Even the best marriages have moments in which spouses disagree. In most cases, communication and negotiation can help both parties involved get past the fight. In some instances however, it may be difficult for you to move past what your spouse has said during an argument or an apparent lack of resolution of a problem. This can create an impasse that can cause additional arguing or an emotional and possibly physical, disconnection from each other. Fortunately, if both you and your husband are willing to work, you can move past the hurt caused during a bad fight.
Make a heartfelt apology to your spouse after the arguing has ended. Apologizing isn't simply saying, "I'm sorry," to your spouse, according to UMass Amherst Family Business Center. Instead, it's a starting point that allows you to communicate regret, your role in the problem and a willingness to work toward a resolution. Don't offer an apology without first thinking it through and when giving it, stick to the facts. Don't blame or make accusations. Your spouse may or may not also apologize but don't make that the goal or expectation for your apology.
Make amends with your spouse. Making amends, in contrast to making an apology, focuses on making things "right" again. Although this approach is often associated with addiction and recovery, it can also be effective after an intense argument with your husband. Making amends doesn't mean you have to make things right immediately or ever. Instead, making amends can involve doing something that helps you atone for what you have done that you both have agreed is wrong. Making amends can also be a clean slate for both of you, with an end to the ongoing arguing that can often follow a fight.
Take steps to move forward in a different way with your husband. Smaller-scale spats often precede frequent or heated arguing. Without resolution or change, you both can get frustrated, which can make the arguing more intense each time. When both of you have cooled down, consider going over characteristics of healthy marriages with your husband. Identify characteristics where one or both of you could use a little change and agree to making an effort to do so. Don't try to change everything at once, because you and your husband will only become more frustrated. Shared interests, shared philosophies, mutual respect and interdependence characterize healthy marriages.
Decide whether you have to be right. If a fight with your husband has to have a winner, no one will actually win. Instead of intending to win or resolving to lose an argument, consider negotiating to make both of you as happy with the outcome as possible. Winning may feel good initially, but it can also create a significant amount of resentment in the person who perceives that they have lost. Fighting fairly, explains the University of Texas, requires stating facts, identifying your goals for the discussion and not taking verbal "low blows" at your husband. The feeling that you have won an argument is short-lived and can lead to a comparatively short-lived marriage.
- Midlife in the United States: Psychosocial Moderators of Emotional Reactivity to Marital Arguments: Results from a Daily Diary Study
- Edmonds Community College: Conflict Resolution Skills
- UMass Amherst: How To Give A Meaningful Apology
- Hazelden: Making Amends is More Than an Apology
- Alcoholics Victorious: Restoration Through Making Amends
- University of Maryland: Qualities of a Healthy Marriage
- University of Texas at Austin: Fighting Fair to Resolve Conflict
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