Fighting or arguing with your spouse is one of those inevitable things you will encounter in your marriage. Fighting fair in marriage also varies for every couple. For us, it is arguing verbally.
As a married person, you will disagree with your spouse from time to time (which is OK). This is because you are two different people with two unique personalities, thoughts and opinions. The tough part is learning how to disagree or fight fair in your marriage. This means disagreeing or arguing in a healthy and respectful way.
If done in a healthy way, fighting fair in marriage can be one of the best things for your marriage. Fighting in marriage occurs for many reasons, some of which include:
1. Fighting about who does the chores, the laundry, where the shoes go, cleaning of the dishes, replacing the toilet paper, etc.
2. Arguing about the kids, which parenting method is the best, how to discipline the kids, etc.
3. Connecting with each other or having personal time for yourself.
4. Career: working late hours at the office or working for a majority of the time while at home.
5. Communication: not understanding each others love language, not clearly understanding each others statements.
6. Religion or beliefs.
7. Entertainment: which TV shows to watch, how often and who watches what show at a specific time.
8. Finances: who pays the bills, the large amounts of debt or loans to be paid, how should we spend our money?
9. One spouse feeling deprived of sex.
10. The in-laws: One spouse thinking less of their in-laws and highly of their own parents.
11. Not being on the same page on family and marriage goals.
12. Minor and unimportant stuff like folding clothes in a certain way.
This list could go on and on, and on. Fighting fair in marriage is something you should embrace.
When I think of fighting fair in marriage, I'm brought back to how my parents fought growing up.
And the many other couples I was exposed to who fought with each other.
There was plenty of screaming, name calling, things being thrown and physical abuse. As a result of this experience, I thought this was how couples fought or argued fairly with each other.
It became one of my marriage expectations.
After I got married to Marcus, I thought that when we disagreed on something, the name calling and hitting below the belt was normal.
Marcus never, not once, let his temper get the best of him to the point of him calling me a name or belittling me.
He would sometimes say, "I need you to stop talking to me and leave me alone before I say something we will both regret."
That statement alone taught me so much!
Wait, we don't have to do anything like name calling, etc.? We won't hurt each other and have to apologize for things we didn't mean later?
It was a paradigm shift for me and immensely increased my respect for Marcus. I was the hot-tempered fly off the handle type in the first few months of our marriage.
But I've now learned how to take a deep breath, and not just react, but to think it through first.
Just like any married couple, we have disagreements from time to time.
Sometimes we have to just agree to disagree on certain topics, or give each other time and some space, and revisit once we both have had time to let our emotions die down and think.
How to fight fair in your marriage.
There are various healthy ways that you can use to fight fairly in your marriage.
Below are some of the healthy ways we have used to fight fairly or argue in our marriage. These healthy ways have enabled us to vastly reduce unnecessary arguments in our marriage. As a result, we don't fight. We just argue like mature adults do. Memorize and apply them each time you have an argument with your spouse. You will notice how it will positively impact your marriage.
1. Respect each others opinion. And be responsible while arguing or disagreeing.
And be responsible while arguing or disagreeing.
2. Do not laugh while your spouse is crying in these situations.
4. Ask yourself, have we fought or argued about this before?
If you have, it is time to really resolve the issue you are fighting about.
5. Learn to compromise and forgive each other after the argument.
6. Do not raise your voice or yell. Ironically, we do this so we will be heard.
Ironically, we do this so we will be heard. But if someone or both of you is yelling, no one is being heard.
7. Think before you speak.
Try to see their point of view, if you still don't understand your spouse's point of view, simply ask for more clarity. Try to explain it another way. Take a break if necessary. Trying to understand your spouse from their point of view is very important. You also want them to understand your side, so why should you have a double standard? You are on the same team, and it's OK to agree to disagree.
8. Don't involve third parties unless it's necessary.
And they are people you both feel comfortable talking to, plus unbiased.
9. Try to limit how long you argue or fight, so you don't do it all day long.
10. If you have kids, they are watching, listening and learning. Be careful what you do or say.
You are teaching them what to expect in marriage from their future spouse.
Do you fight or argue often with your spouse?
If you and your spouse are fighting almost every day or each week, we believe it's best to sit down with your spouse to figure out what the root cause of these fights are. It could simply be the result of poor communication between you guys. If not, seek marriage counseling or coaching from someone you trust.
Marcus and Ashley help newlyweds adjust to married life and inspire married couples to become better husbands and wives. They host the First Year Marriage Show podcast and are authors of two best-selling marriage books.