The most important thing to remember when you and your spouse disagree on something is to discuss the issue when both of you aren’t angry! When things upset us, emotions run high. This isn’t a good time to work out your problems. In the heat of an argument, many things are said that you may wish were left unsaid. Our emotions can take over causing us to fight unfairly.
Fighting fair in marriage can be achieved by following these tips:
- Pick an appropriate time to discuss the issue at hand, when both of you are composed. If possible, don’t have your argument late at night when both of you are tired. A calm discussion can quickly deteriorate if one or both of you are stressed out with exhaustion. And only aim to resolve one issue at a time. Too many problems to discuss will lead to an even bigger one.
- Try not to be negative when you argue. Yes, you will be bringing up things you aren’t happy with, but do so in a positive manner. For example if you want your partner to help more around the house you could ask them what household chores they think they would have time to carry out. If you start by accusing rather than asking, the fight has already begun.
- Look at the problem from both perspectives. Don’t just think your viewpoint is the important one. Work together to come up with ideas to solve the problem. You may already have a solution, but your partner may have a better one. Be prepared to compromise.
- Never use derogatory comments towards your partner. If you must criticize don’t get personal. And always use respect when talking with your partner. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate things they do, before you tell them what is bothering you. You could start by saying I know things are tough financially and you are working hard towards a promotion, but we might not be able to afford your gym membership this year.
- Never discuss your problems with friends and family. If you air your dirty laundry people may judge you or your partner unfairly. Keep your private matters just that, private.
- If you think discussing the issue will end up in a fight that isn’t fair, no matter what you do, it may be wise to have a third person on hand. Can you get a mutual friend to act as a mediator? One who you both can trust? Or perhaps you will need to take your problems to a professional counselor.
Fighting fair is a matter of being respectful of your partners needs and expectations as well as being able to air your grievances. If you can do this, then all your fights when end up amicably.