SHOULD YOU GET MARRIED YOUNG? HOW TO DEALING WITH ARGUMENTS
Last month I wrote the first article in my series of blog posts covering the topic of ‘young marriage’. If you are unfamiliar with my story, I got engaged at 19, married at 20 and became a mama at 21. This month’s installment is going to be all about arguments and how to deal with them in a healthy way.
Part 2: Dealing With Arguments
Unfortunately, your marriage WILL encounter conflict at some point. Probably much more frequently than you think when you’re in that ‘butterflies’ stage. Anger, resentment and conflicting opinions are sadly extremely common when two people spend a lot of time together. It is part of being a human. Whilst being young does not necessarily mean you will argue more (I know many older couples who argue far more than me and my husband) I do think you need a certain amount of maturity to deal with conflict in a healthy way. The problem is even though arguments and disagreements are to be somewhat expected in a marriage, they have the power to tear it down if they are not dealt with properly. If you are constantly butting heads you will begin to resent the other person, and you may begin to forget why you married them in the first place. Constant arguing means both of you are likely to feel unhappy, not looking forward to coming home, which is obviously not a nice way to live. So what is the best way to deal with inevitable disagreements? Is there really a RIGHT way to argue? No, I’m not an expert, but I’ve had enough arguments with my husband to know the right and wrong way to go about it.
What NOT to do!
Don’t make threats.
It can be easy in the heat of the moment to threaten the D word, especially if your arguments have you wondering if you actually married the right person, but this is one of the absolute worst things you can do! Making these kind of threats just tear down the trust you have built together, which ultimately is the foundation for a strong marriage. These kind of threats make your other half feel as if you are giving up on the relationship, and that you could walk out at any second. Unless you are actually saying that you want a divorce (because of something like abuse or infidelity) don’t even utter the word. There may be no going back if you do.
Don’t go to bed angry.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but I’m not talking about brushing it all under the carpet and forgetting about it so that you can go to bed. If the issue hasn’t been resolved come bedtime, pretending it never happened is not a healthy or productive thing to do. What is healthy and productive though, is agreeing to calmly address the issue in the morning. Quite often when we’re tired we don’t deal with things properly, and a good nights sleep may be all you need to see the disagreement in a new light. So halt the conversation, give each other a kiss and a cuddle, get some sleep and come back to it when you are both rested and have had time to think.
Don’t argue about unnecessary things.
I’m definitely guilty of this one, but I’ve got much better in recent years. When you find yourself feeling like you want to start up an argument, step back for a moment and pause before you say anything. Ask yourself “Is this really important?” Quite often we can think that something is the end of the world, when really it doesn’t matter that much. If it doesn’t matter than much, is it worth having an argument over? You certainly shouldn’t hide your feelings (that can lead to all sorts of other problems), but if it’s not that big of a deal then consider letting it go. We all make mistakes.
Don’t dig things up from the past.
Reminding your partner of that crappy thing they did four years ago is not going to help anyone. It’s going to make you both angry about something that you have already argued about and settled. Once you’ve had the discussion, leave it and move on with your lives.
What you SHOULD do!
It’s highly unlikely you will get exactly what you want in an argument, and striving for that will just make things worse. Think about it, if both people arguing are completely set on their views and won’t budge, how on earth are they meant to resolve things? Rather than aiming to completely change your partners’ views to match your own, be willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, consider their point of view and offer some sort of compromise. You may not get exactly what you want, but both of you will leave the disagreement feeling like you have gained rather than lost.
Have a think about what you are going to say before you say it. How can you make your point without your partner feeling as if they are being attacked? If you use kind words and remain calm during an argument, it will be more of a mature discussion as opposed to a full blown fight, and you are much more likely to have your voice heard than if you go in all guns blazing.
If you feel yourself starting to get angry try taking a deep breath and counting to ten. It will allow you to calm down and think properly before you say something that you will later regret. If ten seconds isn’t enough time to control your anger, tell your partner that you need to take a break and you will continue this conversation later.
If you want your partner to be perfect you are letting yourself in for a huge disappointment. We all sin. We all make mistakes. Accept that two people are going to have two different opinions sometimes. That is what makes us all unique. If we all had the same opinion the world would be a very boring place. Rather than focusing on everything that is wrong with your partner, take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful things. After all, you walked down the aisle for a reason. Remember those reasons.
Do you have any tips for dealing with arguments in your marriage? How do you go about it? Do you need to work on finding healthier solutions? Let’s take the discussion to the comments below!