The trickiest part of a marriage to navigate successfully is probably the common argument. No matter how serious or trivial, it’s easy to let emotions get the better of us and step into something from which it can seem next to impossible to recover. It doesn’t have to be this way, though — keep a few simple things in mind, and the bruises received from constantly butting heads will start to fade in no time.
1) Yield the floor and respect each other’s differences. You both have equally important perspectives that need to be heard, though I know it doesn’t seem that way in the heat of the argument. Whatever you are trying to say always seems more urgent than anything you’ve ever said in your life up to that point, but we often forget that our spouse probably feels the exact same way about what he or she is trying to tell us. Oftentimes it’s not going to be the end of the world if we fail to win the other person over in the end, but it will seem like the end of the world if we’re not given our fair say.
2) Don’t load your language with hurtful or presumptuous statements. Keep a neutral disposition, not only in your tone of voice but in your choice of words. You’ll find that your spouse is far more willing to hear you out if it doesn’t sound like you’re accusing him or her, or judging them for something. A trick to this is to hear everything you’re about to say in your own head before you say it; if it sounds like something that you would find insulting, then chances are it will do the same to him or her.
3) Lastly, the most important thing is to simply listen. I know it’s oversaid, and you’ve probably heard it more than any other piece of marital advice, but that’s because it’s true. Don’t find yourself constantly thinking of the point you can’t wait to make as soon as he or she finishes talking. Instead, honestly tune into their message and figure out how best to address the concerns they have. Never disregard your partner in favor of making your own voice heard, or what motivation will he or she have to listen to you?
I know as well as anyone how tough disagreements can be, but it’s all a matter of changing your mindset. Don’t think about winning, think about solving the problem in front of you. Of course you’re not going to magically find the key to every problem that comes between yourself and your spouse, but you can make strides to reduce the amount of stress and drama that enters your home when it’s time to have one of those little passionate discussions. Envision a solution, then visualize how to get there. Yes, you’ll stumble a little bit on the way, but remember: you have each other for support.