No matter how much you love and care for your partner, you both will argue and fight once in a while. But how you fight and recover from an argument can make all of the difference when it comes to having a happy and healthy relationship.
When you continue abusing your wife during arguments and tell her that she is lucky you married her and saved her from eternal singlehood, you are gradually destroying your marriage. Stop shutting down your woman because you feel superior to her. Your relationship might not recover.
When you keep insulting your man with derogatory words and stripping him of his self-esteem, you are gradually building resentment and negativity in your relationship. Keep your tongue from speaking vile, evil and curse words against your man. You are tearing him down.
By identifying fighting styles that can wreck your relationship over time such as silent treatment and stonewalling and learning better ways to communicate even in the heat of the moment, you can maintain a stronger, better partnership.
Arguing in a destructive rather than a constructive, communicative way not only makes marriage more stressful and frustrating, it can also lead to resentment, bitterness––and divorce in the long run
One of the worst relationship killers men and women should be wary of is shutting down when one or both partners are seething with anger and have to trash out an important issue with each other.
Many relationships and marriages have been destroyed by the couple’s inability to communicate. When one partner or both has developed a pattern of shutting down when they are uncomfortable, it is because they do not trust the other person enough to share their thoughts and feelings.
Another deadly weapon some couples wield in a fight is putting each other down. Belittling communication is also extremely detrimental to any intimate relationship because over time it causes emotional resentment between the couple. When resentment begins to build up, it contaminates the couple’s desire for intimacy.
Even with couples who communicate effectively, one or both partners may have a hard time letting go of the idea of “You’re wrong, I’m right.” Instead, they stubbornly fight to be right rather than working on actually resolving the problem.
A rigid communication style is harmful to intimacy because usually when one person digs in, the other also becomes inflexible and progress is halted. At this point, couples tend to focus only on their perspectives of the problems, instead of focusing on resolution.
But it’s not just your fighting style that’s important—your ability to move on once the spat is over can also affect the health of your marriage. When it comes to how well you bounce back from a fight, your attachment style often comes into play.
Even if you or your partner didn’t have the most stable, reassuring parents growing up, you can still have a healthy relationship if both of you are mature, secure and able to disengage from an argument rather than dwelling on the heated disagreement.
You and your partner are going to fight now and then. But while you may not always have control over what sets you off, you have control over how you handle the situation. You can do this by applying healthy habits that can foster healthy relationship.
The first thing couples should do whenever there is an argument is to stay on point and find out what exactly you are fighting for. Being right doesn’t count as an objective in this case. Healthy, positive communication in any relationship should start with the following: respect, consideration, empathy, an open mind and a calm tone. Couples have to consider their objectives before communicating thoughts and feelings with their partners.
Positive healthy communication is not confrontational or argumentative; rather it is an attempt to get what one needs from his or her partner with the clear understanding that we must be willing to give to get. Finally, the key to successful resolution is not to focus on the problem—old or new––but instead to focus on the resolution.
Even if you are having a disagreement with your spouse or partner, watch your language. Choosing the right fighting words can keep an argument from turning nasty and sending stress levels skyrocketing.
Think about your partner’s feelings even when you are quarrelling. Consider how harmful swear words and curses will hurt the one you love. Understand your partner’s point of view even if you feel you are right and he or she is wrong. Reason with your partner and don’t make them regret knowing you. Don’t hurt them with your words.
Couples also need to drop their all-or-nothing attitude. When you are frustrated with your partner because he forgot to take out the trash—again—or left his dirty socks and clothes all over your bedroom, watch your words.
Men and women have to know that going to the extreme doesn’t help their argument. “Leave out ‘you always’ and ‘you never,’ and focus on your specific point—that you would appreciate it if he could step up more.
Empathize with your partner. It is normal that when you are angry with your partner, it is tough to feel empathy for him or her. But channeling your sympathetic side not only cools anger, it helps you better understand each other’s position and fosters healthier communication.
Empathy is the key to being able to argue better and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You have to really listen—not just pay lip service while you are thinking about your rebuttal. You have to realize that you are talking to someone you love.
Cut out unnecessary insults. Don’t stoop to demeaning or belittling your partner just because you are hurt and angry. Don’t show contempt for your partner because you are not perfect either. Instead, think about the intent of the other person. They are not trying to do you wrong. You have heard it a hundred times: “Don’t go to bed angry!” But if your quarrel kicks off late at night, sometimes tabling the talk until the next day is necessary. You are not going to get anywhere when your partner is half asleep, really irritated and isn’t really available to have the discussion at that point.
If a couple is unable to resolve issues before they go to bed, they should consider agreeing upon a plan to discuss the resolution at a later time and then go to sleep. They have to be sure to make it a priority to deal with the issue head on once morning comes.
Re: qualities of good husbands
All the qualities you highlighted are good. I pray our young ladies read between the lines before the say I do. Settling down is a serious business. Though the future is shrouded, basic character traits are important and could be discernable during courtship. There is more to life commitment than a libido driven desire and a deep seated greed for material things.
A tested relationship gets refreshed each time life throws a spanner into its way. Nothing should be spared to save a marriage since it is the nucleus of every society. There should be room for growth and the partners must work at it. Divorce still remains the best option when partners stay glued to their old ways. Thank you for a great work.
We must do something about the lack of grooming that is plagues our young men. They must be told that money making is an art but character building is important. It will continue to speak for you whenever money ceases.
Marriage is commitment and a resolve to stay in it through thick or thin. It is sustained by mutual respect, trust and a shared value. Once you have all these, it will be extremely difficult for Intruders to come in. -Femi Oni
Dear Kate, my wife confided in me that she had hormonal fluctuations which could make child birth difficult yet I went ahead and married her. While it raged, I forfeited my job with foreign ministry to keep her company because pregnancy didn’t come at wish. It took ten years for us to hang our boots and we are blessed with two sons and a precious daughter. A husband in need is a husband in deed. -Cletus Frenchman
Kate, by your credible viewpoint and theory that a successful relationship is a function of the two parties involved, a bad husband material can be reformed to become a good husband by a nice wife. Conversely, a bad wife material can be reformed to become a good wife by a nice husband. Examples abound everywhere. Relationships, therefore, are always full of hopes and possibilities.
Why are you always sounding as if all men are evil? You always talk about men, what about their women counterpart. Stop using this column to deceive innocent women. It is high time you are called to order before all the women become wayward. -Austine, Abuja
Why don’t you also balance this piece by telling us traits of wife materials. Most girls these days don’t know what it means to be married. They don’t know how to cook, how to manage the home and how to keep men happy. Our mothers lasted long in their marriages because they know how to worship their husbands but girls these days want to run shoulders with men. Tell women the truth and stop deceiving them.
-Michael Obiora, Awka
Kate, you have been consistent with your crusade against marriages. You need to stop attacking men. You are talking from your personal experience of pain and it is not professional. This is wrong. Women are not angels. Expose them for their evils too and stop attacking men.