Conflicts and arguments are completely normal in marriage, but if you argue almost every day, it’s reached unhealthy levels. It’s nearly impossible to make conflict disappear from your marriage entirely, but here are some doable ways you can minimize it.
First, get into the habit of thinking before you speak
Try to start to ask yourself, is what I am about to say going to hurt my partner? Is it worth it telling them that? What will I get if I say it? If the answers are, a Yes, then a No and lastly a Nothing, then it’s better not to say anything!
Don’t let your temporary anger blind you
Don’t let it control what comes out of your mouth. Instead, take a deep breath if you need to, then reframe what you want to say in a way that won’t hurt your partner and won’t make you regret anything.
This is the way to save yourself from losing the person you love. If you were angry with them, remember that anger and annoyance is temporary, but your partner’s feelings are not.
Next, never put it off
It’s okay to put off a conversation for a few minutes until you calm down so that you are not coming from a place of blind anger, but don’t put off the conversation indefinitely. Be careful about saying “We can talk about it later” because if you leave it, the situation could get worse and you could explode, making it more likely you will say things you don’t mean, and pretty much forget what we talked about in tip number one.
So if you have something really important that you need to talk to your partner about, go right now, talk to them tonight. Do not wait any longer. Today is the day the situation will be solved, but the only way to do that is that you stand up right now and go talk to your partner, it’s for the best.
Now during that talk, don’t interrupt
When you are talking about a situation, do not interrupt each other. Listen, analyze and understand what each of you is saying. Understand each other’s points, get in each other’s shoes. You probably don’t know what your partner is going through mentally, so give them the space to explain it and listen to what they have to say.
Once they are finished speaking, ask them to listen to you.
They will be more likely to not interrupt you either if you set a good example at the beginning of the discussion. Once you have heard each other’s points, agree to go on from there in a calm way.
Don’t sugar coat it
It’s important to be direct about everything. This can be especially hard if you tend to be a people pleaser. If things are not ok, tell them things are not ok. If you don’t agree with something, tell them you don’t agree. Be direct and straightforward with this.
There is no need to put your feelings into pretty words, you are not saying it to a little kid, you are telling your partner how you feel and what you think about certain things.
Also watch: What Is a Relationship Conflict?
Set aside deliberate time to reconnect with each other
Arguments can cause you and your partner to be distant, maybe because you are still a bit on edge because of the last fight, or you are still simply angry at them. Maybe you didn’t get to an agreement in order to solve that problem.
This is why it’s very important to reconnect after an argument. Doing so will help you both leave the argument in the past, and more forward.
Remind each other why you are both together
Remind each other how much in love you both are. Remember the good things, the good things that got you to this day, that got you to the present.
Remind yourself how much you love the person in front of you, the one that sleeps next to you at night. Reconnect with them. Go out to do something you’ll both enjoy, that you both will love and remember in the future.
Do not let another argument mess with your relationship. Reconnect and remember that you are meant to be together.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Life Coach Jennifer Longmore, B.A.S.W., M.Ed, is the Founder of Soul Journeys, a coaching company that helps people rediscover their life’s purpose. Jennifer has conducted over 30,000 Soul Purpose Sessions, including ones with Fortune 500 executives at Microsoft, Amazon, and Disney, as well as with professional athletes from the Chicago Bulls, the L.A. Lakers and the Seattle Sounders. Longmore is the author of many books on finding your soul purpose including “365 Wisdom Bombs”; “88 Universal Laws”; and others.