All couples fight. It is healthy in a relationship to be able to disagree with each other and still come out the other side loving one another. But fighting fair with your spouse can take some practice. Maybe even some guidance. But don’t worry. That’s why I am here for you.
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Simple steps to fighting with your spouse – fairly
quick Tips to Be Kind during a fight
Even when you feel like you are on opposing teams about something, you still love your spouse. That person is the face you see when you go to bed, when you wake up, and everything in between. So remember that you don’t want to be cruel just so that you can “win” a fight.
- Think before you speak – make sure it isn’t just a gut reaction and that you actually mean the words you are about to say. Once they are out there you can’t take them back.
- No name-calling or insults – it is unproductive to use hurtful tactics when you are fighting with your spouse and the lasting effects will not be good for your relationship.
- If you have kids, they are always watching, listening, and repeating what you do and say. Even if you think they aren’t, act like they are. Set an example of what a marriage should look like – even when it isn’t perfect.
- Don’t raise your voice or yell – when you do this it’s because you want to be heard. But usually, that means your spouse is going to do the same thing. And when everyone is yelling, no one is listening or being heard.
If you can do all four of those things, you will be civil while you are fighting with your spouse. But just because you are civil doesn’t mean you are fighting fair.
1. Try to see their side
Sometimes this can be hard, especially if it is a heated discussion or something you feel very strongly about. But when you take a moment to listen to their reasoning, it may open your eyes to a new perspective.
It also gives you the chance to ask them to do the same for you. You can share why your opinion or stance is what it is and you can discuss both sides of the argument.
When you are having this discussion part of a fight with your spouse, you need to make sure that you are actually listening and engaging for it to be effective. Need some tips on that? Check out The Method To Communicate With Your Husband Better.
2. It’s okay to agree to disagree
Sometimes when you are fighting with your spouse neither one of you is ready to concede. And that is 100% alright!
Just because you are married doesn’t mean that you need to agree on every single thing for the rest of your lives. In fact, it would be unhealthy if you did. Because someone would be hiding their true feelings if that were true. And that always comes out eventually.
A helpful way to know when it is just time to agree to disagree when you are fighting with your spouse is to pay attention to the conversation as a whole.
Have you come full circle? You both still feel the same as when the discussion started and are beginning to make the same points over again for the second or third time? It’s probably time to call it.
The same goes for if you have been fighting with your spouse for a long period of time. If it’s been an hour or even several hours, it may be time to take a break and agree to disagree so you can both move on with your day.
That takes us straight into the third and final step!
3. compromise, accept, and forgive each other
This is the most important part. And yes, it is threefold.
Every fight should resolve itself with a compromise. Even if one person ends up changing to the other’s opinion, there is still a compromise.
Someone is not getting what they wanted. But here’s the thing about compromise. It shouldn’t always be the same person that is willing to give in. That is bad for your marriage long term. You need to make sure that you are being fair to each other throughout your relationship so that you can both thrive.
Once a compromise is reached, you both need to accept the new reality. It doesn’t get to be brought up again unless something has changed. Just because you didn’t get your way doesn’t mean this is something to hold over your spouse’s head the next time you are fighting. That is not fighting fair with your spouse.
And lastly, you need to forgive each other. Even when you are being kind and fighting fair, feelings are hurt. Someone lost, you may both feel bruised and beat up. So make sure that you reestablish your intimacy with a hug or other type of closeness and truly forgive each other for any pain caused.
Moving on after fighting with your spouse
Once it is all over, you want to go back to your lives just like usual. A fight should not derail everything or last for days. It should just be something that needs to be worked through in order to reach a compromise that you both can live with.
So once it’s over, have some family time and enjoy the rest of the day together!