When a husband and wife argue, they are engaging in a perfectly normal and expected part of what it means to be married. In fact, disagreement between two people in love is actually healthy for their relationship. To argue or not argue is NOT the question! The question should be, “How do we argue effectively and fairly?”
Learning how to fight fair and to make appropriate compromises will go a long way towards keeping a marriage strong. Compromise is rarely ever 50/50. Some days it is 90/10; some days it is 60/40; and some days it really is 50/50.
As love and marriage experts, we know that fighting and arguing are just as much a part of marriage as sex. It is a natural part of relating to another human being.
From our interviews with thousands of successfully married couples throughout the world have revealed these 5 tips to help you learn how to fight fair in your marriage:
1. Hold back the anger and hostility.
That means don’t shout or throw things or rant about the situation. Think about what you are going to say before the words actually come cascading out of your mouth.
2. Fight without name-calling or ugly verbiage about your spouse.
Don’t let the argument degrade into a battle of personal insults. It doesn’t address the issues and can do lasting damage to your relationship even. You can’t take back your words!
3. You are an adult, act like it.
Don’t have a temper tantrum! Don’t just sit there looking mad without saying anything. Engage in the conversation thinking about how together you can solve this problem as adults.
4. Keep the argument centered on the issues at hand.
Don’t wander off topic. Determine what the problem is, what issues need to be dealt with and what are the possible solutions. If you focus on determining which solution would work best, it keeps you moving towards an end result.
5. Don’t cast blame or hold grudges.
It doesn’t matter whose fault it is or who is right or wrong. You share the problems together and you have to share the solutions together. As soon as the issue has been resolved, forget it and move on. The worst thing you can do is resurrect old battles and scars. That means no gloating if you were right and no reminding him or her constantly about how mad you still are. Couples with great marriages tell us that they have a short memory when it comes time to their past arguments.
Remember, it is perfectly okay to argue and debate with your spouse. Better solutions are often arrived at when you engage in wholesome debate. Learning how to argue effectively is critically important to a healthy marriage and to a healthy relationship.
Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your marriage work! And truthfully, we have learned over more than 30 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts.
**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.
By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts