Welcome back and thanks for joining us again. As we explained in the previous article, fighting is a relatively normal part of life for couples. The catch isn’t learning how not to fight, it’s learning how to fight in a way that strengthens your relationship and resolves problems. So picking up where we left off last time, here goes:
How you say it makes a difference…
How you choose to say something in a fight can make all the difference to how the argument ends. “You never wash the dishes when I ask you to and it makes me mad!” contains the same information as, “I feel like you don’t do the things I ask you to do, like washing the dishes, and I struggle with that.” The difference? One is an accusation, and the other is a statement that shares info without pointing fingers.
So try not to say things like “You always” or “You never” at the start of sentences. Start with “I feel” or “I think”, which is less accusatory and probably won’t make your spouse feel so cornered. Finding a kinder way to say the same thing will go a long way towards helping you resolve your issues faster.
Don’t blow up! Cool down time helps…
If the argument is getting really heated, and control is getting harder to maintain, take some time to cool down. Fighting until you lose your temper and say or do something you’ll regret later only increases the chances that you’ll make a bigger mess. And then you’ll have a lot more to fix later on. Maybe more than is fixable, which could mean a trip to divorce court!
If you feel like you’re getting to the point where you are going to explode or lose control, take a step back. Tell your spouse you need some cool down time. Then put some distance between you and your partner. Walk the dog, or work out for a while. Anything to give you some distance, and a chance to cool down again.
This isn’t a war – you shouldn’t need a shield!
Nothing escalates a fight faster than feeling defensive and then lashing out. Nobody likes feeling as if they’re under attack, or as if their flaws are being pointed out while someone else’s are going unnoticed. But defending yourself by turning the tables and attacking your accuser only escalates the fight!
Difficult as it may be in the moment, ask questions. In a calm voice, and without sarcasm or anger, ask for examples or details or any additional information. Your spouse may actually have a point. They may be feeling something, or experiencing something that is hurting them. Something that you are doing. Now is the time to learn more about what is going on inside their head and heart. By meeting them in the middle with curiosity as opposed to anger, you make room for understanding, and possible resolution.
Do you need help from a Michigan divorce attorney?
Join us next time, when we will be looking at the next few items on the list of “fighting rules.” Learning how to argue productively, and without causing lasting damage to your marriage, will make all of the difference in how you and your spouse interact in the future. Also, it may keep you from ending up in divorce court, which is probably what you both want anyway. You’re welcome.
If however, divorce court seems to be the only option here, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and speak to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We can help you make the right choices for your future.