How to Communicate Properly When Fighting With a Spouse

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During a fight, it is sometimes difficult for spouses to communicate properly. This can lead to stress, hamper successful resolution of arguments and create bad feelings between spouses. While it's normal for married couples to argue, and conflict can be constructive, poor communication skills can damage the relationship and prevent you and your spouse from coming through an argument without anger and resentment. Learning to communicate properly can help a couple with problem-solving and conflict resolution.


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Communication is about more than talking. Engaging in active listening can help you understand what your spouse is trying to say and shows that you are paying attention. Skills that can help you and your spouse communicate during a fight include nodding in acknowledgment, asking questions for clarification and providing feedback on what is said. Practicing active listening during conflict can also help prevent misunderstandings and encourages your spouse to also engage in healthy communication styles.

Encourage Discussion

It is important for a couple to be able to engage in open discussions about all topics. particularly when the topic could potentially lead to conflict. Feeling comfortable discussing sensitive subjects enables you and your spouse to communicate without having to worry that a disagreement will lead to long-term marital problems. Also, there is a better chance of finding a quick solution to a problem when you are able to talk calmly with your spouse.

Use I Statements

When communicating with your spouse, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. This helps create an environment that is non-confrontational. It also shows that you are not trying to blame your spouse for the fight. According to Eboni Baugh, assistant professor for the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Services at the University of Florida, taking responsibility for your feelings by framing your discussion in using I statements allows you to discuss what's troubling you without your spouse feeling as if you are personally attacking him or her.

What to Avoid

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It is important to avoid losing your temper when fighting with your spouse. Showing extreme anger can instigate physical violence and prevent the resolution of conflict. You should also try to make sure that your non-verbal expressions do not seem angry or confrontational. This includes tone of voice, facial expressions and body position. Never speak or act without thinking of how words or behaviors will affect your spouse. This will help you avoid causing unnecessary stress or hurt.