When I read this post by HWC contributor, Kim Hall, the first thing I thought was “Yes!” I have always been a true believer that arguments aren’t a requirement in marriage; quite the contrary.
In the this post, Kim gives three things you can do to successfully get your point across without saying something you are likely to later regret.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
Does your marriage ever hit rough spots?
Perhaps they are about time, money, the kids, or different visions for the future.
Whatever the topic, there are often times hot buttons that can set you off, and the two of you head predictably down that old rocky path to nowhere.
Tempers flare, thoughts pop out, and words burn.
Instead of traveling down that rocky path, I have three suggestions that have worked in our home to avoid fighting, and I believe they will help create a smoother journey in yours as well.
1. When you feel like yelling, speak quietly. Take slow, deep, tummy breaths, and give yourself a few moments before responding. Hang your jaw for good measure during those moments, too. Yes, you may look and feel silly—I always do!—but it makes it much harder to feel angry. Be very intentional about the volume and tone of your voice and the words you choose.
Food for thought: If a fiery response from your last argument were the last words you ever said to your spouse, would you be grateful or regretful?
2. When you feel like condemning, be curious and questioning. Did you know you can’t be curious and angry at the same time? Being curious helps keep you calmer and more relaxed. Being curious also helps to create an environment where you come together to solve a problem rather than being at odds over it. Asking quality questions will help you gather useful information that will illuminate and help solve problems.
Food for thought: If this was a good friend instead of your hubby, would you respond with more understanding?
3. When you feel like withholding affection, be abundantly generous with your love. This requires letting go of hurts and annoyances and remembering that your relationship is bigger than dishes in the sink, dirty laundry on the floor, or trash that needs to go out. When you are talking things over, sit side by side. Relax your muscles and take more deep, slow breaths. Recall how you felt when you were dating, and reach out and touch your husband. (No worries about mixed signals: Remember Sheila’s post about physical touch not being a down payment.)
Food for thought: If you had just five minutes left on this earth, would that change your perspective and behavior?
All of these strategies take practice.
Be patient, graceful and forgiving with yourself and your spouse.
Recognize your habits will take time to change, as they generally have taken years to form.
Practice will never make your communication perfect, but it will certainly make it more peaceful and productive!
Question: What tips can you share to avoid fighting with your husband?
May you find happiness wherever you are!
Kim @ Too Darn Happy
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