There are few things that can make your home-life more stressful than constantly fighting with your spouse. When you and your partner go through a rough patch in your marriage, it can feel like all you do is fight! If you and your husband or wife cannot stop fighting and you’re looking for a solution, then this post is for you.
Not only will your fighting increase your hostility and animosity towards one another, but they will also negatively affect your physical and mental health. This post will outline some very effective and helpful strategies that you can implement to avoid arguing and stop fighting with your spouse.
How To Avoid Arguing And Stop Fighting With Your Spouse
Through seeing a couple’s counselor, in addition to speaking with other married couples, and our own research, we learned some helpful tips on how to not only stop fighting with one another, but diffuse an argument all together. If it feels like your partner argues with you about everything, pay close attention to the following tips!
Stop Fighting By Never Having A Conversation Angry
Although in the heat of the moment biting your tongue may be hard, you’ll find your conversations will be much more diplomatic and calm if you simply allow yourself time to cool off because engaging with your spouse.
Instead of allowing your emotions to get the best of you, simply walk away and say “I want to talk about this later when I’m less likely to lash out in anger.” Spend the next couple hours composing your thoughts and cooling off.
If you are going to argue with your spouse, then you need to know how to handle arguments in a relationship the right way. This is one of those crucial tips where if you get it right, you will see results more quickly.
Stop Fighting By Always Saying “I love you” Before Bed
You’re probably already familiar with this piece of advice, but this has worked so great in our marriage that we wanted to still include it on this list. Always tell your spouse you love them before hitting the hay, even if you’re upset.
Ideally you would work out your issue entirely before bed, but if that isn’t possible a quick “I love you, we can talk more about this tomorrow” will help to both thaw some of the ice between you and remind you both of the bigger picture. You’ll both wake up the next day on a better not bitter note.
Stop Fighting By Being Comfortable Saying And Meaning The Words “I am sorry”
Fighting with someone who refuses to take accountability and apologize for their part in something is not only beyond frustrating, but can really escalate and draw the argument out.
If you can check your pride at the door and humbly and genuinely apologize for your mistakes, you will greatly improve your ability to deescalate the situation.
If you struggle with apologizing to your spouse – that is okay. Practice makes perfect. Which is why we have included some apologizing do’s and don’ts in the second half of this post.
Stop Arguing By Trying Your Best To Understand Their Perspective.
Have you ever heard the saying about two sides to every story with the truth usually lying somewhere in the middle? That is essentially the very idea of this tip for how to avoid arguing with your spouse.
You have your opinion, and they have theirs. Very often, neither side is entirely right or entirely wrong.
Exercising empathy and listening to their perspective will not only make you more agreeable and logical in their eyes, but likely change your perspective on the entire situation as well.
Stop Arguing By Picking And Choosing Your Battles Wisely
Not everything is worth getting all worked up over, so be choosy when it comes to putting your foot down. Think to yourself “Will this even matter a week from now?” If the answer is “no”, perhaps reconsider if it’s worth getting bent out of shape about.
Instead, try this little trick: You are each only allowed to blow up 3 times a year. This will force you to pick and choose your battles carefully. You may go from making mountains out of molehills to strategically saving your “blowups” for moments that ultimately never arrive.
Stop Arguing By Letting The Past Be The Past
So many couples have a hard time letting go of certain mistakes made by their partners. Instances in which you have felt totally betrayed or blindsided by your spouse can be very painful and difficult to get over.
However, after resolving an issue it is very important that you do not continue to drag it out by bringing it up over and over. When your spouse has apologized and shown remorse for their mistakes, it is unfair to hold said mistake over their head and continuously rehash it.
Let the past stay in the past and if you can’t do that, then perhaps you should reconsider your future together.
So there you have it! Put these tips into practice and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t notice a decrease in both the severity and frequency of your fights!
Just keep in mind, there is no definitive cure for all your relationship problems. What has worked for others may not work for you. The best thing you and your spouse can do is to simply keep a positive attitude, never stop loving, and make a commitment to work on your issues together. Now that you understand how to minimize the arguing and fighting in your relationship, it is important to discuss how to effectively apologize to your spouse.
How to Apologize to Your Spouse
Despite learning how to avoid arguments and stop fighting with your spouse, it is inevitable that at some point in a marriage you are going to do or say something that upsets your spouse, it’s only human nature!
Now, some mistakes will require more patience on your end in forgiving your spouse, such as with infidelity and abuse. And it’s important that you’re prepared to extend a lot of patience to your spouse in such instances.
However, this section is aimed at helping provide you a few “dos” and “don’ts” for apologizing for more common mistakes, such as forgetting something important, not following through on a promise, or maybe just being an all-around grouch to be around.
Let’s discuss what you should absolutely NEVER do when you apologize first…
Don’t Ever Use The Words “But” Or “However” In Your Apology.
Qualifiers like this are typically use to shift blame off of yourself for your actions. Saying “I’m really sorry I hurt your feelings BUT-” is the quickest way to have your apology come across as disingenuine.
Don’t Put An Expiration Date On Their Anger In Your Apology.
People are allowed to be upset and hurt for as long as it takes them to get over something. The best thing you can do to expedite the process of your spouse forgiving you, is to be patiently supportive.
Never Gloss Over Your Mistakes While Apologizing.
Make it a point to apologize for the full extent of your actions. Instead of just saying “I’m sorry I hurt you” try saying “I’m sorry I hurt you by doing _____. I should have never have done ______ and I take full accountability for my mistake.”
Don’t Use Previous Mistakes Made By Your Spouse To Invalidate Their Emotional Response Now.
Just because your spouse made a similar mistake or did something perhaps worse, doesn’t make you immune from needing to apologize for your actions. This isn’t a competition, you can’t compare mistakes…not if you’re genuinely sorry anyways.
Okay, now that we’ve gone over a few definite “no nos” when apologizing, let’s discuss some things you should do!
Key Components of A Sincere and Effective Apology To Your Spouse
There are several components that all sincere and ultimately successful apologies have in common. You may not need to incorporate all of these into your apology, but the more elements that you can incorporate, the better. Please remember: all of this must be done on your own accord. Your apology MUST be genuine and heartfelt. If you do not mean what you say, then it is best to not say it.
Apologize As Soon As You’ve Realized You’re Wrong.
Being stubborn or choosing to hold out on apologizing in the hopes that your spouse will simply “get over it” is not only childish, but likely to escalate their emotions. Now, if you’re in public and perhaps can’t have a private moment, that’s one thing. But as soon as you get a chance in the appropriate setting, go for it!
Apologize By Staying True To Yourself And Use Language You’d Typically Use.
Even if your attempt is to sound smarter or more genuine, copying the language of others too closely can lead your spouse to think your apology is scripted and phony.
Apologize With The Right Body Language.
If you’re apologizing in person, it is important that your body language matches the words coming out of your mouth. Make eye contact, listen politely to what they have to say, and make sure you’re not coming across as aggressive or closed off (ie don’t have your arms crossed, don’t roll your eyes or stand over them).
Apologize By Telling Them How Much They Mean To You.
Apologizing is great don’t get me wrong, but hearing that your feelings and happiness are important to someone else because they love you may be even better. If you express your love for someone while you apologize, you’re showing them that they matter to you.
So there you have it! These are just some of the many “dos” and “don’ts” of an effective apology to your spouse! It can be tricky sometimes when apologizing to your spouse, but just remember to always be sincere and take your time.