Even when you felt like you have found the perfect person to be married to, you’re still going to have disagreements. You might argue about small things like what you are going to have for dinner or bigger disagreements about hurting feelings, family decisions, or making financial choices.
Bumps in your life will come up and test your marriage, so how do you handle disagreements in your marriage?
Here are 5 healthy ways to disagree as a married couple to help your protect your relationship with each other.
1. Your Spouse Isn’t the Enemy
Sometimes we can feel strongly passionate about an issue. We can see our spouse being in the way of getting what we want. If the focus of the issue is on about winning any disagreements then that means we have lost focus of what is most important – the relationship.
Don’t let your disagreements turn into a competition of who is going to win it. You are then sacrificing your relationship and that’s when things can become more messier. Instead, put aside your differences and understand your spouse isn’t the enemy but your partner.
2. Set Rules for Disagreements
Come up with a set of rules that will help yo both disagree in a productive way. Setting rules for your disagreement is a great way to help keep the discussion productive instead of going in circles and becoming damaging. These rules will act as a framework for helping to make decisions and determine which way to go.
3. Don’t Blame Each Other
It’s easy to quickly defend yourself when you are feeling attacked. When someone attacks us we feel the need to fight back, make excuses, and sometimes even shut down completely. This can sometimes make it seem like one person in the marriage is the problem instead of the issue itself. Don’t blame each other, instead hear them out and listen to their side of the disagreement.
Married couples who disagree in healthy ways feel heard and acknowledge because they know how to make the other one feel listened to. Responding to your partner with everything they are saying instead of arguing will help you both feel comfortable to share your thoughts and feelings on the disagreement. Saying things like “I’m sorry you feel hurt” or “My intention was never upset you” is a good way to start acknowledging that you care about your partner’s feelings, even if you don’t agree with them.
4. Give Them the Benefit of the Doubt
Being in a happy and supportive marriage means you always try to see the best in your partner. You can still feel hurt or angry about something your partner has done, but if there are little things annoying or making you feel angry that you don’t really care about then let them go.
Sometimes our insecurities can blind us from our spouse’s actual actions and make us jump to conclusions. A healthy marriage means both of you assume that each other is doing the best that you can and not doubting your love and support for each other.
5. Don’t Avoid Disagreements
Being married to your partner means you are in the long haul, so don’t shy away from arguments or sweep them away under a rug. You need to get into the habit of asking the big, awkward questions as soon as possible instead of putting them off.
Communicate everything you are feeling. All of your disagreements and bad feelings should be addressed. Listen when your partner is communicating to you as well.