Argument with those we live and work closely with is a part of life. For married couples, there is simply no avoiding the spousal argument. However, with divorce rates topping out over fifty percent for American couples, learning how to settle arguments fairly and without lasting damage to a relationship is a top priority. The question for many married people is the same: How can you make arguments work for you and your spouse, rather than against you?
Realize It’s Only Natural
One of the most important things that couples who argue effectively and in a healthy manner do that others do not is realizing and embracing the fact that arguments happen. The Huffington Post stresses in their article about marital arguments that the most successful lovers are those who do not shy away from fights. While it’s okay to avoid arguing over petty matters, it’s equally important to have your voice heard when you need to. Happy, healthy marriages do contain a degree of disagreement between spouses, and accepting this is the first step in improving the way you argue with your partner.
Don’t Name Call, Insult or Belittle Your Partner
No matter how big the issue at hand is, there is no reason to resort to childish tactics like hurling insults at your spouse. Dallas-area counselors and family therapists recommend focusing on how you’re feeling, rather than tossing out words that can have a damaging, lasting effect on your partner and relationship. It is better to admit that you’re furious with your spouse than to call them something you can’t take back once it has left your lips.
Set Ground Rules and Take Turns Talking
Many people don’t realize that it is entirely possible to set ground rules for an argument. Because these disagreements usually arise out of hurt feelings or misunderstandings, setting rules beforehand can be difficult. Experts recommend using the time directly after an argument is resolved or a time when you are both calm enough to discuss the matter to establish what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. It’s okay to make mistakes; acknowledging that you resorted to a low blow and should not do that again in the future is part of growing as a person and a partner.
Part of these ground rules should be the insistence that each partner take turns voicing concerns and listening to the other’s thoughts on the matter. Offering your partner validation – even when you disagree with them – will make them more likely to do so in return, and help the ground you stand on as a couple to feel equal.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out if You Need To
Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to things like marriage and family counseling. Psych Central discusses the fact that most American couples hide the fact that they are attending couples’ counseling sessions or decide against doing so altogether to avoid the embarrassment that they fear from being discovered as less than perfect. This is part of a larger issue of negative stigma attached to mental health treatment in the United States and elsewhere. However, those in need of anything from a small tune-up to a total marriage overhaul can benefit from therapy services, and are in better company than they might think. Many more couples rely on therapy to strengthen and protect their marriage. If you are searching for an Allen family counseling provider, don’t be afraid to reach out for the help you need.
Remember, You’re a Team
At the end of every day, whether you’ve had an argument or not, you and your spouse are part of a team. When you took your vows, you promised not only to love but to support and assist your partner, and part of that task involves arguing fairly and compassionately. Remember that ultimately, you and your spouse are on the same team. Work toward resolution and common ground and respect one another’s feelings throughout the process, and you’ll both be winners in the end.