How To Fight Fair In Marriage
On a recent episode of the podcast I co-host, Mommy Group we discussed communication in marriage and I shared the following tips for fighting fair and how to stay connected while fighting. I hope they help you learn how to resolve disagreements quicker and easier in marriage so you can makeup (and makeout) already! Also, if you haven’t read the Five Love Languages or taken their quiz, do this right now with your spouse.
Sometimes everyone just needs to take a time out. This means that sometimes you need to physically separate and give each other some breathing room to cool off, reflect and formulate some thoughts before talking. Taking a time out helps to discourage yelling and saying things you don’t really mean. Figure out what a time out means for each of you. Sometimes it might only need to be an hour but other times someone needs a little longer. Discuss this together so you each know what the other needs.
GIVE EACH OTHER YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION
This means you’re not talking while your children are in the room. Your cell phones are not in your hand. The TV is off and there are no other distractions that are preventing you from focusing on your conversation. You can’t do the dishes or fold laundry while you’re talking or trying to resolve a conflict. Eye contact is huge too so you should be looking at each other when you’re talking.
When you’re trying to resolve conflict or working through an argument, body language is everything! Your body should be facing your significant other. Knee to knee is even better! Touching is best. Hold hands. Hug. It’s so powerful when you are physically also giving your significant other physical attention.
WRITE OUT HOW YOU FEEL BEFORE YOU SAY IT
Jot down how you feel. Write out what you want to say or how it felt/bothered you. Read this to your significant other or write them a letter for them to read in private. This will help each of you see the other person’s point of view and it might be easier to understand each other’s perspective.
SCHEDULE REGULAR CHECK INS WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Weekly family meetings are huge for the family unit but scheduling regular check ins with your spouse are even more important so you can discuss any feelings you have, things that have come up, unresolved feelings or arguments, etc. This is key for preventing those big blow outs and unnecessary arguments.
SET EXPECTATIONS IN THE HOME
Set out roles and responsibilities in the home. For example, go over who is in charge of all the household business. Delegate who does the grocery shopping, who does the dishes, who gives the children a bath, who makes sure the bills get paid on time, etc. If you cook, is your spouse in charge of the dishes? Do you do both but they handle a ton of other things. You have to figure out what works for your home and your family. Write it down and figure out what works best for your family. As soon as everyone knows their role, then there is a clear expectation of what each person is responsible for.
SIGN UP FOR MARRIAGE COUNSELING/MARRIAGE RETREAT
Put your marriage first and schedule a yearly marriage retreat (either a one or two day program or even a weekend retreat) or see a marriage counselor every quarter so you can set time aside for each other with a professional that can help guide you and facilitate a healthy discussion. There are also a lot of resources online including marriage worksheets, communication activities, etc.
HEART TO HEART EXERCISE TO STAY CONNECTED
Sit together facing each other and put your right hand on each other’s heart and then hold hands with the other. Look into each other’s eyes without talking in complete silence for 5 minutes.
I’d love to hear any of your tips for fighting fair or staying connected. Let me know below or DM me on instagram. xo, Brandi