Monday, 15 October 2012

Swearing Agony

Dear Auntie Lizzie

I have a friend (yes, really, it is a friend's problem).. she has a 6mth old baby and her husband (stress head) keeps arguing (full shouting and swearing) in front of her baby and she's really upset by it...he says he's trying to stop but what else can she do/say...their relationship is struggling...and at the very least she could do with a laugh from your witty reply!


A Friend

Dear Friend

It doesn't sound great, and I am not sure this is something that I can really make light of with a witty retort.

Swearing in front of a baby I have no real problem with. At a very young age they don't have a clue what you are saying so any word is fair game. Once they get more sentient, and start to parrot their parents it is even better. You have to admit that there is little cuter than a cherubic-looking toddler trying out the word "Bugger" for the first time.

Which reminds me I have been remarkably lax about teaching my nephews swear words, I must rectify that soon.

The shouting though, that sounds grim. Babies might not understand words but I guess they are much more sensitive to emotions. Any stress and upset is going to leak through to that baby like a shit-filled nappy.

A friend of a friend once said that the only reason a couple don't divorce within the first year of parenthood is they are both too tired to do anything about it.  As our fertile friends are keen to tell us, living with a young baby is tough a lot more often than it is cute. So I doubt that your friend is alone in her predicament, but that is no reason to put up with it.

So what is your friend to do? If he is shouting and swearing there is no magic word that will make him shut up and see sense (unless they are indulging in S&M and she uses the safe word), and the chances are, if she tries to make herself heard she will end up screaming and escalate the problem.

Not a helpful place to be in.

I would suggest if things start to get nasty she just picks up the baby and leaves the room. Then, when things are calmer, she tries to talk things through and explain how this is damaging her and their relationship.

The worse thing she can do is let it fester and only discuss it when they are both getting angry; she has to make sure they keep talking or nothing will get resolved.

And if the baby's first word is "Fuck" that'll be a great anecdote for birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals.

Yours with ear plugs at the ready,


I'm out of problems again. So what you've got to ask yourself is not 'should you share your most intimate problem with the world' but rather 'can you afford NOT to ask my advice'? Can you? Huh?

1 comment:

  1. 1. exiting with baby is good advice.
    2. is he doing this in front of others and at work? If not then he does sometimes choose to control himself and therefore saying he cannot contain himself is a crock of ****.


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