Anyone who has been married for longer than 2 years will tell you that marriage has its ups and downs. One day you can be happy and have butterflies in your stomach when you as much as hear the name of your spouse, and another day, you could be about ready to scream when your husband or wife walks into the room. I assure you that it is all natural. But how do you keep petty arguments and disagreements from escalating into a huge rift?
For me and my husband, the number one thing is to know the other. I am someone who likes to take time outs when I am angry or irritated. If my husband is saying something that is irritating to me in the moment, all I simply have to do is tell him that I need a time out and he understands that. If I do not take my time out, I will end up saying something that I will regret later on. I am a fan of keeping quiet if you have nothing nice to say.
Make yourself some simple rules of engagement. When you are in a happy lovey dovey mood, sit with your spouse and put down rules for fair fighting. Some people are irked when the other’s voice is raised, so say to your spouse, “No voice raising.” Some people hate when their spouse says or does something specific. Let your spouse know where your buttons are, so he or she will stay away from them. Your spouse is your ally, so you should not be stepping on his or her toes anyway.
It is ok to argue or disagree, but what is not okay, is when you hit below the belt. Know the topics that are off limits to your spouse, and stay away from them. For instance, if you are the primary breadwinner and your spouse feels sensitive about that because he or she has been job hunting for 6 months, then maybe it is a bad idea to use that against him or her during an argument.
Learn to let the past stay in the past. Don’t keep rehashing old wounds and arguments. During a specific argument, do not remind your husband about what he did 2 months ago. When one argument is over, make sure you have talked things out, aired out feelings in a constructive way and buried the topic. How would you like it if every time you did had a misstep, your spouse reminded you of past transgressions?
Remember your spouse is your friend. If you are constantly at each other’s throats and harboring resentment, then maybe this friendship will not stand. If you wish to have a successful marriage, then you might want to take your spouse’s feelings and point of view into consideration from time to time. Fight fairly. Actually I should say, do not aim to fight your spouse. Aim to resolve conflicts as soon as you can. Conflicts are a part of life, but how well you work together to resolve issues will go a long way in determining if your relationship sinks or floats.
Which one do you choose? Do you want a sinking marriage or a happy floating marriage? Think about it.
Floating Thinking Momma