Every relationship has its ups and downs, conflicts and make-ups, fights and forgiveness. It’s all part and parcel of life. But fighting in a marriage can’t be justified with callousness and insensitivity toward your spouse’s feelings. Most couples are bound to disagree and have arguments throughout their marriage, but did you know you could have a quarrel while being compassionate and respectful toward one another?
It’s all about how you fight. Screaming, name-calling, giving ultimatums about ending the relationship, and hurling abuses at each other are all classic examples of toxicity which one should run away from. You could be fighting over money in a marriage or it could be something silly and unimportant, but there are many rules of fighting in a marriage which will prevent you from permanently denting the foundations of your relationship.
Is It Normal For Married Couples To Fight?
One research, according to The Guardian, surveyed nearly 1,000 adults and discovered that couples who said they argue were 10 times more likely to be happy together than those who tiptoed around their problems and shunned conflict. However, it is important to note that not all arguments are normal and healthy. Arguments in relationships can be healthy when done in the right way and fighting in a marriage is inevitable. You may even fight every day in a marriage and still keep the love intact.
You could fight about the expenses or about where to go on a holiday together. You will say things to hurt your partner. You will walk away in anger. You will slam the door. You will fight over shared responsibilities in a marriage and make personal remarks against each other. You might even give them the silent treatment. But are all these healthy and justified ways of fighting in a marriage? No.
It’s a given that the two of you will squabble about things that you never thought you would have a disagreement about. It doesn’t matter how madly you love each other. At the end of the day, the two of you are different people who have different minds, ideologies, and opinions which are certain to cause friction more often than you think.
Fighting in a marriage is perfectly normal when done attentively and keeping in mind that the other partner involved in this relationship is someone you wouldn’t want to hurt intentionally or unintentionally. Our emotions go berserk when we are angry. It’s always important to keep these in mind:
- Take a breath before you blurt out any statement which you might regret later
- There are many hurtful things you should never say or your partner should never say to you
- You can never physically hurt one another during a fight
- If that’s the case with you, then you need to take action right away because physical abuse is illegal
- Not just that, even threatening to injure or cause harm is unlawful
- Schedule time together to vent your feelings out in a healthy way instead of yelling at each other
No two people can process thoughts and ideas the same way. We all have unique identities, thought patterns, and different trigger points. What triggers you might not trigger your significant other and vice-versa. If you and your partner feel like you are fighting every day in a marriage, it can lead to stress-related disorders down the lane. That’s why we are here with tips for fair fighting so you can argue in a healthier way.
Fighting In A Marriage – 10 Tips To Do It Right
Marriage is a forever type of commitment, and a conflict is an opportunity to learn better about the person you have agreed to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t be afraid of conflicts. It’s a chance for your relationship to grow despite the recurring differences in your thoughts and feelings. If you are asking if fighting fair in a marriage is possible, the answer is yes. Below are some of the tips on fighting in a marriage after having a baby or right after slipping from the honeymoon phase:
Related Reading: How To Save A Relationship?
1. Don’t act out of anger
This is the first point that I want to address as a newly married woman. It was all good during the honeymoon period. But once the honeymoon phase began to grow faint, the differences started to emerge. The clashes were quite silly and happened due to trivial things in the beginning. Differences related to movie choices or where and what to eat for dinner. Then followed the bigger issues where neither the fights nor the reasons for them were small.
I couldn’t understand if it was just us who were fighting in a marriage and struggling to understand each other or was it all the married couples in the world. I slowly realized it’s the latter, and that even my partner has a mind and will of his own, and that acting out of anger is damaging our relationship.
Anger can’t be categorized as a right or wrong emotion. But what can be judged as right or wrong is in the way one chooses to express that emotion. The first rule of fighting in a marriage, or in life in general, is knowing how to control your anger and not act out of it. Once you know how to manage and express your anger, the rest of the argument will fall back to an amicable pace that will be helpful for the marriage in the long run.
When asked on Reddit how to fight fair in a marriage, a user replied, “My husband and I are similar in that neither of us raise our voices much at all. No name calling. Our arguments/disagreements/differences tend to lead to a better understanding of each other’s feelings or way of thinking. Very occasionally we have to go for walks in different directions, get away from each other for a bit. Just to calm down and come back and be rational and nice. Our strong feelings end up with cuddles and compromises.”
