When you first start to discuss the possibility of marriage with your partner, you are likely filled with all kinds of hopes and dreams for a romantic future surrounded in love. While it would be great to think that marriage is nothing but smooth sailing and happy days, the fact is that there will be times that you and your partner will have disagreements and not see eye to eye.
So what happens when you are still in that newlywed stage, the stage that is supposed to about bliss and romance, and you suddenly find yourselves in a fight? How can you get through this first marital fight, learn from the experience, and hopefully come out as a stronger couple?
Here are a number of tips you can use, not just for that first fight but for any disagreement that arises:
Try Communicating Without Attacking
As you feel your temper start to boil and you realize you’re about to blow up, it’s time to stop and cool down. No-one responds well to being yelled at or feeling as though they are attacked. Avoiding a fight in the first place could be the best advice there is.
Try to explain how you feel, what is frustrating you, and allow your partner to also be included in the conversation. It shouldn’t be about pointing fingers and pulling out a list of grievances, rather it should be more of a constructive conversation where both parties are calm and clear-minded.
Don’t Make More of the Argument than it Needs to Be
Sure it’s never fun to argue, and that first real fight can be a doozy. Here’s the thing, it’s important not to make too much of it. Yes, take the issues seriously and work on finding a solution, but there is no need to read into things too deeply and cause more drama.
One fight doesn’t mean you aren’t right for each other and the marriage is doomed to fail. What it does mean is that you’ve got an opportunity to practice your communication skills with each other.
Don’t Get Set on “Being Right”
Going into an argument feeling that you’re right and there is no other possible answer will definitely lead to disappointment. It’s important to keep an open mind and listen to what your partner has to say. “Being right” shouldn’t be on your list of priorities. It’s not a competition, so there are no winners or losers.
Don’t Resort to Cheap Shots
It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to resort to cheap shots or digging up the past. Again, this isn’t the best way to approach an argument unless you want the same treatment back. Both people will end up being on the defense, which means nothing is going to be solved.
Make Sure You Have Your Discussions in Person
Another tip is to not engage in fighting over the phone, text message, email, social media, etc. These types of conversations need to be had in person and in private. Things can be taken the wrong way if you’re not speaking face-to-face, which can only add to the fight.
If something is starting to brew over the phone or by messaging, it’s best to tell your partner that the two of you need to drop it for now, and then revisit the conversation later on in person.
Never Give an Ultimatum or Give Into Them
Ultimatums are never a good plan, whether you’re the one dishing them out or you’re on the receiving end. They never lead to anything good so it’s best to keep them off the table. Ultimatums cause people to feel threatened and then act in ways they may not normally act.
Go Ahead and Be the First to Apologize
There is nothing wrong with being the first to apologize. Being the first to say “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean you’re giving in or changed your mind, what it means is that you are ready to put the anger aside and start having a conversation from neutral territory. If you’re looking for a way to diffuse an intense situation, step away, give it a few moments and then go ahead and apologize.
As for what you should be apologizing for, it is your part in what went wrong. It’s important you take 100% responsibility for your actions in the argument. This doesn’t mean you’re owning the whole argument, you’re just owning your part in it.
Learn How to Drop it and Move On
Once you’ve followed all these steps and apologies have been made, it’s time to drop it and move on. This means there is no bringing it up a couple of days, weeks, or months down the road. The conversation is over and it’s time to move on with a clean slate.