How to Stop Arguing with a Spouse

Arguments in a marriage are a constant source of strain and emotional turmoil. Preventing arguments requires some personal analysis, tolerance, and communication. However, it is achievable. Then, work can begin on repairing past damage.


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    Look at yourself. We have all heard the old saying "It takes two to fight". Well it is true, while your spouse may have some fault elements and argumentative personality traits these can only go so far if you don't contribute to the argument. Look at your own behaviour in each argument and try to identify at what points you had the option of ending the argument but due to your emotions either added or prolonged the argument. Identifying these behaviours of your own will make it easier in the future to identify them and to commence work on stopping them from occurring.
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    Look at the issues. Determine if you can figure out the cause. Some of them might be:
    • Unmet core needs. A lot of arguments when rationally looked at can be deduced that one party in the relationship is not having a core need met or is in fear of a need. An example is an argument of a spouse's communications with a co-worker of the opposite sex being too flirty or too excessive. While on the service this looks like an argument of fidelity and trust this argument is being driven by a fear of rejection and abandonment. Recognizing these core needs can help you look at a situation more objectively.
    • Communication. This is probably the most important step but not one that can occur until some deep reflection is done to yourself and your own behaviour. Talk to your spouse about the arguments of the past and try to work out a constructive way to better resolve future issues. Talk to your spouse about your fears and insecurities in your marriage. It is possible they don't know or don't see things the way you do. Having an open, mature and constructive conversation about your relationship will form the foundations for successfully resolving future issues.
    • Time Out. As much as everyone wants to no-one can avoid contentious issues in a marriage forever and live in a perfect castle with our happy ever afters. When an issue comes up that an argument would normally or in the past has come up. Walk away from the situation and take some time out. This will help you reframe your emotions and thoughts and allow some breathing space to calm down for both of you.
    • Fair Fighting. When the time comes to have a discussion after your time out and about a contentious issue speak with your partner respectfully. Do not call each other derogatory names or bring up past failures. These do little constructive work to an argument and just ensure that your spouse is hurt or angry when you're trying to resolve an issue. Stick to the issue at hand and talk out your feelings using "I" statements. Don't blame your spouse "You do this all the time" "This is your fault". Reframe your thoughts and speak about yourself "I feel hurt that you have done this" "I feel disappointed in your choices about this".
    • Review. When a discussion or even argument is done. Look back at it and look for opportunities you could have done better or could have stopped the fighting sooner. Most people when an argument is done want to distance themselves from the memory of it as quickly as possible because it is uncomfortable. Taking the time to be uncomfortable for a short period of time will be extremely useful in limiting future uncomfortable feelings.


  • Be respectful and loving. Do not keep re-hashing your spouses past. They know their past as much as you do and constantly rubbing their noses in it does little to improve their point of view and ensures they will continue to feel embarrassed or hurt.
  • Look back at your wedding and the first few years of your marriage. Remind yourself why you chose your spouse to marry and what makes them a special person. Having a positive opinion of a spouse makes it difficult to be mean.
  • Never sleep on a fight. Going to sleep when an argument is going on is never constructive and only serves to extend the fight longer. Having an approach that all issues will be resolved before sleep ensures things are dealt with timely and that your marriage bed is a place of love and happiness not bad memories of past fights.


  • If you still need assistance contact a counselling service. Do not let an inability to communicate fester in your marriage and eventually dissolve it. Fight for your love and marriage every day and in every way like you promised your spouse the day you married them.

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Categories: Relationship Issues