How you and your spouse fight is actually the key to whether or not you will have a successful, long term marriage. This is a critical skill that you must learn. If you do it the right way, conflicts and fair fighting, can help strengthen your marriage.
Time Required: No More than 15 minutes — at that point call a “time out” and set a time to discuss the issue again.
- Don’t ever let little things that bother you build up until one of you explodes the issue into a large fight. Clear up misunderstandings and grudges as soon as possible.
- If you are fuming angry about something, don’t try to talk about it with your spouse within 48 hours, let it go. Think about the issue first.
- If your spouse doesn’t want to discuss the matter, set an appointment within the next 24 hours to discuss things.
- You both should know what the issue is. Then, stick to the subject.
- Keep your fight between the two of you. Don’t bring in third parties like your mother-in-law, his best friend, or your children, or the neighbor.
- Don’t bring up past history.
- No name calling. When you are using a sarcastic tone, even endearing terms and pet names can be hurtful.
- Use humor carefully. Laughter is good, but teasing can be misinterpreted and can be hurtful.
- Listen to one another fully while you fight: watch body language and look at one another while you speak.
- Don’t blame one another or make accusations.
- Try to use ‘I’ sentences instead of ‘you’ sentences.
- If the two of you are not extremely angry, try to hold hands while talking during your fight.
- Be open to asking for forgiveness and being willing to forgive.
- Learn to forgive because holding a grudge is letting someone else live in your heart rent free.
- Fight for your relationship, not for winning.
- Don’t use the words “never” and “always” in your statements to one another.
- Do not yell. Do not scream. Do not talk in a threatening tone.
What You Need:
- Conflict management skills
- A sense of fairness
- Putting your marriage first
- Willingness to forgive
- Ability to listen