If you need to speak to an experienced counsellor during this time of unprecedented stress and pressure on family life contact:
Is it ok to have Arguments ?
It is quite normal for couples to have arguments. Couples have different views on many issues in the course of their lives together. Couples and individuals coming to ACCORD rate communication difficulties, such as not listening, ignoring, criticising and insulting, as significant problems in their Marriages and Relationships.
It is unlikely that any couple will always have a similar view on issues arising for them. Having arguments does not mean that your Marriage or Relationship is in trouble. Indeed couples who do not argue do not necessarily have better quality Marriages and Relationships than those who do argue.
The most important thing to remember about arguments is that there are constructive and destructive ways to conduct arguments.
It is not the number of arguments that couples have that can impact negatively on their Marriage/Relationship but rather the way they conduct their arguments can affect their relationship in a positive or negative way. Arguing in destructive ways over time will most definitely have a negative effect on the quality of any couple’s Marriage/Relationship.
How to Manage Arguments
- Pick an appropriate time to argue if possible. When you need to talk to your husband/wife about an issue on which you disagree pick a time that is suitable for both of you. You might even flag with your husband/wife that you want to discuss a particular issue and need to agree a time that suits both of you.
- Listen to your husband’s/ wife’s view and give it due consideration
- Be open to hearing an opposing view to your own
- Always be respectful and measured in your language, body language and gestures when arguing.
- Stay with the specific issue at hand
- Monitor yourself in terms of your levels of anger and frustration
- Take agreed time out from the argument if tempers are rising. Park the argument and take some time to cool down.
- Come back to the argument at a more convenient time for both of you
- Always be prepared to compromise
- Be prepared to agree to disagree
- Always be prepared to apologise if you feel you were in the wrong or behaved inappropriately
- Always be open to accepting a sincere apology from your husband/wife
- Be good models for your children when you are arguing. They will in turn be able to have constructive arguments
- Don’t raise a contentious/difficult issue when your husband/wife does not have the time to listen
- Don’t dismiss , ridicule or shout down your husband’s/wife’s opinion before you have listened carefully and had a chance to think about it.
- Don’t use bad language, insults , disrespectful facial expressions, body language or gestures in the course of an argument. This will not help to resolve the argument and will certainly not enhance your Marriage/Relationship.
- Don’t continue arguing when you very angry, frustrated or worked up.
- Don’t always try to be right
- Don’t always try to win an argument
- Don’t introduce other issues or previous contentious issues into arguments. This will only make it less likely the argument will be resolved.
- Don’t draw other family members into your arguments. This can leave children and relatives in very difficult positions
- Don’t give your husband/wife the silent treatment or punish them in any way when an argument has not been resolved.
- Don’t spend the time out from an argument planning how to win it when you discuss the issue again
- Don’t leave arguments to fester always come to some conclusion, compromise, agree to disagree or revisit the issue at a later date
- Don’t argue when one or both of you have consumed alcohol
- Don’t give bad example to your children when you are arguing. You don’t want to show them how to argue in destructive ways.