Somebody once said there are two types of married couples – those who argue (from time to time) and those who lie and say they don’t.
There was an interesting article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that suggests it’s not if we argue, but how we argue that will determine the overall health of our marriages.
All couples disagree – it’s how they disagree that makes the difference,” reports Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies. ”You can get angry, but it’s important to talk without fighting.”
Within the piece were several practical strategies promising to “turn heated arguments into cool-headed conversations.” I think they’re both helpful and realistic.
Talk about it: The problem won’t go away.
Cool Off: Pick a time to talk (within 24 hours) when you’re less emotionally charged.
Don’t Assume: You might think you know what your spouse is thinking – but be sure to ask!
Flexibility Isn’t Weakness: Don’t be so quick to dig your heels in. It’s OK to change your mind.
Try and See the Other Side: Imagine how your spouse views the subject.
Stay Close: It’s almost always better to talk in close proximity to one another.
Agree to Disagree: There doesn’t have to be a winner and a loser in every discussion.
Choose Your Words Carefully: It’s been said the tongue is the most powerful weapon in the world.
I’m encouraged to realize that Jean and I practice many, if not all of these techniques, on the rare (!) event of a disagreement. But I’d be curious to know how you and your spouse approach conflict resolution?