How to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse

Before reading, please know that if you are in a domestic violence relationship, these suggestions can actually hurt you.  Please read my blog post about domestic violence and my blog post about handling your partners anger. It is NEVER okay for your spouse to abuse you, call you names, intimidate you or threaten you in any way.

Now for tips on: How to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse

 

It is virtually impossible to spend several hours per day in the company of the same person and expect to agree on every single thing. There are countless happily married couples out there who have been together for years, but who manage to survive despite having the occasional blowout. Fights are a natural part of every relationship, but it’s how you deal with them that will dictate whether or not said relationship stays healthy. Listed below are some tips that will help you keep the fights to a minimum, and keep them civil when they do occur.

One thing that often happens in a fight is that one person spends a good portion of the disagreement trying to get the other to calm down. We all have fuses of different lengths, and different triggers, and that means we also have different ways of getting that anger under control. If you have a spouse who has a quick temper, make it a point to let them know that you are not going to discuss the issue until it can be done rationally. When that happens, they will use whatever method they have of calming down. When you are both level-headed, progress can be made in any disagreement.

When you see that a discussion is starting to escalate and head towards an argument, take a time out. This even applies if the fight is getting started right before bedtime. There is an old adage that says you should never go to bed angry, but sometimes that break can help you clear your head and think rationally. These breaks don’t need to be an overnight thing, though, and they can be something as simple as a couple of minutes in separate rooms in order to defuse the situation.

There are certainly cases where one person is at fault when it comes to an argument, but simply spending the whole time pointing an accusing finger does little to help. Accept that you may have played some role, however small, in making your partner feel a certain way. When you stop the accusations and instead accept a little bit of the blame for what just happened, your partner is more than likely going to be willing to do the same. Pride can very much get in the way off healing, so set it aside for a moment.

More often than not, the biggest fights tend to be about the smallest things. I cannot tell you how many times I have had couples come in to therapy saying that they have been fighting all week and I ask them what the fight is about and they cannot remember.  It’s important to keep everything in perspective, and to choose you battles wisely. Is it really worth having a knockdown, drag out fight about your partner forgetting to do something trivial (even if it happens all the time)? Understand that these are very small elements of the bigger picture, and that your focus should be on the important things in your relationship. Learn to laugh about the small stuff, especially when it looks as though it’s going to get blown out of proportion. More importantly, let your spouse know that you love them, and that you are there for them, and disagreements will be less likely to get out of control.

If you continue to do your part and your partner isn’t changing or trying, then please consult with a therapist to help.  Fighting on a regular basis isn’t good for the relationship, but it also isn’t good for your overall health.

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