Happy Marriage 101: Don’t raise your voice, yell at your spouse

I was eating lunch with my wife a few days ago when she said that in hindsight she is thankful for a rule I established early on in our relationship. I told her many years ago that I would never raise my voice with her, but that I would expect the same treatment in return. I said I was willing to end the relationship if she could not abide by the rule.

This seems like a common sense condition, but it does not take long to realize that many people do not follow it — even in public. In fact, some people claim that yelling adds “passion” to a relationship. I would argue that screaming at a spouse and calling the ordeal an aphrodisiac is a form of denial; it is dysfunction masquerading as love.

When a person raises his or her voice in an argument, it is a sign of desperation. It indicates a loss of control. The couple immediately enters an emotional realm that is conducive to mental and physical violence, which is why it is exponentially embarrassing if the man is the one who raised his voice first.

Yelling at someone does not add legitimacy to an argument, but for some reason many individuals think increased decibel-levels magically perform such a function.

Raising your voice does denote anger, but a healthier way of conveying that feeling is to simply say, “I am angry.” If you say what you mean and mean what you say with your spouse on a regular basis, then that statement alone will be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

As was already mentioned, a man should never yell at his significant other. The vast majority of men are physically stronger than the women in their life, so ending a disagreement by introducing the specter of violence — even if the man has never physically harmed his wife — is  cowardly, wrong, and ipso facto detrimental to the long-term health of the relationship.

“Anybody can become angry,” Aristotle wrote. “That is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not … easy.”

Anger is a natural feeling, and in general there is nothing wrong with feeling anger. The key is to channel that anger in healthy ways. If you struggle with this task, then I suggest checking out the book “Overcoming Sinful Anger,” by Rev. T.G. Morrow. It is a short book, but one filled with advice that will leave you happier and healthier if you take his words to heart.

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Google images uses your blog to create a psychological profile

Why does the writer write? That’s the age old question, isn’t it? Philosopher Eric Hoffer said we never run fastest and farthest than when we run from ourselves, and so for me I suppose the answer mostly has to do with trying to put forth the most honest portrayal of who I am into words for everyone to see — friends, families, coworkers, and those who hate everything I stand for.

Regular readers can argue over whether or not I’ve been honest with my writing (I would say I’ve always put forth a good faith effort to do so), but Google has made it possible for readers to, on some level, put together a stunningly accurate psychological profile without ever relying on prose.

Conduct a Google image search for ‘douglasernstblog’ and you will see page after page after page of the pictures I’ve used over the years to represent the words I worked so hard on. For me, while I can’t always find the perfect image, it’s always been a priority to find the best picture possible that represents the content. And so, scrolling through Google image results can give you the reader a glimpse into my brain. Likewise, the same holds true for any blogger who churns out content on a regular basis. It’s safe to say that the FBI and the CIA should be taking the engineers at Google out to lunch for the favor; the implications are huge.

Below are a few screenshots I’ve taken from a search of my own blog, although it’s only a portion of what’s there. I think that a good profiler could easy tease out what’s important to me, what drives me — what issues weigh on my my mind daily — and the values I hold dear. If someone wanted to predict my behavior for any given scenario, the images below would be a reliable road map of sorts from which to surmise an answer.

Anyway, to those who have been reading from the beginning, below are just some of the ideas I’ve imprinted in your psyche. It’s been a wild ride, and I hope you stick around until the end.