How to Stop Arguing With Your Husband or Wife
If you find yourself arguing with your spouse all the time, here is how to end that cycle and begin to live a more peaceful co-existence. Arguments tend to begin innocently enough but can end up making a relationship disagreeable, so it is best to nip it in the bud.
Here is how to stop arguing with your husband or wife. We start with one Quick Tip and in the next section provide an Argument Prevention Model that you can follow to sort through disagreements without turning them into full-blown arguments.
Quick Tip that will help prevent at least 50% of your arguments with your spouse:
Pick your battles. Do not argue over anything that does not affect your household or marriage. For example:
- Don't argue over what restaurant to go to. As long as you know you will find a dish you can enjoy, that is all you need.
- Don't fight over what to watch on TV. Most of it is just filler anyway.
- Don't argue over your opinion about religion or politics. Even spouses that have a lot in common can have deeply divided opinions on such topics. They are passionate issues, but living with your spouse peacefully is even more important.
This means simply holding your tongue over trivialities. This can be hard to do at first. Let your spouse believe, think, or say what they think is right. In the end, you will find most of it does not matter.
Simply stated, ignore, ignore, ignore what is unimportant. Let it slide.
Why You Must Proactively Seek Peace in Your Marriage
Many people getting married in modern times are themselves children of divorced parents, leaving brides and grooms lacking in role models for good marriages.
Men are traditionally the aggressive sex. And in the past 40 or so years women have been raised by an increasingly feministic society, in demanding equality in all areas of life. Full aggression on the part of the male and demanding full equality on the part of the female equals a doomed marriage. Why? Because all it does is result in two bulls locking horns.
Your spouse WILL get on your nerves. They will say and do some of the stupidest things you ever heard or saw, and some of those things will be part of their daily existence for the rest of their lives. And if they aren't important to the bottom-line in life, you will have to learn how to let those things go.
If you want your spouse by your side and to remain married, you will have to make them feel comfortable at home and with you. This means in a successful marriage you WILL NOT be getting your way all the time, and you aren't meant to. This applies to you whether you are male or female.
Save your disagreements for the important things in life:
- Which hospital to have a life-saving operation done at
- Whether to home school or send your child to traditional school
- Whether to buy a house or rent
In How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, the author describes ways to infuse fresh, needed change into the daily behaviors of how we treat our spouses.These behaviors, in turn, will reward us with a more loving spouse. This is a good read for people who want more in-depth, professional advice on how to have a better marriage with action rather than talk.
And when it comes to disagreeing about the important things in life, here is how to do it without it turning into a full-blown argument.
You can use this model for simple disagreements as well as there should not be any fighting involved. The Quick Tip above is simply a way to bring down the stress level in your home quickly.
The model below gives you a format for getting a hold of disagreements before they blow out of proportion.
Argument Prevention Model:
Listen, Acknowledge, Position, Check.
Listen. Let your spouse speak their mind from beginning to end. Don't rush to answer and don't let your emotions filter into what they are saying. If you are overwhelmed by what they are saying, simply state, "I just need a minute," or "I'm sorry honey, I'll be right with you." It's better to take a breather than to blow up.
Acknowledge. Simply state something like, "I hear what you're saying," or "I understand."
Position. If you disagree with what your husband or wife is saying, say something like, "While X is an option, I was thinking about Y because (rationale)."
Check. "How would you feel about that?" or "What do you think about it?"
Compromise as necessary. You should never expect or desire to get your way all the time in marriage. You love your spouse and you want them to be happy and feel fairly treated. A partnership cannot be based on selfishness.
Why This Method Works
In Step 1, your ears are open and your lips are sealed. You are giving your husband or wife their time to speak their peace.
In Step 2, you are acknowledging what they said without shutting it down. You are respecting that what they said is valid. You aren't calling them ridiculous, selfish, careless, etc.
In Step 3, you are putting an option out there for consideration by your spouse. It isn't a demand. And because you already gave them acknowledgment, at this point your voices shouldn't be raised.
In Step 4, you are basically asking for your way, but you are doing it in a manner that is genteel and doesn't insult your spouse or step on his or her toes.
In Step 5, you are showing that you don't NEED to have your way, even though you would like it. Note that compromise doesn't mean a 50-50 resolution. It sometimes means your spouse gets his way, while other times you get yours.
The next time you question how to stop arguing with your husband or wife, simply remember the model. It takes time to learn how to control your reaction to argue and be self-aware. Simply make it a priority to work on for the health of your marriage. A disagreement does not have to become an all-out argument. It can be resolved maturely and without great distress.