2. Listen empathetically
Empathy is very essential in every relationship. Relationships don’t usually survive for long with a lack of empathy. Listen without interrupting your partner and try to understand where they are coming from. Stand in their shoes and look at everything from their perspective. Hold eye contact and assure them that they are being heard. Once your partner is finished talking, keep your side of the story on the table.
A conflict cannot be resolved unless and until both of you address each other’s concerns and worries. Grant equal time for one another’s feelings and listen with empathy and compassion. By doing this, you can learn new information about your partner and have a better understanding of how their mind and heart work.
Related Reading: 8 Expert Tips To Navigate A Rough Patch In A Relationship
3. Rules of fighting in a marriage – Don’t be mean and don’t give ultimatums
When your partner doesn’t fight fair, there there are chances of them being mean to you or you being mean to them. One of the major things to avoid here is name-calling and mocking the other person. Stop criticizing them. Always fight respectfully with your spouse. Attacking the person, and not the issue, won’t end your fight. It will aggravate the problem and anger your partner even more. These are tough times and you have to go through this together. Name-calling will only worsen the situation.
A friend recently said, “My husband and I fight all the time. Every time we fight, I want to leave the house immediately. We never thought we’d be fighting over money in a marriage. It’s the same fight everyday and he even threatens to leave me.” That’s an example of how to fight wrongly. Threatening to leave will cause anxiety in one partner or both the partners. Also, one of the meanest things you can do to your marriage is by comparing it to another. Each relationship has its own growth, individuality, and significance. You can’t compare one relationship with another.
Look for strategies to stop fighting in a marriage. Don’t involve your children in the fights either. Don’t ask them to take sides. It will greatly impact their mental health. That’s the biggest rule of fighting fair in a marriage.
4. Don’t downplay the issue
One of the tips of fighting in a marriage is by addressing the issues respectfully instead of ignoring them. This is one of the relationship challenges everyone faces. When your partner is pouring their heart out and stating an issue honestly which rubbed them the wrong way, don’t downplay it by shrugging it off. It just looks like you don’t care about their feelings, which is wrong on so many levels. It will make you the villain even if you didn’t do anything wrong to upset your spouse.
To believe and understand one partner’s point and feelings, the other needs to validate the issue first by accepting that there is a problem which needs fixing. Let your partner know that you are there for them, and that they are being understood. There is no greater satisfaction and relief than that of being understood by the love of your life.
5. Have cooling-off periods
Anger management in relationships is very important. If you feel either of you won’t be able to control your anger, then establish a cooling-off period where you can pause and take a deep breath. It’s like the pause button which Lily and Marshall use in How I Met Your Mother. A cooling-off period is necessary to not lose sight of what’s important and what will remain after the fight is over — the relationship. You and your partner are in a bad mood and it’s best to take a moment to calm yourselves down.
When we fight with someone we love, we often forget that they are our person. They are on our side. We make fights more important than relationships. Pause and reflect for a while before you say something hurtful to the person you love and who loves you. You are a team. Always remember that you are not fighting each other. You are fighting a problem together.
A Reddit user shares their grandfather’s way of fighting fair in a marriage, “This is it right here. My grandfather was fond of this saying: “Go cool down in the same skin you heated in.” It’s the perfect system for marital debates. If you are even beginning to feel exasperated or short tempered, WALK AWAY. Few things in life do or die in the moment of an argument. Far better to walk away, not say anything hurtful (to score points, etc.), and to approach it later with a cooler head.”
6. Tips on fighting in a marriage – Stay on one topic
This is one of the things I mistook for harmless mistakes in a relationship, and one which I am guilty of doing. I used to wonder why my husband argues with everything I say. And then I realized that I bring up past issues while addressing the issue at hand. That’s the answer I found to why my husband and I fight all the time. I was never capable of sticking to the same topic with which the fight started. We kept fighting all the time over different issues. Little things like these will help you fight healthy in your marriage.
We would start on one issue, then the argument would veer off into multiple topics which were resolved weeks ago. Likewise, don’t bring up past mistakes just to prove you are right. This is one of the most common relationships problems as humans are known to bring down other people just to prove their righteousness. Solve one issue and then move on to another. You can’t dump all the problems in one shot and expect your partner to resolve them all in one go.
