The way people view arguments often has a lot to do with the way they grew up. For example, a person who grew up with a lot of fighting in their home may either think it is normal to argue daily or may go to great lengths to avoid arguments. It is important to note that how you argue is much more important than how often you argue when examining the health of your marriage. Learning the truth about arguments by sorting out the myths can help you learn how arguments impact your marriage.
Myth #1 – Someone Wins an Argument
Arguments should not end with one person winning and the other person losing. If this is the case, you both lose. Disagreements should allow you to each talk about your feelings and your needs. They should allow you to make requests from your partner. However, if you argue to “win” it can be damaging to your relationship. Instead, both people need to be able to walk away from the disagreement feeling like they were heard and understood by their spouse.
Myth #2 – More Arguments Mean Bigger Marital Problems
If you and your spouse disagree often, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have bigger marital problems. In fact, many couples with a lot of problems don’t argue at all because they don’t try to work out their differences. It’s important to make sure that your disagreements are not damaging your relationship however. For example, if you are able to talk about your differences in a calm manner, disagreements may not be a problem for you.
If you and your spouse are arguing more frequently, it is important to examine what the reason might be. For example, are you having difficulty dealing with stress? Are you not putting in enough quality time together? Are you struggling to adjust to changes in your life? Once you identify the underlying reasons, it may require making some adjustments.
Myth #3 – Someone Needs to Apologize
If you and your spouse disagree on something, there’s no need to apologize. Of course, if you said or did something offensive, you may need to apologize for your behaviors. However, sometimes people feel like every disagreement requires an apology.
For example, if you want to buy a particular kind of car and your spouse wants something different, it doesn’t mean either of you are wrong. You just have differences in opinion. No need to apologize for your opinion!
Yelling is Okay
Yelling at your spouse is not okay. It’s disrespectful and unhealthy. If you tend to raise your voice during arguments, it is important to learn new communication strategies. It’s important to ask yourself, what are you hoping to accomplish when you yell? Are you trying to get your partner to stop arguing? Do you feel like you need to yell to be heard? It’s important to remember that if you are yelling, you are not listening. It’s likely that if you are yelling you are too angry to effectively problem-solve and you may need to take a time-out and continue the discussion when you feel calmer.
Myth #4 – Every Problem Needs to be Solved
Not every problem in marriage needs a solution. There may be some times where you and your partner don’t ever agree. These situations may require you to agree to disagree. And that’s okay! You don’t have to share the same opinion on everything in marriage! You just may have to come to some creative problem-solving to determine how to co-exist if it is a big issue.
Myth # 5 – Getting Outside Advice from Friends and Family is Helpful
Getting outside advice from friends and family about your marriage is not likely going to be helpful. Your loved ones care about you and may offer advice that is what you want to hear, not necessarily what is best for your marriage. And if they only hear your side of the story, they are not going to be able to be objective.
Sometimes people think that venting is helpful. However, the more you talk about the negative aspects of your marriage, it’s likely that you are going to feel worse. Talking about what isn’t working in your relationship can make you dwell on the negative, which isn’t healthy. Instead, consider telling others what is going well about your marriage can help you focus on the positive.
Of course, professional help can be helpful to your marriage. So if you are struggling with disagreements and communication, seek help from a marriage counselor. A trusted clergy member may also be able to provide you with some confidential support. But don’t complain to friends and family and expect it to be helpful to your marriage.