Marital Fighting: When is it Healthy Fighting, And When is it Abuse? (Pt 2)

A hand reaching for a red button, as if to press it. The button looks like it is set to activate nuclear war.
Learning to avoid those triggers that can take a spousal fight to new heights is part of learning how to fight in a healthy way.

Hi there and welcome back. We’re having a discussion about fighting styles, and how fights can actually be healthy for your relationship, as long as you conduct yourself in a certain way during the argument. As we mentioned in the previous article, it’s not whether you fight that is an indicator of your marriage’s health, it’s how you fight. Respectful arguments between people who are angry but still listen to one another is a completely different kettle of fish from people who scream obscenities at one another, refuse to give each other the chance to speak, and use belittling language. 

Fighting is normal. Abuse is not. You need to know the difference.

Conflict occurs when the boundaries that you’ve set for yourself rub up against the boundaries that someone else has set for themselves. Essentially, when your opinions or beliefs don’t jibe with your partner’s. This is going to happen whether you want it to or not. What makes the difference, however, is learning to manage that conflict so that it ensures a positive, and not a negative, outcome. In other words, how can you approach fighting with your spouse so your relationship gets stronger and doesn’t end in divorce?

Tips to help your marital arguments be healthier: 

  • Remember that “a positive outcome” does NOT mean “a win” – this is not a battle and your ultimate goal shouldn’t be to “be right”, it should be to resolve this issue positively with your spouse,
  • Don’t call each other names or use derogatory language – you can’t take back what you say, so don’t say things that will cause lasting hurt or resentment,
  • Stick to the subject at hand – don’t let your anger derail your focus, and don’t dredge up the past while fighting. Nothing is worse than having old mistakes flung in your face every time you screw up, or your partner gets upset
  • Try to explain what you feel and why – if you want your spouse to understand your point of view, you need to take the time to explain why you hold those beliefs. You may not change their mind, but at least they’ll understand your perspective.
  • Aim to solve problems, not just complain – if you come at the issue from the mindset that it’s a problem to be solved, not just an issue to be complained about, you’re more likely to find a positive outcome you can both live with.
  • Apologize when you make a mistake – if you’ve screwed up, you need to say you’re sorry. Apologies are not implied, and refusing to say you’re sorry can be incredibly hurtful.

Make sure, if you’re getting divorced, that you get a really good attorney.

Best case scenario: you never need us. But if you do, and your spouse fights dirty, or resorts to meanness (or even violence) when they feel slighted, then be sure the divorce attorney you choose can handle the heat. Here at The Kronzek Firm we’ve successfully navigated many high conflict divorces, and helped many people reach viable agreements in their divorces while ensuring that they’re safe, their rights are protected, and their best interests are kept at the forefront. If you need assistance navigating your divorce, call 866 766 5245 and talk to one of our skilled and experienced family law attorneys today. We’re available 24/7 to help.