Zack and I are very fortunate to not have had too many big arguments so far in our marriage. Do we argue? Of course! Every couple argues. But we typically bicker more than we have big, legitimate arguments. We’re generally pretty easy going and we get along and communicate our issues really well…for the most part. But it’s taken years of experience from past relationships to get to a point where I can communicate how I’m feeling and prevent arguments before they occur. Good communication skills take time to develop.
No one likes arguing with their significant other, but believe it not, there are ways to make arguments less stressful and upsetting. And sometimes, there are even ways to avoid them as well. Here are my top five tips for resolving marriage problems like a pro.
PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.
Learn to determine when an issue is significant enough to argue over it. Money issues? Yes, that can be a big deal. Whether or not your husbands puts down the toilet seat, is a completely insignificant issue. Yes, it would be nice if they remembered to do that kind of thing and to us, it’s not that complicated or time consuming to do. But it’s in no way worth arguing over. It’s so important to be able to recognize when an issue isn’t worth causing an argument about and when it’s time to move on with your life. I promise you probably only about 20% of the things that bother you are actual issues. Everything else can be set aside.
GO TO BED ANGRY.
No seriously. Do it. I don’t care what anyone says. Sometimes you just need to go to sleep and clear your head. I’ve always been one of those people who absolutely needs to have the problem solved before I go to bed. But then the argument drags on and nothing actually gets accomplished. At that point, the argument only ends because the two of you are sick of fighting. Someone caves in and agrees to things they really don’t care about simply because they want the argument to end. This isn’t a way to end an argument by any means. Is it great that it’s over? Of course. But if nothing real is being solved then it’s best to sleep it off and what until morning.
The way I look at is is, if you were fighting about something important then by the morning, you’ll both feel a little more refreshed and can then tackle the issue in a calmer manner. If it’s something dumb and insignificant like that darn toilet seat again, then chances are you’ll wake up like it never happened. And if you’re still mad the next morning over something that ridiculous, then you need to go back to #1 on this list an learn to pick and choose your battles. I always feel better after getting some sleep and we never drag out our arguments longer than they need to.
ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG.
This can be challenging for both men and women. No one likes to be wrong. This has always been my biggest issue and I know it’s very hard for Zack as well. We both love to be the one who’s always right and it’s very hard for us to admit when we’re in the wrong. But this is a must if you want a successful marriage. And I don’t mean you have to apologize and say it just to end the argument. Please don’t do that, actually. Again, that doesn’t help anymore. But you need to understand that you’re not always right. As hard as it is, sometimes you’re wrong. You need to be able to take a step back, recognize it, and admit when you’re wrong so that the two of you can come up with a plan to move forward.
LEARN HOW TO SAY “I’M SORRY”
When I say this, I don’t mean to apologize because you feel like you have to. This is the same concept as admitting when you’re wrong. When you apologize for something, you should truly be sorry for whatever it is that you did. Sometimes all the other person needs is an apology to move past it. But an apology should always come with follow up actions. If you apologize for not helping out around the house, then you need to follow up with doing your best to help more. You can’t just say sorry and pretend it never happened. The argument is bound to get brought up again in the future if nothing is actually changing.
DON’T BRING UP PAST ARGUMENTS.
When an argument is done then leave it at that. Don’t bring it back up again in your next argument. No one wants to be reminded of that one time they took too many jello shots and got too pissed off at their spouse for no reason 5 years ago. No one cares and that argument is no longer relevant when you’re currently arguing over the toilet seat again. You’ve discussed it, you’ve apologized, you’ve worked through it, so move on. It’s over and done with.
What has helped you and your spouse resolve marriage problems?