Written by Katy Harrington
Katy Harrington is Stylist’s commissioning editor and acting deputy digital editor.
Now we know the FLOTUS’s preferred method to hashing out a good argument …
FLOTUS Dr Jill Biden admitted in an interview published this week that she’s a fan of having little arguments with her husband over text, or as she called it ‘fexting’ (nothing to do with sexting sadly).
Speaking in the June/July 2022 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR the First Lady said she disagrees with Joe she lets him know all about it – by text. “During the Obama years, they took to hashing out their occasional spats over text to avoid fighting in front of the Secret Service. (They christened it “fexting”)”, the article states.
For most couples, trying to avoid the eyes and ears of the Secret Service isn’t a big issue but is exchanging heated messages with your partner over WhatsApp a better idea than having a barney IRL? Experts it seems, are divided.
Is fexting a healthy way to argue?
Speaking to The Guardian, Josh Smith, a couples and families counsellor with Relate, said fexting wasn’t such a good idea.
“When you get a message, you don’t hear the quivering in their voice, the hurt. You might just see the anger.”
He added a good point, although words said in the heat of the moment can sting for a while after the risk is even greater with texts where you have proof of what was said and therefore can risk “memorialising” your rows – referring back to them for ammunition.
“The ability for people to go back and look over them can be tricky in terms of people healing and moving on because it’s something you can return to, fester over, or be upset by again”, Smith told The Guardian.
There’s more cons though. Relationship expert Jasbina Ahluwalia told Elite Daily: “Texting in the heat of the moment can result in shooting off hurtful comments you don’t really mean, and perhaps would never say face-to-face, but can’t erase,”
The pros of fighting digitally
It seems Biden’s idea isn’t all wrong though. Digital life expert Christen Rochon told Glamour that fexting has its upsides: “It can be tough to face your partner and speak rationally when you’re feeling emotional and irritated in the heat of an argument. Jotting down your feelings and sharing them over text can help your S.O. not only hear your point of view but see it more clearly. You’ll be more likely hear and see his or her perspective as well.”
It’s a bit like that oft repeated advice about dealing with any anger or frustration be it at home or at work – write it all down on a piece of paper, in an email or text and then leave it for a while. Often just the act of writing or typing does the trick in itself and you feel like you get what you need to off your chest. If that doesn’t work, it’s up to you whether to you decide to press send.
Images: Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
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