I and my wife roll along quite happily but we are both very passionate people. Passion is good for bedroom frolics and we are quite keen on those. As we all know, though, passionate natures lend themselves readily to the darker side of human nature and particularly domestic disagreements. It really doesn’t matter what starts it but it is usually one, or a series, of misunderstandings. Occasionally there is an argument which can be directly traced to the actions of one or another but generally misunderstandings get out of hand. Tiredness is also a factor.

The problem is not what starts it but how it progresses. My wife and I are trying to identify the triggers and to attempt to back away but after 20 years this is difficult, the politics of our domestic arguments are well established. This in itself is a problem. We know each other so well that we can push each others buttons quite easily. The arguments follow a very identifiable pattern and this is another thing we are working on.

You may get the impression that our life consists of one long shouting match but we have some very pleasant times and often laugh at shared memories. We enjoy the same kind of things and generally arguments are not very long. However they are very intense. We are now recognising what causes them and places within the structure of the argument where we can jump off the roundabout.

Anyone who loves their partner as I do knows that the intensity of the relationship cannot be maintained 24/7 without a bone of contention being enlarged out of all proportion. At some time you will argue and it will usually be nasty.

My wife has a more simple explanation, she calls it clearing the air, in the same way that a storm leads to fresher weather.

I have to say that the effort we are both making to deal with the increasing symptoms of my stroke 8 years ago, including aggression (Never physical, only verbal.) and irritability, are helping to fuel arguments but we have always been argumentative at times. She admits that she has a foul temper when we are arguing due to issues in her past life. It will take time but we hope to sort out those things leading to these senseless shouting matches.