Is there a way to turn arguments with your spouse around? Absolutely! With the right approach, you can dissolve recurring fights and build a loving, respectful marriage.
Here’s how to communicate with your partner without fighting:
- Establish a talking culture
- Face the issue before it builds up
- Active listening that’s not defensive
- Map out how fights keep arising
- Take a break
These five essential steps help you and your partner to create a marriage where you don’t fight. Even if you’ve tried everything, applying what we cover in this article can make an enormous difference.
Imagine having pleasant, fulfilling conversations with your husband or wife. Imagine feeling respected, loved and cherished when you talk to one another.
That’s all possible for you. We’ll be breaking down all five steps so you have practical takeaways to apply today. Sounds like what you need? Let’s get into the first step to communicating with your partner without fighting.
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Establish a Talking Culture
Many relationships fall into the trap of simply rehashing old ways of communicating:
- How was your day?
- How’s work?
- What did you do today?
- What do you want for dinner?
- Have you paid the bills yet?
- What should we do for the weekend?
Those are questions that only address superficial topics. The answer to some of those questions will be similar each day. It’ll get boring because you don’t actually get to really talk about each other, the relationship, and whether both of you are happy.
We created an entire article addressing how you can talk to your partner about your marriage. It’s essential that you start nurturing the relationship. When both people are happy you’re less likely to fight.
Without this kind of talking culture, communication can be difficult and riddled with misunderstandings.
Face The Issue Before It Builds Up
Before Jachym and I transformed our relationship, we had a tough time dealing with any problems that came up. I had so little self-awareness that weeks would pass by before I realized how upset I was. How come?
I was under the impression that passive aggressive, little digs here and there and other dysfunctional behavior was simply a part of relationships. So I swept my feelings away and pretended like it was all ‘normal’. Oftentimes issues would pile up unnoticed until one day we couldn’t take it anymore and it’d all explode in our face.
By that point, there’s so much pent up emotions that it’s impossible to reel it all in. The damage is done. We’re stuck in an argument where you bring countless accusations and evidence from the past against your partner.
Like us, if you don’t address issues as they come up, they can build up until you can’t handle it anymore. Then it becomes inevitable: you blow up.
No relationship should get to that point. After all, we’re not willingly trying to hurt our spouse. We’re simply lost as to how to deal with it all.
It’s like weeding a garden: If you wait until the weed has become a bush, you’ll spend a lot of energy taking it out. If you regularly clean it up, you’re going to have a beautiful garden.
This regular ‘weeding’ might sound like a lot of work. But think of it this way: when there’s more compassion in the relationship, both for yourself and your partner, then there’ll be less fights.
The truth is, that it isn’t about your spouse.
It’s about you.
You want to have good feelings and avoid negative ones. Which is very natural as a human being. You believe that your husband is responsible for the negative feelings so you want him to change.
But people don’t communicate their feelings. Rather, they say: ‘You always do this. Why don’t you care about me?’
That’s ineffective and often creates the opposite result of what you want. Speaking this way will more likely drive your husband away and make him defensive.
To not have this effect, you first have to change the focus towards you.
When we ignore behavior that we actually aren’t okay with, we’re disregarding ourselves. We’re disrespecting ourselves.
How you feel is valid. Your feelings are here to actually help you build a beautiful loving marriage. So open up the discussion and speak up honestly to one another. This will change the dynamic of your relationship completely. It’s the start of a sturdy marriage foundation that can face life’s many challenges.
So put those fears aside and face the issues before it builds up and gets unmanageable. Now that you have a more compassionate attitude towards yourself and your spouse, here’s the next step to bring more peace and love into your relationship.
Active Listening That’s Not Defensive
‘Well, you’re no better. You forgot to take out the garbage!’ Jamie exclaimed angrily.
They stood across one another and their faces couldn’t be further from love. Jamie found himself fighting with Joana again. She just told him how she’d appreciate it if the dishes would be done sooner so she can cook without having to clean up first.
But Jamie couldn’t hold his emotions in. He felt blame and worthlessness. The only defence seemed to fire back and blow up at Joana.
This is a classic example of defensive communication. You can find out here how to deal with a spouse that keeps being defensive.
Joana made a reasonable request but Jamie didn’t hear that request. Instead he felt attacked. The more you can stay present with your partner and address what’s being said, the less you’ll be fighting.
Joana: I’d appreciate it if you could do the dishes earlier so I can cook without having to clean up.
Jamie: What I hear you say is that you’d like me to do the dishes earlier so you can cook without cleaning. Is that right?
Jamie: Ok. I don’t know why but I actually feel attacked by your statement. I feel like you think I’m not doing anything around the house.
Joana: I didn’t mean to imply that. It’s simply not possible for me to do the dishes and cook and have dinner finished on time.
In this scenario, Jamie has enough self-awareness to discern between what his wife said and what he felt she said. He checks in with her, and also informs her what he thought she said.
You can cultivate this kind of communication in your relationship to ensure that there are less misunderstandings.
