Arguments in a marriage are unavoidable. No two people can agree about every aspect in their relationship and daily lives all the time. Each person has their own ideas, views and opinions, and while you may share some of these things with your spouse, you will inevitability find things you disagree on. Arguing is a perfectly natural and healthy part of every relationship, depending on, of course, how the situation is handled.
There are constructive and healthy ways to argue that can, and will, improve your marriage. First, you must accept the fact that when blending your life with another person it will not always go over as smoothly as it does in the movies. It takes time to work through all of your differences. Second, you must be willing to compromise; find a happy medium. A very wise woman once told me a relationship shouldn’t be 50/50, rather, a true happy relationship is always 40/40 with 20% compromise. In compromise, there are no stipulations and it can not be about entitlement; you should not fight to be right.
10% of the compromise should come from you and 10% from your partner. You must be willing to compromise in many different aspects of the relationship, but be careful not to give up too much of what is important to you. The 20% boils down to smoothing over a few rough edges without threatening our core needs, wants and/or desires. There are things that should never be sacrificed, such as, your independence, friend and family relationships, interests (both shared and individual), self-esteem and aspirations.
Once you understand how to compromise, you can then move forward with healthy arguing between you and your spouse. Arguing well isn’t complicated, however, it does take some practice and patience to ensure a happier relationship. Take a timeout if you feel the disagreement is escalating. Then, when you are calmer, talk about your issues. You will find that you can accomplish more, and get your point across with a clear head. Never sit on an issue and let them fester until you explode. This can be misdirected and will come out at the wrong time, for the wrong reason. At the same time, you must pick and choose your battles. It is important to find the perfect balance between raising an issue and nit picking. Don’t bring up a past argument into the present one. Deal with the issue at hand without fighting dirty or being vengeful. And finally, it is important to listen to your spouse, though you may not agree with everything they say, your spouse is upset and it is important for you to understand why to resolve the issue.