People often say, “happy wife, happy life” when it comes to marriage. So does this mean that when you have an argument you should just give in and say, “Yes, dear”? No, it really doesn’t. Acquiescing to every argument or disagreement won’t bring happiness. In fact, it’s much more likely to create resentment and deeper problems going forward.
That doesn’t mean you need to allow fights to drag on and on, however. Disagreements that go on too long can erode the closeness between you and your wife. And the longer they last, the more likely you are to lose sight of what the original issue was to begin with and focus more on “winning.” This is a dangerous mindset for both you and your partner. Either one of you digging in and feeling determined to be right will create even deeper issues in the long run.
So, putting a quick end to an argument is a good idea for you, your wife, and the health of your relationship. This isn’t always an easy thing to do, though. Check out the following tips to help you and your wife quickly resolve disagreements and get back on track.
1Try to control you – not your wife
It can be hard to remember, especially during a fight, but the only behavior you can control is your own. Seems simple, but exercising deliberate control over your actions when you are feeling emotional can be really difficult. So as things escalate, make a point to keep your approach collaborative and your body language open. This means a more relaxed stance, neutral face, and a softer voice.
2Opened ears and closed mouth
One of the biggest impulses we have during an argument is to make ourselves heard. You have a point to make after all and chances are you feel pretty sure you’re right. But this desire to get your point across and make your case is often at the expense of really understanding your wife’s point of view.
The inclination to talk rather than listen often means that we miss opportunities to work together and come to a resolution. It can also mean that your wife doesn’t feel like you heard her or that you have any respect for her feelings and position. So, before you make a point of making your point, stop and listen to what she has to say. Sometimes, just doing this will create a clear path for better communication and resolution of the problem.
3A little time, but not too much
There’s no question that in a long-term relationship there will be heated moments. It’s just a fact – couples fight and some of them can be doozies. Although you want to make sure that arguments don’t go on too long, you may also need to occasionally step away and take a little time to let things calm down and gather your thoughts. This break from the chaos of emotion can let you re-approach things in a more productive and collaborative manner.
4Watch volume and tone
Men, we are especially prone to allowing our tone and voice to become combative. This isn’t to say that women don’t do this as well, but we tend to go there a bit more quickly and forcefully. This change in tone and heightened volume can immediately put your wife or partner on the defensive.
5Explain, don’t tell
Most people respond better to a logical explanation than they do to yelling or being told what to do and how to do it. This is very true for women in particular. When arguing with your wife, telling her why she’s wrong or why you’re right won’t work. It’s actually much more likely to make things worse. If you want her to understand you and consider your position, explaining things in a calm manner that makes sense is your best bet.
Be careful here, though. This is the stage where tone becomes very important. Although you may work not to sound combative, sounding condescending is equally as problematic. There can be a fine line between approaching things with a logical explanation and an I’m-right-and-here’s-why-your-wrong-silly-girl approach.
Perceived condescension very often will cause your wife (or anyone for that matter) to stop listening and being receptive to your points. Consider working together on creating a pros and cons list on the subject. This way, you’re both contributing toward determining the appropriate resolution.
6Sometimes no one is right
Depending upon the topic, there are times when agreeing to disagree is perfectly fine. You’re each entitled to your own thoughts and opinions, and they don’t have to be the same. This can be difficult to do with things like finances, but if the argument is around politics or other topics that don’t directly change the trajectory of your relationship, it can be best to let it drop and end on a note of with mutual respect for each other’s opinion.
Fights happen in ALL relationships. It’s not a sign that your relationship is failing or that things are over. If, however, you don’t handle your arguments correctly, they can take their toll on the connection that is necessary to a healthy relationship. So, whenever possible, consider the points above and use them to resolve your disagreements more quickly.
See Also: 7 Ways to Make Your Angry Wife Happy
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Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.