The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

No Man Has Ever ‘Won’ an Argument With His Wife (Change My Mind)

Posted on | April 29, 2023 | Comments Off on No Man Has Ever ‘Won’ an Argument With His Wife (Change My Mind)

Now, I heard a cryin’ man
Is half a man, with no sense of pride.
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don’t mind weepin’, if it’ll keep you by my side.

Ain’t too proud to beg, sweet darlin’.
Please don’t leave me girl (don’t you go).
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby.
Please don’t leave me girl (don’t you go).

Everything you need to know about love, you can learn from old R&B tunes, unless you’d prefer to learn it from old country-and-western songs. What the Temptations were laying down in 1966 has stood the test of time because it’s the absolute truth — however proud a man might be, love will force him to beg for mercy, because that’s how women are.

Rollo Tomassi has expounded on women’s inherent solipsism — it is no use trying to convince a woman to view any conflict or dispute from an objective or logical perspective. If she feels she has been wronged or insulted, no amount of rational argument will convince her otherwise.

Of course, men can be self-centered, emotional and stubborn, but when it comes to male/female relationships, it is the woman’s solipsistic certainty of her own rectitude — her feelings are never wrong — that so often proves the great stumbling block to happiness. No matter how irrational her anger may be, you’re not going to help the situation by telling her she’s wrong to be angry. Indeed, the two words you should never tell her in such a moment are “calm down.” Oh, that will set her off!

If she feels hurt, it doesn’t matter how many reasons you offer for why she shouldn’t feel that way. Her feelings are beyond criticism.

These meditations on the dynamics of male/female relationships are not just random or coincidental. Some readers will be aware of the situation — one which has “gone viral,” as the kids say — that has prompted me to share whatever little wisdom on this subject I can claim to have obtained after 34 years of marriage. Tim Pool is among the several YouTubers who’ve weighed in on the controversy, involving a Ring surveillance video of an unfortunate domestic situation. Tim says it looks to him as if the guy in the video has been “set up,” and that may be true. Dragging people’s dirty laundry into the public eye — leaking a video to Yashar Ali, really? — is the kind of scorched-earth tactic that connotes an irreconcilable breach and, as Tim says, it’s probably wrong to judge somebody on the basis of one (out-of-context) video clip.

“If Americans can be divorced for ‘incompatibility of temper’ I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.”
G.K. Chesterton

Perhaps not as memorable as a Motown lyric, Chesterton’s observation is nevertheless true. Men and women are different; trying to reconcile and accommodate these differences is the great challenge of marriage.

The goal of marriage is cooperation. When husband and wife begin trying to prove each other wrong, then it becomes a competition, and marital happiness becomes impossible. If love means anything — if it denotes more than mere affectionate sentiment — then it must include the willingness to lose an argument, rather than to make your beloved unhappy by a bullheaded determination to prove yourself right.

God knows that stubbornness and arrogance are among my faults. As I’ve often remarked, there are two kinds of people in the world — people who agree with me, and people who are wrong. When I was younger, I actually enjoyed arguing for the sake of argument, until it became apparent to me that I was wasting my time trying to convince wrong people of their error. If someone respected my judgment, they wouldn’t be disagreeing with me, would they? So the argument itself is evidence that they consider me unworthy of respect, and why should I indulge them as they seek to prove that I don’t deserve respect?

Perhaps (suggesting this only as a hypothetical possibility) I have been wrong about something occasionally, but if so, I’ve long since forgotten those occasions, and thus my arrogant conviction of my 100% correctness, which certainty forbids me ever to argue with anyone who disagrees with me. Don’t bother arguing with an old man who, even when he was very young, believed he already knew everything, and through the years has not become less convinced of his know-it-all wisdom.

Self-awareness requires me to confront the fact that no one could ever admire me as much as I admire myself, and to realize that this arrogance can be annoying to others. So I’ve learned to be silent, to bite my tongue when I’m tempted to correct people for being wrong. They don’t want to listen to my advice, and are therefore free to go to hell in the time and manner of their own choosing. It’s not my responsibility.

You have to pursue a type of Zen acceptance about your inability to tell other people how to live their lives, or otherwise the sense of tragedy will overwhelm you. Like, why did the Patriots miss out on the opportunity to draft tight end Tucker Kraft? He went to the Packers, alas, and instead Bill Belichick picked a linebacker from Sacramento State — an error, I’m sure, but Bill Belichick didn’t ask for my advice on the NFL draft, and there’s no point arguing about it now. Selah.

So it is with the video of the domestic trouble involving the famous YouTube personality. There are liberals trying to claim that this incident proves that “tradcon” (traditional conservative) ideas about marriage are wrong, and I’m like, “What? Are you kidding me? Because I consider myself both traditional and conservative and sure as hell would never talk to my wife like that.” But people don’t ask my advice, see?

Y’all need to listen to some old Motown records and chill out. That may not sound like “tradcon” advice, but it sure is better than getting divorced over an argument about your dog. Change my mind.




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