Oh the arguments we had before we were married! It was so important at the time, though looking back now it is quite laughable.These days we have heated discussions, though those arguments taught us a lot about each other. We learnt about our needs, our boundaries, and our temperaments.That doesn’t mean it was good to have them, but it doesn’t mean they had to be a cause for us to break up either.
We took those lessons and grew up together, rather than apart.
There are healthy ways of dealing with conflict in marriage, here are some basic guidelines:
- Observe – yourself and your partner. What are you feeling? What are they saying with their tone, actions, words? Is there urgency? What is really happening here? Is this just about the dishes or is it more personal?
- Time out – if things are escalating, agree to take 10 mins to yourselves, and then to meet up at an agreed place. Though instead of fuming in silence, take a pen and paper and work out the heart of what you really want to say.
- Take turns – agree on who speaks first – someone has to! Allow them to speak and then it is your turn.
- Be respectful – no name calling and avoid saying “always” and “never” – this just causes everyone to get incredibly defensive because it attacks their identity.
- Change your view – at this point you may just be seeing the negative points. Though that isn’t realistic, you fell in love for a reason. Mix up the positives and negatives and remember they are human just like you.
The only good fight a couple can have is if they are fighting together for their marriage.