Do arguments with your significant other go from 0-60 in no time?
Does it seem that when conflict arises in your marriage, respect goes out the window?
At the end of a disagreement, do you and your spouse feel defeated and distant?
It is important to acknowledge that even healthy individuals and strong couples will clash from time to time. It is normal to disagree, to become upset, and to struggle. With that in mind, make it a habit to check your heart and formulate practical plans before difficult situations arise. Disagreements are opportunities to grow together when handled with care.
It may seem instinctual to avoid your spouse after a heated argument, but consider the intimacy that will arise from having an honest conversation. Rather than talking over one another to prove your point, seek to better understand your partner and find common ground. Trade unfair accusations with grace and replace your ego with loving patience. Moreover, try to use the following tips to establish a new routine when conflict arises:
1. Set a date to have a productive discussion.
When faced with a challenging issue, agree on a specific day and time to connect. Approach your significant other with a plan of action and be ready to adjust to his/her preference. By taking your partner’s feelings into consideration, you are setting a standard of kindness from the start.
2. Analyze your mannerisms.
Your body language may be sending mixed signals. To demonstrate attentiveness, try to find seats facing one another, maintain eye contact, and keep your arms and legs rested in a relaxed position.
3. Use “I-Statements” to take responsibility for your emotions.
Doing so removes the accusatory tone and prevents your partner from rising up in defensiveness. For example, rather than saying, “You ignored my call,” you might say, “When you didn’t answer my call, I felt worried.”
4. Concentrate on the present issue.
The longer you are in a relationship with someone, the more opportunity there is to dredge up past indiscretions and shortcomings. This is not productive in practice. Instead, keep the topic on the current situation and avoid rehashing old arguments.
5. Be a team player.
By examining the issue at hand and considering all angles, it will be easier to communicate your needs, accept your spouse’s perspective, and honor yourselves as a unit. Before sitting down to talk, evaluate the problem by asking yourself:
- What is most beneficial to me?
- What is most beneficial to my partner?
- What is most beneficial to our relationship?
6. Be respectful.
Arguing with purpose should help circumvent old pitfalls. Planning and observing boundaries can help you to avoid rude or thoughtless comments, embarrassing displays in public, and a critical attitude toward your significant other.
With the right heart, healthy priorities, and a solid routine, you and your partner will be ready to conduct difficult conversations in love. Ultimately, you may not always come to a complete agreement, however, by establishing a process to deal with conflict, you can foster a safe environment for open communication and intimacy to thrive!