My husband and I, along with the help of my mom, came up with 5 rules for a healthy argument with your partner.
1. Know your partner’s “conflict language”. Thanks to author Gary Chapman, some of us are aware of our spouses love language. However, are you aware of how your partner effectively handles conflict? Maybe they need a moment alone to refrain from saying something they’ll regret, or maybe they want to handle the problem immediately, so you guys can enjoy the rest of the day. Knowing your partner’s “conflict language” may be 50% of the battle.
2. No hitting below the belt. Want to immediately lose your spouse in the midst of an argument? Offend them, by hitting below the belt. If you know they’re insecure about their weight, don’t refer to them as “fat”. Hitting below the belt causes two arguments in one, and the reconciliation process becomes longer. Its also hurtful to your partner and may cause trust issues.
3. Don’t focus on WHO is right, but WHAT is right. Confession: I’ve been guilty of wanting to prove my husband wrong, so I can “win” an argument. Terrible and immature, yes, I know. At the end of the day, does it really matters who’s right? Not at all. The focus should be on what’s right. *note to self*
4. Don’t let the sun go down, while you are still angry. Another confession: I am guilty of this as well, and trust me, nothing good can come from this. Why? When you go to bed angry, you wake up angry. Do your best to resolve the issue before bedtime. You’ll sleep better :)
5. Recognize when enough is enough, and be able to laugh at yourself. At some point the argument is over, but one party may not know how to end it, or let it go. That’s been me a few times. Holding on to pride always makes things worse. I thank God for a marriage that allows us to laugh at how dumb some of our arguments can be, and the willingness to let it go.