Do you and your spouse disagree on one little thing and somehow it turns into an all-out brawl where you’re screaming about things that happened months or even years ago? If so, one or both of you may be fighting…DIRTY! Below are useful newlywed tips on how to fight fair; and if you use them, you’ll find yourselves in a happier, healthier marriage.
#1. Face Your Fear of Confrontation and Discuss the Issue as soon as Possible-You can’t resolve an issue that you’re too afraid to bring up. It’s time to realize that you have to discuss things that bother you in order for you and your spouse to truly be a team. Marriage requires two people, so speak up! Bottling up your problems will only result in a bigger blowout later on. If you’re in public or somewhere that you don’t feel comfortable resolving the issue at least acknowledge that there IS an issue and set a specific time to talk about it when you’re in a better place/frame of mind.
#2. State exactly what’s bothering you and Stick to the Issue at Hand-Be clear about what specifically made you upset and how it made you feel. Being as detailed as possible will help your partner understand your point of view and will present the best (and sometimes obvious) ways to resolve the issue. Often times, individuals begin arguing about crumbs on the counter and it turns into “and I hate when you do this and I get annoyed when you do that!” Stay focused on what occurred here and now to upset you.
#3. Avoid Generalizing-Try not to say, “you always” or “you never” because these words cause people to be defensive and could cause your spouse to lash out at you.
#4. If Your Spouse Says You Do Something, Then You most-likely do… (Trust Your Spouse)-Your partner will say that you do something and your response is, “I DO NOT!” Trust that your spouse knows you well enough by now that he/she will not lie to you about what he/she sees.
#5. Avoid Personal Insults-Don’t say things that you can’t take back (and will regret later on). Attacking your spouse’s character or appearance is something that may truly hurt them and they will remember it and dwell on it because it came from your mouth.
#6. Listen (You May Learn Something)-You are NOT always going to be right! Listen to what your spouse is saying when you have a conflict. This way you will learn what went wrong and avoid doing it again.
#7. Confront to Resolve, Not to Win-This is not a competition or a game. The sooner you both realize that the happier you will be. Think about it, no one truly wins when you argue. Winning is what happens when you’re able to resolve an issue and not re-visit it.
#8. Always Remind Spouse that You Love Him/Her-I will stand by this every time. Let your partner know that you love them after your issue is resolved. Using those three words is the most obvious way, but a warm embrace or a passionate kiss is another great way to lighten the mood/tension between you two. And hey–there’s nothing wrong with making-up all night long…
Tell us: What do you think about this list? What will you do differently the next time you and your spouse find yourselves in an argument to avoid WWIII?