Every relationship has its ups and downs, conflicts and make-ups, fights and forgiveness. It’s all part and parcel of life. But fighting in a marriage can’t be justified with callousness and insensitivity toward your spouse’s feelings. Couples are bound to disagree and have arguments throughout their marriage, but did you know you could have a quarrel while being compassionate and respectful toward one another?
It’s all about how you fight. Screaming, name-calling, giving ultimatums about ending the marriage, and hurling abuses at each other are all classic examples of toxicity which one should run away from. You could be fighting over money in a marriage or it could be something silly and unimportant, but there are many rules of fighting in a marriage which will prevent you from permanently denting the foundations of your relationship.
Is It Normal For Married Couples To Fight
Arguments in relationships can be healthy when done in the right way and fighting in a marriage is inevitable. You may fight every day in a marriage. You could fight over shared responsibilities in a marriage or about where to go on a holiday together. You will say things to hurt your partner. You will walk away in anger. You will slam the door. You will make personal remarks against each other. You might even give them the silent treatment. But are all these healthy and justified ways of fighting in a marriage? No.
It’s a given that the two of you will squabble about things that you never thought you would fight over. It doesn’t matter how madly you love each other. At the end of the day, the two of you are different people who have different minds, ideologies, and opinions which are certain to cause friction more often than you think.
Fighting in a marriage is perfectly normal when done attentively and keeping in mind that your partner is someone you wouldn’t want to hurt intentionally or unintentionally. Our emotions go berserk when we are angry. It’s always important to take a breath before you blurt out any statement which you might regret later. There are many hurtful things you should never say or your partner should never say to you.
You can never physically hurt one other during a fight. If that’s the case with you, then you need to take action right away because physical abuse is illegal. Not just that, even threatening to injure or cause harm is unlawful.
No two people can process thoughts and ideas the same way. We all have our unique identities, thought patterns, and different trigger points. What triggers you might not trigger your significant other and vice versa. If you and your partner are fighting every day in a marriage, then I’m here with tips for fair fighting where you can fight in the right and in a healthier way.
Fighting In A Marriage – 10 Tips To Do It Right
Marriage is a forever type of commitment, and a conflict is an opportunity to learn better about the person you have agreed to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t be afraid of conflicts. It’s a chance for your relationship to grow despite the recurring differences in your thoughts and feelings. If you are asking if fighting fair in a marriage is possible, the answer is yes. Below are some of the tips on fighting in a marriage respectfully.
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1. Don’t act out of anger
This is the first point that I want to address as a newly married woman. It was all good during the honeymoon period. But once the honeymoon phase began to grow faint, the differences started to emerge. The clashes were quite silly and happened due to trivial things in the beginning. Differences related to movie choices or where and what to eat for dinner. Then followed the bigger issues where neither the fights nor the reasons for them were small.
I couldn’t understand if it was just us who were fighting in a marriage and struggling to understand each other or was it all the married couples in the world. I slowly realized it’s the latter, and that even my partner has a mind and will of his own, and that acting out of anger is damaging our relationship.
Anger can’t be categorized as a right or wrong emotion. But what can be judged as right or wrong is in the way one chooses to express that emotion. The first rule of fighting in a marriage, or in life in general, is knowing how to control your anger and not act out of it. Once you know how to manage and express your anger, the rest of the argument will fall back to an amicable pace that will be helpful for the marriage in the long run.
2. Listen empathetically
Empathy is very essential in every relationship. Lack of empathy in relationships don’t usually survive in the long run. Listen without interrupting your partner and try to understand where they are coming from. Maybe put on their shoes and look at everything from their perspective. Hold eye contact and assure them that they are being heard. Once your partner is finished talking, keep your side of the story on the table.
A conflict cannot be resolved unless and until both of you address each other’s concerns and worries. Grant equal time for one another’s feelings and listen with empathy and compassion. By doing this, you can learn new information about your partner and have a better understanding of how their mind and heart work.
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3. Rules of fighting in a marriage – Don’t be mean and don’t give ultimatums
If you are always fighting in a marriage, then maybe you are just being mean to one another during the fight. One of the major things to avoid is name-calling and mocking the other person. Stop criticizing them. Always fight respectfully with your spouse. Attacking the person, and not the issue, won’t end your fight. It will aggravate the problem and anger your partner even more.
A friend recently said, “My husband and I fight all the time. We never thought we’d be fighting over money in a marriage. He even threatens to leave me.” That’s an example of how to fight wrongly. Threatening to leave will cause anxiety in your partner. The meanest thing you can do to your marriage is by comparing it to another. Each relationship has its own growth, individuality, and significance. You can’t compare one relationship with another.
Look for strategies to stop fighting in a marriage. Don’t involve your children in the fights either. Don’t ask them to take sides. It will greatly impact their mental health. If you are looking for ways of fighting fair in a marriage, then don’t be mean to your significant other.
4. Don’t downplay the issue
One of the tips of fighting in a marriage is by addressing the issues respectfully instead of ignoring them. This is one one of the relationship challenges everyone faces. When your partner is pouring their heart out and stating an issue honestly which rubbed them the wrong way, don’t downplay it by shrugging it off. It just looks like you don’t care about their feelings, which is wrong on so many levels. It will make you the villain even if you didn’t do anything wrong to upset your spouse.
