Save Your Marriage: Argue Peaceably to Save Your Marriage
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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2007
by Abraham Lee
When two people marry and live together for life, differences will inevitably arise between them. These differences sometimes lead to disagreements and arguments. In almost every marriage, disagreements and arguments are unavoidable. Research has shown that the happiest couples are not those without arguments but those who know how to argue correctly. The correct way to argue is to do so peaceably. It may seem to be a paradox or anomaly. How can you argue peaceably or in peace? I assure you that this is not only possible but it is indispensable for a successful marriage. This is more so when a marriage is in on the rocks. Learning how to argue peaceably is vital in saving such a marriage.
The second step is to allow your partner to speak without interrupting. This is harder than it seems. Most times a heated argument takes place when you or your partner speaks without being sensitive to the other. One form of insensitivity is interjecting while your partner is speaking. The correct thing to do is listen genuinely without preconceived notions or becoming defensive. Do not anticipate what your partner would say and start thinking of a reply. Hear your partner out completely. Cultivate an environment where expressing feelings to one another is a positive experience.
The third thing to do is to know how to speak to one another in an argument. The way NOT to do it is to attack the personhood of the partner. Accusations, rudeness, vulgarity, name calling and personal attacks are the wrong means to argue. Words such as, "You are so stupid, why did I marry you in the first place?" are intensely damaging to the marriage relationship.
The correct way to argue is to restrict the words to the facts (rather than your opinion) and issues about the conflict. Speak about what actually happened, who did what, what was said by whom and when, how you felt when it happened and how your partner's words or actions affected you. Words such as, "I felt foolish when you said those things about me in front of your friends!" are much more acceptable because they do not attack the self-worth of your partner while at the same time they do bring up the issues of conflict.
One strict ground rule for both partners is that physical and verbal abuse will not be allowed. Yelling, screaming, door slamming, throwing things and losing your temper should not be tolerated. If your partner misunderstands what you said, do not get angry, just explain again. If things get too hot, take a break and walk away to cool down.
There must always be willingness to apologize and seek forgiveness when necessary. The saying 'Love means never having to say you're sorry' is utter rubbish. The opposite is what is true. If you truly love someone, you will be quick to apologize. Do not wait for your partner to apologize first before doing so yourself. Even if it is your partner's fault, you should take the initiative to make amends.
In every argument, both partners must unconditionally love one another no matter what is said or done. Only in such an environment will both of you feel free to bring up all your grievances to one another. These grievances can then be resolved amicably. Remember that you are trying to resolve conflicts, not win arguments. This goes a long way in saving your marriage from failure.
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