Dear RV Shrink:
Like most couples, my wife and I have occasional disagreements. At
home we can go to different parts of the house to calm down, but it's
more difficult in our trailer. When we get into a
heated argument, she storms off to the bathroom and stays there for
an hour or so. She has a little electronic game in there and plays
draw poker. I can hear it beeping, which drives me nuts. On a nice
day, I just leave the RV and take a walk, but in the winter when it's
cold or rainy I have nowhere to go. Do you think this is a good way
for her to let off steam? Am I overreacting?
--Jim in Buffalo, New York
I guess it depends on the size of your rig. If you travel with a Casita there could be a problem trying to take a time out in your separate corners. In a bigger rig it could be convenient. Everyone needs a little time alone. I’m a long distance backpacker. My wife said to me last year, “There are things I love about you that you never do anymore.” I said, “Like what?” She said, “Like being gone.” Living long term in a small space can challenge the best of relationships. Having your own space can be a bonus many people do not think of when deciding on rig size. Having separate interests can be a good thing. Arguments are nothing uncommon. Everyone handles them differently. If this is your spouse's way of cooling off, get a pair of earphones or plugs and wait it out. A twenty-five pound backpack works pretty well too.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink
I think your wife is acting like a child. I had a girl friend like that in college..we didn't stay together very long. When you have an argument or disagreement why doesn't someone just say "I guess you're right" or maybe "lets agree to disagree". I'll bet there's more issues in your relationship too, but that's not the point here.
Storming off the the bathroom is silly. She should hole up in the bedroom where it's more comfortable. The small space of an RV can be overwhelming at times and sets your nerves on edge. Sometimes you just need some alone time. Sounds like both are experiencing a little cabin fever.
How to stop a bad argument. Both agree to this and it works:
When an argument is in progress and it is to much for one of you, you hold up your hand, like it's a stop sign and say stop. The other one has to stop right now and you too. It's over and you both go one doing whatever you were doing. If later you want to revisit the same subject again, you may, but if it doesn't work out, one of you may have to put up the stop sign again. Works for us and has for many years. Good luck.
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