Now that we’ve covered some basic principles that’ll help with your relationship, let’s address why fights keep persisting in your marriage.
The clearer you are on the patterns you and your partner play out, the better you can address them. To gain clarity on how you keep fighting, ask yourself the following questions:
- In which areas in our relationship do we keep fighting?
- What are the steps that occur before the fight starts?
- What do I feel before we fight?
Let’s apply these 3 questions to Silvia and Mark. It’d make your own reflection that much easier.
Silvia had a clear idea of how things should be done in the house. Mark didn’t follow those steps. Because he didn’t do what she thought was right, she stepped in and started telling him what to do and when to do it. This always caused them to fight.
Area of fighting:
What happens before:
Silvia tells Mark what to do. She then goes in and corrects him because he does it wrong. He starts talking back at her and the conversation gets more and more heated.
What I feel:
Silvia feels annoyed and frustrated that she has to keep telling Mark what to do.
Mark feels like he can’t do anything by himself without being bossed around. He gets annoyed and angry when Silvia steps in.
Now that you understand how it’s playing out, address it. You can only do that, by talking to each other without interrupting. If you have a lot of drama happening in your relationship, check out this article here to identify what makes your marriage so emotional and hard. No matter the case, these three reflective questions are gold and can stop an old repetitive fight or partner from repeating.
We have a bonus tip for this step. It makes mapping out how fights persist even more effective for your relationship. Think empathy, understanding and compassion. Can you guess what it is?
Hear Each Other’s Views
The more you can understand your partner’s view, the more you’ll understand their reaction.– Jachym Jerie
Let’s go back to Silvia and Mark.
Silvia: I really value a clean orderly house where I don’t have to look for things. I like when things are done efficiently and quickly. It drives me crazy when chores take longer than necessary. I don’t like spending so much time doing housework, I have other things that are more important to me.
Mark: I want freedom to be myself. I’m constantly thinking if I’m doing things the way you want them to be done. It’s really hard for me because I don’t want you to be angry. I just can’t do things the way you want me to do them. When you come in and correct me, I feel like an employee who’s being told off again. I want to make sure that you’re happy with the household but I can’t do what you do.
This conversation is far from over. However, they’ve made an important step to just listen to each other. Each perspective is valid and important. They’re not sharing to attack each other, they’re sharing to find a solution as a team.
Once you’ve heard each other out, you can see what solutions you can come up together.
When you hear your wife or husband’s point of view, you still may get riled up. That’s when the next point is vital and relationship-saving.
Take a Break
It’s hard to hear what the other person’s saying when you’re all fired up and ready to fight. When emotions run high, you’re not going to hear what your partner wants to communicate. Your brain literally starts shutting down.
Here’s how you can prevent that from happening.
Listen to Your Emotions
Learn to feel yourself so you know what state you’re in. It’ll help you regulate yourself and the conversation.
To make it clearer, think of a color code.
You’re peaceful and relaxed. The world is all good.
You’re tense and starting to get stressed out. You feel annoyed and some frustration bubbles up.
You’re ready to pounce on your partner. They’ve insulted you and you’re ready to give it back to them. You feel very irritated, angry, and defensive.
To create your own color code, think of yourself and the situations you’ve lost control. What’s happening before you lose control? How does it escalate in terms of your feeling state?
The clearer you are on your emotions and when you’re in danger of lashing out, the better you can navigate conflict.– Jachym Jerie
Once you know your emotional scale, take a break before you hit red. Just ask your partner to take a 20 minute break before you discuss the issue again. It’ll give you ample time to calm down and gather your thoughts.
This is how you can communicate with your husband or wife without fighting. These five tips can make a great difference in your relationship if you apply them with care. Make sure to check out the other resources we linked throughout this article. It’ll help you become even clearer on how you can communicate with your partner.
We’re with you, it’s never easy to be in opposition with your spouse. Your fears aren’t crazy: ongoing fights and dysfunctional communication can break marriages apart. But your relationship isn’t doomed. That’s the scenario if you don’t do anything about the situation.
You have a choice. Your fights don’t have to tear you two apart.
We’ve seen couples completely transform their relationship through commitment and the right approach. As long as you take the necessary steps and open up to the change, you don’t have to be stuck in this hurtful dynamic.
Want to bring your marriage back to more love, respect and connection? Here’s what you can make a difference right now. Carve out some time today to implement the first step to communicate with your partner without fighting: establish a talking culture.
After that, you can integrate one of the five essential steps per week afterwards:
- Face the issue before it builds up
- Active listening that’s not defensive
- Map out how fights keep arising
- Take a break
This journey doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time and come back to this guide whenever you need a refresher. We’re here to make a lasting change in your life. Things can get better and you have the blueprint right before you.
If stopping the arguments in your marriage is your top priority right now then make sure to get the essential guide to stop arguments below. It breaks down why recurring fights persist and what you can do about it. So get your hands on the essential guide and create the relationship that you love today.
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This 25-page FREE resource helps you to break the argument cycle. Stop fighting and have more connection and trust in your marriage again.