Fighting stinks. When things get heated, it’s easy to say or do something you’ll later regret.
I’ve said and done plenty. So when you sense the situation heading in that direction, back off.
It’s the fastest way to stop an argument before it starts.
In our era of girl power, backing off isn’t always a popular option. But in many cases, it’s best and can save a lot of wear and tear on your marriage.
If your husband says or does something you don’t like, you choose how to respond.
I don’t always choose the most effective way.
When I parry with a harsh blow, it never works out well.
Maybe you know what I mean.
He says or does something you don’t like, you come back with something he doesn’t like. You know how it goes.
But you can choose a different approach to avoid a fight.
So the next time things heat up, B.A.C.K. O.F.F.
1. Be respectful–Respect is big for your man. Disrespect is a sure-fire way to start a fight. If a conversation isn’t leading to a solution, try to remain respectful. Be kind. Keep your voice low and soft. And avoid minimizing your husband’s concerns. Affirm him. Remind him you’re on the same team, and your disagreement isn’t more important than your relationship.
2. Assume the best– Assuming the best will help you keep your cool. I hate to admit it, but too many times I haven’t assumed the best of my husband. Sometimes I’m defensive and quick to assign motives to his behavior. Assuming the best will keep the lines of communication open because you’ll focus on listening instead of criticizing or complaining.
3. Choose the right time to talk–If you’re not feeling your best or you sense he isn’t at his best, H.A.L.T. H.A.L.T. is a mnemonic for hungry, angry lonely or tired. If either of you is in one of these physical or emotional states, talk later.
4. Keep your cool—Take a break. When you feel yourself getting to that point, separate yourself. When you react emotionally, he may shut down or get defensive. Go to another room, go for a walk or take a drive. Sometimes it helps to allow yourself time to cool down and think through a situation before engaging in conversation. You’ll be more effective if you can express yourself without drama.
5. Open your ears–-Actively listen. Active listening means you’re not thinking about what you want to say while he’s still talking. Remove distractions. Put your phone away. Pay attention to your body language. Try to avoid eye rolling or sighing when he speaks. You don’t have to agree with him, but you can respect him and validate him by listening to what he has to say and letting him know you understand.
6. Find areas you can agree on–You may not agree with everything he says, but agree with whatever you can. Even though you may disagree with his point of view, it’s not necessary to always point it out. It only adds fuel to the fire. Instead, find the part of what he’s saying you agree with and concede he’s right. Sometimes it’s better to lose the battle than to engage in all out war.
7. Find opportunities to touch him–Sometimes a simple touch can bring emotional levels down. Touch is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. It communicates connection and reassurance. Instead of moving away from your husband during a disagreement, move towards him. A gentle touch can communicate compassion and love. Place your hand on his leg or shoulder. Hug him or kiss him. This may to diffuse the situation before it starts.
So the next time things heat up, show real girl power and back off. You won’t always be able to avoid conflict. It’s necessary in a healthy relationship. But back off when you can. Remember, it’s better to lose the battle and preserve the relationship by backing off.
Need skills to build intimacy?
- Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
- Visit my website, like my Facebook page and join my private Facebook group.
- Check out my FREE resources and download How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
- Apply for private coaching with Sheila.
Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be.
She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.
She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.
In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network. Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.