We All Argue
It doesn’t matter how great your marriage relationship is or how happily married you are, it is practically guaranteed that, at some point, you and your spouse will argue over something.
There are perhaps as many things to argue about as there are stars in the universe. And just like the stars, some arguments can be small and dull, and others can be bigger and more… explosive.
One disclaimer before we continue:
There are some situations, such as those involving domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, that without question require more attention and even professional help. We are not referring to such arguments and situations over here. We are referring exclusively to the common, everyday situations that may spark an argument in a healthy marriage, such as dealing with housework, finances, leisure time, intimacy, etc.
Handling Disagreements Productively
Having made clear that we are not referring to violent situations or extreme cases, here are 3 tips that you can apply next time you and your spouse start to bicker about something:
1. Ask yourself: “Is this really worth arguing over?”
For example – is it really crucial that your spouse places the dirty laundry inside the color-coded laundry hampers that you use to separate different laundry loads? Is it absolutely necessary that your spouse attends the parent-teacher meeting when you both know your child is doing great in school and you’ll only get positive feedback? Does the fact that your spouse spent an extra $5 on the brand-name product instead of the generic brand really make a major impact in the family budget?
The thing is… Sometimes arguing is far more trouble than it’s worth.
When you are facing this type of situation, try to solve it with a more calm, civilized approach: conversation.
Without raising your voice or getting angry over it, explain to your spouse why you dislike a particular behavior, action or situation. Sometimes your spouse simply doesn’t realize how important such thing is for you.
For example, instead of yelling out “you put your stupid red shirt in the white hamper again!” try the following: “When doing laundry I separate whites from colors to prevent clothes from getting ruined. It makes life a lot easier for me when you put your red shirt in the color hamper ‘cause I don’t have to spend extra time sorting it before loading the washer.”
2. Try the big “C”… For Compromise!
Back in the days when you were single, it was very likely that most, if not all, the time, you got to do things your way.
However, continuing this lifestyle once you have tied the knot can bring a lot of friction within the marriage, and, in extreme cases, even lead to divorce.
Part of the joy of marriage comes from sharing your life with your spouse. And unless you have married a clone of yourself (which would be terribly boring anyway,) this will very likely require mutual compromise in certain situations.
To avoid conflict, start by having a conversation with your spouse about the things that you each enjoy. And once you find out, don’t try to change them! Do not expect your sports-loving spouse to take you to the one-day shoe sale on the day of a big game. And don’t tell your spouse that the new Jennifer Aniston movie is stupid, cheesy and “not worth a trip to the big screen” when you know she loves romantic comedies.
The key here is for both of you to do the best to “meet in the middle” instead of dealing with the situation like cats and dogs. Maybe you can let your spouse watch the game while you go shoe shopping with your sister. Or maybe this time you’ll watch the romantic comedy at the movies and promise that the next time you’ll see an action flick that your spouse will enjoy. It’s as easy and simple as that.
3. When all else fails… Agree to disagree.
Sometimes arguments can lead to a dead end where there can’t be any compromise.
While in ideal circumstances you and your partner should do the best you can to resolve your differences in an argument, sometimes that can be a bit more complicated.
Maybe the reason for the argument has to do with your personal beliefs, the way you were brought up or certain ideology you strongly support… Which you don’t necessarily share with your spouse.
Take a moment and go back to Tip #1 and carefully assess if it is really worth arguing over such thing.
We all have our differences – it’s what makes each of us unique!
Remind yourself that your spouse is entitled to his or her own opinions and points of view, which not necessarily have to be exactly the same as yours.
These differences can take many shapes…
- Maybe your spouse is a meat lover and you are a vegetarian.
- Maybe you side with the Democrat ideals while your spouse is a registered Republican.
- Maybe one of you loves to work on a Windows PC while the other won’t consider anything other than a Mac.
Whatever it is, remember that you married your spouse for the whole person that he or she is, along with everything that comes with it… There is much more to him or her than those beliefs or ideals which you may disagree on.
So, in case of an argument based on that, both of you simply have to “agree to disagree.”
And that’s it. It’s a perfectly accepted option and there will be no more arguing. No more trying to prove why your point of view is right and your spouse’s is wrong, mainly because there is no such thing.
Acknowledge your differences and give each other a hug and a kiss. End of argument.
How about you?
Do you have any special advice or techniques on how to deal with an argument?
Share them with us by leaving a comment below!
While you are here – have you already signed up to receive our free email course “Seven Secrets of Happily Married Couples“? Join our global online community of thousands of happily married couples around the world!
Photo credit: instantvantage
Bonus: For additional information on how to communicate effectively, we encourage you to read the following post on 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively by Pamela King.