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If you are married, you know the value of knowing how to communicate with your spouse without fighting. Conflict is inevitable. The difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage often depends on a couple’s ability to resolve conflicts. Keep reading our post below to know.
- 1 Get control before things get out of control
- 2 Let the storm pass
- 3 Identify which of the rules you break
- 4 Never attempt to dismiss their opinions
- 5 Be willing to hear if and how you are part of the problem
- 6 Ignoring problems will not make them go away
- 7 Pay attention to their words, not your emotions
- 8 Rules of fair fighting- How To Communicate With Your Spouse
Get control before things get out of control
As members of the military know when at war armies must follow specific rules of engagement. The same goes for competitive sports and martial arts. No matter how frustrated or angry the combatant feels, they must follow the rules. Failure to reign in anger and impulsive, reactionary behavior usually results in penalties.
People that don’t know how to communicate with their spouse without fighting live on a perpetual battleground. If you’re finding yourself more of a warrior than a lover, consider adopting relationship rules of engagement to help you gain control over the situation.
Let the storm pass
In the heat of the moment, it can be tempting to try to fix everything straight away. Unfortunately, though, during or immediately after an argument is actually one of the worst times to do it!
When you’re both angry and upset, neither of you will say the most productive thing to change the situation as your brains are focused on protecting you from a threat, not learning and processing.
Instead, give yourselves time and space to relax before you sit down to figure out what happened. Take some time to cool off and let a little time pass before trying to resolve your problem. And when you’re ready to talk, you can move on to our next tip—how to communicate what you need to your partner.
Identify which of the rules you break
Awareness of your negative habits and behaviors is the springboard to change. Once you become aware, the logical next step is to gain an understanding of their negative impact on your relationship. This awareness and understanding serve as a foundation to motivate you to eliminate and replace bad habits and behaviors with positive thoughts and actions. Remember that change is a process. Shoot for progress and not perfection.
Here’s an exercise to get started right away. If your spouse is willing, read the 20 rules together aloud. Then, take turns “fessing up” to your infractions while keeping the focus on your transgressions rather than those of your spouse.
Never attempt to dismiss their opinions
In relation to the previous section, it’s important that you give them the chance to introduce their ideas and support their opinion. Don’t dismiss their own version of the story just because it doesn’t match your own understanding.
Your partner’s voice matters, too. You are in a partnership and you have to equally consider both sides.
Be willing to hear if and how you are part of the problem
Don’t ever expect that your partner will feel that he or she is entirely the problem and that you have no role in it, even if you are most compelled to feel that you don’t. This is not a one-sided thing where if you’re unhappy your significant other has to change to appease you. Accept that you may be faced with the idea that you are part of the problem or that they also have things they want you to work on.
Ignoring problems will not make them go away
Understand that it’s not easy to hear how someone you love very much is dissatisfied with you. Don’t be surprised if defense mechanisms are utilized. Don’t be surprised if you’re met by excuses fueled by embarrassment. What’s key in this process is listening to what you’re saying and imagine if it were being said to you.
Pay attention to their words, not your emotions
When they are talking, pay attention to what they have to say – and stop focusing too much on how you feel at the moment. This is important especially if a problem made you angry or frustrated.
Sometimes, when you’re too angry, you no longer hear your partner because all you want to do is to explode. Try to calm yourself down.
Rules of fair fighting- How To Communicate With Your Spouse
1. Try to express your feelings before they start to poison you and your relationship. Bottled-up feelings often lead to angry outbursts when triggered.
2. Don’t dredge up the past. Avoid old grudges. Stick to the issue at hand.
3. Avoid name-calling, threats or abusive behavior, or violence of any kind.
4. Don’t hit below the belt. Don’t take sensitive information your spouse shared with you in a vulnerable moment when you felt close, and turn around and use it against him/her. (i.e., Stop blowing up at me the way your father did when you were young. You’re just like him.)
5. Tackle one issue at a time.
6. Dial down the volume.
7. Be direct and honest. Try not to be sarcastic.
8. Take turns speaking. Work at listening to what your partner is saying, rather than rehearsing your response.
9. Never argue in front of your children.