To believe and understand your partner’s feelings, you need to validate the issue first by accepting that there is a problem which needs fixing. Let your partner know that you are there for them and that they are being understood. There is no greater satisfaction and relief than that of being understood by the love of your life.
5. Have cooling-off periods
Anger management in relationships is very important. If you feel either of you won’t be able to control your anger, then establish a cooling-off period where you can pause and take a deep breath. It’s like the pause button which Lily and Marshall use in How I Met Your Mother. A cooling-off period is necessary to not lose sight of what’s important and what will remain after the fight is over—the relationship.
When we fight with someone we love, we often forget that they are our person. They are on our side. We make fights more important than relationships. Pause and reflect for a while before you say something hurtful to the person you love and who loves you. You are a team. Always remember that you are not fighting each other. You are fighting a problem together.
6. Tips on fighting in a marriage – Stay on one topic
This is one of the things I mistook for harmless mistakes in a relationship, and one which I am guilty of doing. I used to wonder why my husband argues with everything I say. And then I realized that I bring up past issues while addressing the issue at hand. That’s the answer I found to why my husband and I fight all the time. I was never capable of sticking to one topic. We kept fighting over different issues.
We would start at one issue, then the argument would veer off into multiple topics which were resolved weeks ago. Likewise, don’t bring up past mistakes just to prove you are right. This is one of the most common relationships problems as humans are known to bring down other people just to prove their righteousness. Solve one issue and then move on to another. You can’t dump all the problems in one shot and expect your partner to resolve them all in one go.
7. Don’t stonewall your partner
Stonewalling is a toxic habit most people have in order to maintain control and self-sufficiency. If you withdraw from listening to what your partner has to say and refuse to give them a response, that’s called stonewalling or the silent treatment. You being unresponsive to your partner’s concerns won’t lessen the problems.
No relationship is immune to issues. But don’t walk away from them or avoid them just because it makes you uncomfortable. Stonewalling will only hinder your relationship. It is known as the relationship killer and it will eventually lead to contempt and a separation. To make your relationship healthy and strong, you need to face the problem together.
Related Reading: 11 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
8. Choose words carefully
When having a conflict, most of us resort to statements like “you did this” and “you did that”. Such phrases put all the blame on one person even though it always takes two to tango. Saying hurtful things affects the relationship. You can’t expect your partner to shoulder all the blame and accountability when you have also been in the wrong. Instead of making the entire argument a bizarre blame game, use healthy statements like “I feel” or “I think”.
Similarly, another way of fighting fair in a marriage is by avoiding hyperbolic and generalized statements like “you always do that” or “you never listen to me” or “this is what you do every time”. Focus on what’s happening at the moment rather than being ambiguous. Exaggerating a situation will not help you in fighting fair in a marriage.
9. Don’t target their weaknesses
We all have weaknesses and to use those weaknesses against the person we love in an argument is no less than being brutal and vicious. In unconditional love, they trust you by sharing their vulnerabilities. If you want the answer to the ‘why my husband and I fight all the time’ problem, then maybe you are hitting below the belt. Saying something personal which isn’t even relevant to the topic at hand is not the right way of fighting in a marriage.
When a person discloses a very personal incident or a deep secret, it’s because they have agreed to being vulnerable with you. They did that because they love you. When you continue to use those weaknesses and sensitivities to hurt your partner in anger, you will only end up losing the faith they have in you.
10. Fight to resolve
One of the things that people fail to understand is that a fight’s purpose isn’t just to show that you are miffed with the other person. A conflict is not the right time to vent everything that’s bothering you as both the parties are at the risk of hurting and getting hurt. Understand, identify and handle marital conflict in the right way.
If you are always fighting in a marriage, then you are doing it wrong. Maybe you’re not resolving the fight but venting and screaming at each other in anger. One of the rules of fighting in a marriage is finding out ways to resolve the situation. Sit down with calmness and look for ways on how to tackle the problem at hand.
If you are wondering why my husband argues with everything I say, then maybe you are doing the opposite of the above mentioned points. Accept that nobody is perfect. There are many sincere ways to apologize. If you are wrong, then do the right thing by apologizing. If your spouse apologizes to you, forgive and forget. Kiss and make up.
All healthy relationships have to face problems. Knowing how to handle them is what will bring the two of you together in times of conflict. Because what you do and how you behave during a fight is as important as how you love each other when there are no problems at all.
Fighting is healthy in relationships and, on average, couples are known to fight 1 to 3 times every week. One interesting study found that couples argue, on average, seven times per day.
Married couples tend to fight for many things including money, children, value systems, chores, intimacy, and in-laws. If your partner and the marriage is very important to you, then no fight will be too much for either of you. Unless of course the way you fight is toxic and abusive. In that case, it could even lead to the end of your relationship.
As referred to in the first answer, 1-3 times is the normal number of fights in a week. But there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy ways of fighting in a marriage. Once you figure that out, no fight can pull you apart.