First and foremost, it’s very important for your spouse to know that you’re on their side, not against them. No marriage is perfect, so there is no need to feel like you are failing within your marriage. Arguments are a part of any marriage, and with those arguments come valuable lessons and a better appreciation and understanding for our spouse. Open communication is necessary at all times, and you need to accept your spouse at their weakest point (and highest) and love them unconditionally even though you may not be happy with some of their behavior. To overcome an argument in marriage, it’s imperative that each spouse work collaboratively to determine the root of their argument and then work together to resolve it in a productive and positive manner.
- Stop Talking- Don’t talk and try to sort out an argument until you both have calmed down and can be reasonable and sincere. This will help prevent things being said that can’t be taken back. Hurtful words can prolong an argument and lead to more hurt feelings. Sometimes it can be hard to temporarily walk away during an argument, but trust me you won’t regret it.
- Don’t Walk off or Leave (without explanation)- Walking away from an argument is not a mature thing to do. Rather than walking away, take a minute for yourself in another room but let your spouse know that’s what you’re doing. In the past, my spouse and I have both been guilty of leaving during an argument which in my experience makes things 10x worse. Stay to work through the argument instead of leaving.
- Don’t go to Bed Angry: I know some professionals may say that it’s perfectly healthy to go to bed angry, but in my experience, it’s the exact opposite. An argument is prolonged unnecessarily and instead of resolving the conflict the day that it transpired, you are now carrying it over to another day. This will lead to longer arguments and oftentimes more hurt feelings. Tackle the problem the same day that it happens. Again, you won’t regret this decision.
- Hear Your Spouses Side of the Argument (with an Open Mind)- Sometimes it’s hard to remember that our side of the argument is not the only side. Remember that there are two sides to every argument, so it’s important to hear your spouse’s side out with an open mind. Openly listening to the other perspective can really help an argument get resolved faster for we have a better understanding of how we hurt them. This is a way to learn from the mistakes we have made and move forward together in a positive direction.
- Confide in your Spouse-not someone outside of the Marriage- Respect your spouse. Even if you’re upset or angry, there is rarely a time that you should be confiding in a friend or family member about your arguments. Keep the intimacy of your marriage private, and keep in mind that if you do open up to someone, rarely is your portrayer of your spouse reasonable or fair. The person you confide in gets an incomplete story and may grow weary of your spouse based on the things you say about them.
- Determine the Real Reason behind the Argument- Sometimes an argument starts when it is about something that doesn’t necessarily involve your spouse. Maybe you’re burst of anger wasn’t meant for them, but because they were the closest to you, they received the blunt of it. Before opening your mouth when angry, think about what is really making you mad. If you had a bad day at work, you shouldn’t be taking that out on your spouse. Rather you should be confiding in your spouse to work through the anger. Don’t start an unnecessary argument due to your lack of thinking it all through beforehand.
- Pray for your Spouse- Do not pray selfishly. Don’t be that person praying to God to ask him to show your spouse how right you are. Don’t pray to him asking for an “out”. Pray for understanding, kindness and love. God will take care of the rest. Always pray for your spouse and your marriage. Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from the New International Version Bible?
- 4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8) Love never fails.
- It is ok to Apologize First and Say that you’re Sorry- Sometimes saying sorry can fix an entire argument. My spouse and I are both very stubborn so we have a hard time apologizing at times. Oftentimes, a simple “I’m sorry, you’re more important than this stupid argument” can fix it all. Don’t be ashamed of saying sorry especially if you realize that you’re wrong (or even if you are not wrong). Sometimes sucking in your pride to apologize sincerely can be a hard thing to do, but keep in mind it feels good to let that resentment and anger go. When one apologizes, more than likely the other will follow. Someone just has to be the bigger person in that moment. Also, don’t apologize by saying, “I’m sorry, but…” That is never ok, and this will put you right back at square one. Be sincere when you apologize.
- Love and Be Thankful- Practice love daily. Remember all of the good memories you have built together and talk about them often. Make it a habit to speak highly of your spouse. Praise them to your friend and family and constantly build them up. Compliment them often, spend quality time together and always have your spouse’s back. Be thankful that you have each other, and don’t forget why you got marriage in the first place.
- Think about Your Child(ren)- Don’t let your children see you argue without working through it together. It’s important to teach your children that working together through an argument, saying sorry and resolving an argument is the way it should be in any relationship. This will help them deal with arguments in their adult lives more successfully than if you were to show them the opposite. Be a positive influence on your children.
The Lord has given you two each other to venture through life during the best and the worst of times. He gave you each other in the hopes that you can learn and grow from each other and become the people you were meant to be. Rejoice in the Lord’s confidence and faithfulness in your marriage.