The Proper Way to Argue in Marriage
How spouses argue is learned from what they saw and heard from their parents. Most people simply repeat the pattern, even when it is obviously unsuccessful. But, you can change that.
- The first thing to know about arguing properly is to speak out. In some marriages, there is no arguing at all because one person either simply clams up or storms out of the room. These two methods may let the other person know you’re angry, but they fail miserably at changing things for the better.
- Another part of proper arguing is the right attitude. Arguments usually are partnered with anger, but your anger can quickly fuel anger in your spouse also. Accusations fly, and sometimes objects fly. But, the point of arguing is to change or solve things, not to get each other angry.
- Volume is also important when arguing. When one person starts yelling, the other gets louder. It doesn’t take long before words are not heard at all, only the volume.
- So when you want to get your point across, speak out, speak out without anger, and speak out without yelling.
- The best way to get your point across is to keep the conversation about you. Specifically, keep the conversation about your feelings.
- “You’re never home! You’re always gone! You’re at work all day long, and then you’re out with the guys on the weekend!” Those comments are not about you, they are about your husband, and they will be heard as accusations. Accusations put the other person on the defensive and can cause anger. A possible reaction would be, “I need to do something fun on the weekends after listening to my boss all week! And, you should be grateful that I’m working so much so you can have this furniture and your nice clothes!” Instead, tell him what you are feeling. “You work hard, and you are a good provider. I really appreciate that. But, sometimes when I’m home alone I feel like I’m not important.” A likely reaction to this would be, “You are important! You’re the most important person in my life. I didn’t mean to make you feel that way. What would you like to do this weekend? This weekend is just for you. We could go on a drive and then to a nice restaurant, whatever you want.!” Telling him what you are feeling is not threatening to him, and it gives him a chance to come to your rescue.
- Respect, a nice attitude, and a pleasant voice go a long way to prevent arguments. You haven’t gotten anywhere with yelling, “You’re such a pig! You never rinse off your plate, then you leave dirty dishes all over the house!” Instead, try saying, “When I rinse food off a plate right away, it’s so easy to clean. But, if I wait until the food is stuck on, it’s really hard. It would really help me out if you could rinse off your plate and put it in the sink after you eat. I even enjoy washing dishes when they’ve already soaked in the sink.”
- “This is what you always do!” “You broke my mother’s plate! That’s the third plate of hers that you’ve broken! You’ve always hated my mother!” “I wouldn’t need to worry about where you go if you hadn’t had that affair two years ago!” The last thing to remember about arguing is to forget. A quick way to cause resentment or put a person on the defensive is to bring past problems into a new arguement.
- Forget past