How to Resolve an Argument With Your Spouse

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A heated argument, no matter how trivial the subject matter, will kill romance if it is not resolved. Here are 10 ways to help both people feel loved after the argument is over.

  1. Use “I feel” statements instead of “You always…” statements. This shifts the conversation from attacking to exploring feelings.
  2. Listen. It can be easy to list off all the things that make you unhappy, but you need to stop and hear what is bothering your spouse WITHOUT INTERRUPTING OR DEFENDING YOURSELF.
  3. Both people should have time to talk. Use an egg timer if you need to.
  4. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Even though you may know them better than anyone else, you may not know everything they’ve been through. Even if you do, you haven’t been through everything they’ve been through. They may be more sensitive about certain topics or feel strongly about something and you don’t understand why. They may have a bad habit that you want them to break now, but it may take some time and help to break it.
  5. The best debater does NOT win. Just because one spouse may have better debating skills, that doesn’t invalidate the other person’s feelings. In an argument, avoid debating altogether. Save debating for non emotional discussions.
  6. Learn to compromise. Some things you will never agree on. Find a way that both can come out winning, instead of just one. Make a compromise that satisfies both people.
  7. If you get angry to the point of wanting to harm objects or people, get away. Isolate yourself for a few minutes. Play relaxing music (do NOT play angry or sad music). Write down all of your feelings and frustrations. If that doesn’t cool you down enough, punch a pillow, go running, do jumping jacks, lift weights, etc. Don’t let this be the end of the argument, though. After you are calm enough, go back to your spouse and explain your feelings. Have them read what you wrote down, if it helps.
  8. Pause the negative and play the positive. While negative feelings should not be suppressed, it may help to put them on pause for a couple of minutes. Take turns saying positive things about each other. They have to be genuine. This is a good reminder that you love each other and that you want to do your part to make the relationship work. As you are feeling better about each other, go back and explain how you are feeling.
  9. Learn to forgive. Assess the situation. What did your spouse do to offend you? How harmful was and is it to your relationship? If it’s not major, let it go. If it is major, seek professional help so you both can properly heal your relationship.
  10. Don’t forget love. Hate the sin and love the sinner. Realize that you make mistakes too and that your spouse loves you despite your faults. Make a decision together that you will work on improving your relationship your whole life. Promise that you will love and help each other always.

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