7. Don’t stonewall your partner
Stonewalling is a toxic habit most people have in order to maintain control and self-sufficiency. If you withdraw from listening to what your partner has to say and refuse to give them a response, that’s called stonewalling or the silent treatment. You being unresponsive to your partner’s concerns won’t lessen the problems. We get it, you are in a bad mood, but that doesn’t mean you will give your partner the silent treatment.
No relationship is immune to issues. But don’t walk away from them or avoid them just because it makes you uncomfortable. Stonewalling will only hinder your relationship’s growth and dampen the love. It is known as the relationship killer and it will eventually lead to contempt and a separation. To make your relationship healthy and strong, you need to face the problem together.
Related Reading: 8 Ways To Reconnect After A Big Fight
8. Choose words carefully
When couples fight constantly, most of the people resort to statements like “you did this” and “you did that.” Such phrases put all the blame on one person even though it always takes two to tango. Saying hurtful things affects the relationship. You can’t expect your partner to shoulder all the blame and accountability when you have also been in the wrong. Instead of making the entire argument a bizarre blame game, use healthy statements like “I feel” or “I think.” You must frame your sentences in a clever way where the conversation begins with healthy sentences.
Similarly, another way of fighting fair in a marriage is by avoiding hyperbolic and generalized statements like “you always do that” or “you never listen to me” or “this is what you do every time.” Focus on what’s happening at the moment rather than being ambiguous. Exaggerating a situation will not help you in fighting fair in a marriage.
9. Don’t target their weaknesses
We all have weaknesses and to use those weaknesses against the person we love in an argument is no less than being brutal and vicious. In unconditional love, they trust you by sharing their vulnerabilities. If you want the answer to the ‘why my husband and I fight all the time’ problem, then maybe you are hitting below the belt. Saying something personal which isn’t even relevant to the topic at hand is not the right way of fighting in a marriage.
When a person discloses a very personal incident or a deep secret, it’s because they have agreed to being vulnerable with you. They did that because they love you. When you continue to use those weaknesses and sensitive points to hurt your partner in anger, you will only end up losing the faith they have in you.
10. Fight to resolve
When couples fight constantly, they fail to understand that a fight’s purpose isn’t just to show that you are miffed with the other person. A conflict is not the right time to vent everything that’s bothering you as both the parties are at the risk of hurting and getting hurt. Understand, identify, and handle marital conflict in a way that’s effective and solution-oriented.
If you are fighting all the time in a marriage, then you are doing it wrong. Maybe you’re not resolving the fight but venting and screaming at each other in anger. One of the rules of fighting in a marriage is finding out ways to resolve the situation. Sit down after a long day, be calm, and look for ways on how to tackle the problem at hand. Listen to each other’s solutions gently.
If you came here looking for an answer to “why my husband argues with everything I say,” then we hope something resonated with you from the points above. Accept that nobody is perfect. There are many sincere ways to apologize. If you are wrong, then do the right thing by apologizing. If your spouse apologizes to you, forgive and forget. Kiss and make up.
- Fighting is normal in a relationship. It shows that both partners are willing to understand each other better and work through the problems
- Not all fighting is healthy. When you indulge in name-calling and mocking, it becomes unhealthy. You can’t yell and scream at one another either
- If you want to fight fair in marriage, then it’s best to have cooling-off periods when you feel like matters are going to escalate
- Don’t target their weaknesses and don’t ever use their vulnerabilities against them
If you did indulge in any of the toxic ways of fighting, then ensure your partner that it’s the last time you behaved in such a way. Let them know that you are ready to find out how to tackle conflicts in a healthy way. Show them you have changed. All healthy relationships have to face problems and all the couples fight every once in a while. Knowing how to handle them is what will bring the two of you together in times of conflict. Because what you do and how you behave during a fight is as important as how you love each other when there are no problems at all.
This article has been updated in February 2023.
Fighting is healthy in relationships and, on average, couples are known to fight 1 to 3 times every week. One interesting study found that couples argue, on average, seven times per day.
Married couples tend to fight over many things including money, children, value systems, chores, intimacy, and in-laws. If your partner and the marriage is very important to you, then no fight will be too much for either of you. Unless of course the way you fight is toxic and abusive. In that case, it could even lead to the end of your relationship.
As referred to in the first answer, 1-3 times is the normal number of fights in a week. But there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy ways of fighting in a marriage. Once you figure that out, no fight can pull you apart.