win Strategy: In a win-win strategy, each person tries to find a solution where both parties come out of it feeling they have gotten something positive and good out of the deal. The result is good feelings all around and there is a solid foundation that has been laid for the future.

For example, maybe you would love to go to a basketball game with a couple of friends on Saturday, but this would leave your wife home alone while you’re out having fun, which might upset her.

Hey, how about suggesting that Abby and her sister go shopping while you’re at the game and you can all meet up for cocktails or dinner later. Everybody has a good time and everybody wins.

How to Win Every Argument

How do you “win” every argument? By agreeing with your wife and not getting into an argument in the first place.

Granted, this won’t work if there are major differences of opinion on important issues. It will work, however, on issues of minor consequence that don’t mean a damn to you one way or the other.

For example, you and your wife are at home watching television and she says, “Is it chilly in here?” Obviously, she thinks it is or she wouldn’t have brought it up. Even if you think the temperature is fine, what would it hurt to agree with her and let her turn up the thermostat a degree or two. Hey, you’re a guy and you can stand the heat.

Argument avoided. Enjoy the TV show. By the way, this little scenario happens about three times a week between Grandma and me. Whether she thinks it’s too hot or too cold in the room, I agree. According to my calculations, I have avoided over 7,000 arguments with Grandma using this little technique. Hey, I’m a guy – if it’s a little too hot or a little too cool, I can take it.

Thirteen Magical Words

Throughout your married life, you will say millions of words to your wife. Those words will have a profound impact on her attitude toward you and, thus, on your entire relationship with her and the level of happiness that you both experience in your marriage.

There are over 1,025,000 words in the English language. From all those words, I have selected Thirteen Magical Words for you to use that will virtually guarantee a happy and successful marriage.

“I LOVE YOU” – These are the three most powerful words that you can say to your wife. They are the three words that she wants to, and needs to, hear from you often. Make it a point to tell her every day, and more than once. Why not make it a habit to tell her, “I Love You,” within the first fifteen minutes after you awake for the day and within the last fifteen minutes before you retire for the evening. What a great way to start and finish each day.

“THANK YOU” – Your wife will do numerous things for you virtually every day. Maybe it’s routine things like cooking dinner, ironing your shirts, picking up something from the store, or turning down the volume on the television so you can concentrate on a project you’re working on. Recognize her kindness, her actions, and her contributions to you and to your marriage by simply saying, “Thank you.”

“I AM SORRY” – You are my grandson and I love you; nevertheless, I know that you are fully capable of being one of the biggest screw-ups on the planet.

When you do screw up, don’t make alibis or lame excuses or, worse yet, tell lies that are apt to compound the situation. Own it. Simply admit that you messed up, take Abby in your arms, and tell her, “I am sorry.”

A philosopher once put this concept in slightly different words that you might understand: “If you have screwed up and have to eat shit, don’t nibble.”

“YES, DEAR” – There undoubtedly will be many interactions with Abby through the years that won’t make a difference to you one way or the other. At other times, Abby may ask for your opinion, but what she really wants is agreement with what she has already done or has planned to do. In those situations, and in numerous other circumstances that will come along in your day-to-day life, there are two magical words that you should use often: “Yes, Dear.” And then just blow it off.

For example, Abby may ask, “Do you think this chair looks okay sitting over here in the corner?” You wisely answer, “Yes, Dear.”

Abby moves the chair to the center of the room and says, “Or, do you think it looks better here?” Again, your appropriate answer is, “Yes, Dear.” Oh, Oh – she moves the chair to the other side of the room and asks if you like it there. Of course, your answer is “— —-” Good Going!

“WE, US, OUR” – When you were single, it was appropriate for you to say things like, “I bought a new TV,” “I want what’s best for me,” and “My car needs new tires.” You lived in an “I, ME, MY” world, and that was completely proper, since you were single.

Now, you are married and things have changed; you’re part of a team. When a football coach tries to exhort his players to work like a team rather than a bunch of individuals, he often says something like, “There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM.” When you talk about plans, goals, activities, possessions, and whatever, think of Abby and you as a team and use the words “We,” “Us,” and “Our” whenever possible.

Working as a team, you and Abby will be able to accomplish much more than the two of you working as separate individuals. This is called synergy and is sometimes described mathematically as 1 + 1 = 3.

A Lifetime of Magic

The Thirteen Magical Words described above really are magical. They will help Abby and you keep your love alive and will foster a feeling of appreciation, understanding, and respect between the two of you.

Use these magical words often throughout your entire married life and see if you can add a few magical words of your own to the list.

Excerpt is from Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel: How to be a husband your wife won’t throw out of the window in the middle of the night

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