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Fighting in Marriage

August 27, 2015 | by Bluma Gordon

9 ways to turn a valid argument into a full scale battle.

Every marriage provides ample opportunity to turn a simple disagreement into a conflict of a much larger scale. If you wish to transform your debates into full blown feuds, follow these instructions carefully. If not, avoid these points at all costs.

Choose the absolutely worst time and place to settle your disagreement.

Don't wait for the moment when you are both at ease and relaxing in a quiet environment. Bring up the topic when the noise level around you is high or when you are both already on edge.

Don’t listen to what your spouse is saying.

While your spouse is talking, instead of listening earnestly, focus only on your piece of the pie. Avoid the exercise of first listening patiently and then repeating what you understood in order to make sure all is clear. Don't allow your partner to finish saying his or her piece. Interrupt your spouse at every possible opportunity.

Don't empathize.

Don't focus on what your spouse is feeling. Leave your feet glued in your own shoes. Don't bother trying to understand the unspoken emotions and messages behind your partner’s words. Avoid phrases such as, “I'm sorry you feel that way” or “I think I understand how you feel.”

Avoid teamwork.

Dismiss the perspective that the issue being discussed is something that is meant to be worked through with both of you together as a couple. Steer clear away from the 'it’s about us' outlook and cling to the ‘me vs. you’ mentality.

Play the blame game.

Blame your spouse for being the source of the problem. Don't focus on just the issue at hand, but on whose fault it is. Instead of using 'I' messages to explain how the particular situation is affecting you; opt to take an offensive stance, and criticize your partner.

Let your emotions completely overwhelm you.

Refrain from calculated thought and calm logic. Try to overwhelm your spouse with the intensity of your hurt, anger, and frustration. Yell, throw things and punch the wall.

Get defensive.

If what your spouse is saying is difficult to digest, choose the easy way out and go on defense mode. Shout back, pout, and throw all your grievances in your partner’s direction. Alternatively, you can tune out, walk away, or sing as loud as you can.

Don't stay focused on the particular issue at hand.

Veer off course, confuse and overwhelm your spouse by digging up a decade's worth of old disagreements, frustrations, and resentments.

Refuse to give in.

Never admit that you were mistaken or apologize. Stick to your guns. Don’t unjustly sacrifice the all-important credo that you are perfectly right and the other party definitely wrong for the sake of achieving harmony and love in marriage.

Learning how to effectively settle disagreement while maintaining harmony is certainly achievable. But since it takes so much effort, practice, and patience, you can take the easy path instead and blow up any disagreement into an all-out fight.

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