The way a married couple fights can often tell psychologists more than what they fight about. If done correctly, conflict can strengthen a marriage.
Difficulty Level: Average Time Required: 15 minutes
- Don't let little things that bother you build up until you explode.
- If you are angry about something and don't try to talk about it with your spouse within 48 hours, let it go.
- If your spouse doesn't want to discuss the matter, set an appointment within the next 24 hours.
- Know what the issue is. Then stick to the subject.
- Keep it between the two of you. Don't bring in third parties like your mother-in-law or his best friend.
- Don't hit below the belt.
- Don't bring up past history.
- No name calling. Even endearing terms and names can be hurtful by using a sarcastic tone.
- Be careful how you use humor. Laughter is good, but teasing can be misinterpreted.
- Listen to one another fully. This includes watching body language. Look at one another while you speak.
- Don't interrupt.
- Don't blame one another or accuse.
- Try to use "I" sentences instead of "you" sentences.
- Hold hands while talking.
- Be open to asking for forgiveness and being willing to forgive.
- Even though it may be hard to forgive your spouse, not forgiving can cause more harm both emotionally and physically to yourself and to your marriage.
- Remember to not fight to win, but to fight for your relationship.
- Conflict is not the problem. All married couples have disagreements. It's not knowing how to effectively argue that creates difficulty in a marriage.