Arguments are inevitable in marriage.The factor destructive to marriage is not the fighting itself but the inability to communicate appropriately, set boundaries and work to compromise and resolve problems. However, chronic arguing that includes communication breakdown spells trouble. Dr. Gail Saltz, New York-based psychiatrist and regular "Today" contributor, recommends finding a way to finish disputes in a constructive manner.
Many times, in the heat of an argument, a spouse will storm out of the room in a huff and return later in silence. The problem with this method is that you have failed to resolve the problem, and the next time the issue arises, the cycle generally repeats itself. Saltz recommends finding an alternative when one of you feels like walking out of the room, such as stopping the argument immediately and agreeing to come back and discuss the issue in a set amount of time. This prevents emotional overload and gives both of you time to think rationally before attempting to converse again.
It's not about who's right or wrong; it's about learning to speak up and letting your spouse know what you need from him, according to the "Woman's Day" article "9 Fights to Have with Your Husband." You increase your chances of being heard when you speak in a calm, assertive tone and stick to the facts and the subject at hand. Your spouse may have been completely unaware of what you really wanted during the shouting matches, and you will likely find him to be accommodating once he understands what pleases you. For example, rather than saying "You never help me here. I do everything myself," say "I'm struggling to get all of the household chores done on my own and I'm exhausted. Can you take over the dishes and carpooling three nights a week?" You have stated your feelings, your thoughts and a solution to the problem.
All Is Calm
With a repetitive argument, neither one of you will emerge the winner; instead, the fighting will continue until one of you backs down, according to the article "Marriage Advice: Stop Having the Same Fight," published by "Good Housekeeping." Instead of speaking in anger or frustration, ask your spouse why she folds the laundry on the couch in the den and waits until the next evening to put it away. You may be surprised at her answer, which will likely not be because she wishes to infuriate you. While you are both calm, come up with solutions. Perhaps, you can help her put the laundry away right away or take over the chore yourself.
You may come to realize that the two of you are unable to sit down and have a calm, rational conversation to find solutions to your problems. There may be too much anger and resentment from past arguments or unresolved issues. Professional help may be needed to teach you and your spouse how to communicate effectively with each other and come to terms with any underlying issues that play out in your constant arguing.
Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.