Author: Cory H.
Every couple has disagreements but we all need to learn how to properly handle the disagreements. There are important things to remember when experiencing “intense fellowship” with your mate. Here is a great list that I found that includes tips on what to do during a argument.
#1 Remember That You Love Each Other
I put this one first because it is the most important and, sometimes, the most difficult. When tempers are high, love is often the last thing on your mind. It helps to verbally state your love, “I am angry and frustrated with you right now, but I love you.” It may not send you into a sudden frenzy of passionate kissing, but it will help tone down the situation.
#2 Stay Calm
No one knows how to push my buttons quicker than my wife! If I am able to stay calm, she calms down and then we can solve the problem. When we are both tense, then it just becomes a “you did…” match and nothing gets solved.
#3 Seek First to Understand
Most of the time, an argument starts with a simple misunderstanding. When it isn’t a misunderstanding, people can still feel like they aren’t being understood. The best way to combat this is the classic technique recommended by psychologists and conflict managers… restate.
Her: “It makes me so angry when you leave your shoes in the middle of the floor!”
You: “So you are upset because I left my shoes out?”
#4 Seek to Be Understood
This can be as simple as asking for her perception of your side of the story.
You: “Why do you think I keep leaving my shoes on the floor?”
Her: “Because you don’t care about keeping our home clean!”
Make sure to validate her concerns and clarify your reasoning, if necessary.
You: “I do want to keep the place clean, I just get distracted and do not think of shoes as clutter.”
#5 No One “Always” or “Never”
This can be an easy trap to fall into. “You always leave your shoes in the middle of the floor and you never think to put them in the closet!” Truth is, no one always or never does something. Maybe 90% of the time, but there are occasions when people veer from their habits, even if it is just momentarily. Always and never are absolute words and in relationships, habits, behaviors and emotions can change. You or your spouse do not want to feel confined into an absolute behavior. “Most of the time” or “Hardly” while still emphasizing the frequency, or lack thereof, is more open and accepting.
#6 When You are Wrong, Promptly Admit It
This is good advice and probably one of the hardest to follow. Be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. I do not mean that you should just cave to everything, but really look at the issue and if you are wrong, admit it. Followed by a sincere apology.
#7 Don’t Forget to Laugh
Laughter will lighten any mood. There are times when feelings have been tremendously hurt and grave mistakes have been made, but for life’s little arguments, laughter can be a much needed comfort. It can turn an argument into a building experience!
Marriage is a challenge. You are two different people trying to ride through life together. There are going to be disagreements which can make or break your marriage if you let them. I do not think it’s impossible to master these principles, difficult as they may be, but perfection is not the goal. The goal is to experience consistent learning, growing and loving together.
Nathan McGee is a Social Media Strategist and trying to be a good husband to a beautiful woman who blessed him with two beautiful daughters. He can be found at nathanmcgee.com or follow him on twitter, @nathanmcgee.