Surviving an Argument with your Spouse

June 22, 2018 10:53 am

Anyone who argues with their spouse knows one thing for sure. No matter how outrageous the differences in opinion are and how hurtful the words exchanged might be, forgiveness and compromise must certainly follow. A commitment to do this over and over again is a fundamental need of a marriage. 
Often easier said than done, the following are some tips on doing so. 

Distractions help 

If you have resigned from the argument out of sheer exhaustion but find yourself still unable to calm your thoughts into forgiving or drawing any type of compromise with your spouse, it is normal to wonder if you possibly ever could! The fact is that straight after an argument emotions tend to be at their ugliest and if you spend the next 24 hours over analyzing the argument, finding a solution or compromise will become ever so remote. A distraction away from the argument helps to clean up the negativity and give you a positive and fresh mindset. The best distractions are the activities that you enjoy the most and the ones that require a lot of focus and attention. So this could range from a meet up with some friends while watching your favorite TV series, some retail therapy,  or even attending to a long overdue work project. 

The “never go to bed angry” rule


This famous piece of marriage advice certainly has many advocates. The idea behind it is to highlight the importance of getting hurt and anger drag on for too long in a marriage. Taking the advice in its literal sense, however, might cause problems. Once you’ve argued with your spouse there is always a sense of urgency in wanting to resolve the bad feeling you have inside. Therefore some might feel the need to talk things over just once more before the day draws to a close. This is not always the best thing to do. In any such effort, timing is of the essence and if the timing presents itself the next day or the day after it makes sense to patiently watch, wait and seize the opportunity whenever it does presents itself. Rushing an apology and a resolution solves nothing. Only a sincere effort at doing so matters. 


Your own relationship rules

Not every couple is the same and what works for one will not work for another. In your quiet and happier moments, it is best to discuss and draw a set of rules for your own marriage with regards to disputes and arguments. Set your own rules about how you should go about apologies, what to do if you are hurt, rules about confidentiality and what behavior is unacceptable no matter how heated the situation gets. When these expectations are clear at the outset, surviving and argument are much easier and both parties are aware of what to expect from each other. 


No matter how easy it is to pick up the phone and tell your best friend all about your argument and the pain you feel inside, maintaining a little privacy in your marriage is always a good thing. No one really knows your spouse the way you do, not even his or her parents.

A marriage is a unique relationship and is special to the two people of concern. Therefore while you will feel good after unloading your feelings to a third party, you cannot expect any advice or resolution for your problems from them. In fact, gathering comments and opinions from an outside party will only confuse you and make things considerably worse. The only two people who can find a solution is you and your spouse. If you must speak to someone, let it be to someone who is non-judgemental and a good listener.  

The art of apologizing

An apology generally helps to cope with most bitter of arguments. Quite often an apology disguised in many forms and hence doesn’t quite convey the notion of regret effectively which is the most important part of an apology. So regardless of whether the dispute which started the argument is settled or not, express regret at the mean and hurtful things said on its account and let this regret be sincere. An apology has nothing to do with re-establishing bits and pieces of the original argument and revisiting unfinished conversations. It is simply saying “I’m sorry”. 

Avoid Drama
Dramatic reactions to arguments can take many forms and in 
most cases it could be simple as slamming a door on the way out or giving each other the silent treatment for a few hours. Couples should be careful not to be too extreme in reacting such as moving out of the house, avoiding meals as a form of protest or resorting to sleeping the night out in another room. Despite how bitter the argument is it is always wise to stick to your usual routine as a couple as much as possible. Reconciliation is often then inevitable and much faster. An argument is not the end of your marriage but only a momentary low point. 

Remember, there are no winners and losers in an argument within a marriage. You either win as a team or lose as a team!


Image header source:Rebel Circus

About the author

- Surekha Jayasinghe

Surekha jayasinghe is a freelance writer. A storyteller at heart she feels the best part of the job is being able to connect with new people, learning new things and growing as a writer with every piece of work she authors. She divides her time between her writing and her family.