Having arguments here and there is normal behavior in a relationship. In fact, if you aren’t arguing at all, that could pose problems in the relationship later on down the road. Suppressing your emotions or always compromising for the sake of avoiding confrontation is unhealthy in a relationship. Over time, such behavior could create a much larger issue or confrontation in the future. On the other hand, arguing too much is an obvious sign that something is not right in the relationship as well.
So how do you go about turning an argument into a healthy discussion?
- The phrase “it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it” holds a lot of truth. You should always choose your words wisely, but you should also pay close attention to how you are saying it. Avoid heavy sighs, eye rolling, snarky or sarcastic comments, and name-calling. All are signs that you are uninterested and don’t have respect for how your spouse is feeling.
- Pay attention to what it is that your spouse is trying to say and be empathetic. Don’t downplay their emotions by telling them they are too dramatic, overly sensitive, or that he/she is overreacting. Everyone wants his or her feelings and opinions to be heard. Have respect and listen
- Leave the past in the past. Constantly dragging up old history gets you nowhere and shows that you haven’t really moved on or forgiven whatever it is that happened. Let it go and move on.
- Sometimes saying nothing at all speaks volumes. It’s easy to want to have a rebuttal every time your spouse brings up a point, but try really hard to just stop and listen. When he or she is done, respond in a calm manner with how it is that you feel about what was just brought up. Listen intently to your spouse. If you really do love and respect him or her they deserve to have your undivided attention.
- It is easy to get worked up about things that you are passionate about but that can escalate quickly and turn into a screaming match. Try to remain calm and use respectful tones while trying to communicate with one another.
- If you are someone who gets worked up easily and tends to lose your train of thought then write things down. If there are issues that are bothering you that you know might lead to a heated discussion you should write it down so you can approach your spouse in a calm, collected manner.
Most people do not like confrontation and it can be easy to sweep problems under the rug. On the other hand, if problems have been building up over time, situations may escalate quickly. Not seeing eye to eye all of the time is okay and can be very healthy for the relationship if it is addressed properly. Just remember to remain respectful of one another and so you can move on and make progress towards the issue at hand.