We may not think that arguing is healthy in a marriage or relationship. It can be very valuable if it is done appropriately. You may want to discuss how to improve your communication during an argument before your next argument to improve potential for healthy change.
- Arguments can be just as successful done at normal volume and tone of voice. Yelling and screaming leads to further increased volumes and does not contribute to understanding. If all it took to fix the problem was yelling about it, it would have been fixed already.
- Cursing, name calling, disrespect and insults should be avoided; they stop focusing on the problem and detour argument into hurtful and destructive directions.
- Taking time away from each other for short times is appropriate if it is difficult to avoid negative behaviors. Returning to each other to continue discussion and attempting to solve problem is vital.
- Feelings are valid; you each may have different feelings or views about the situation. Accepting this will allow each person to feel accepted, respected and validated.
- Always identify the issue and state it in your own experience “I feel neglected when you spend so much time away from home” instead of “You are never home and don’t care how I feel”. While each statement is saying virtually the same thing, the first statement has less anger and offers a chance for healthy discussion.
- Discuss the problem or issue at the next opportunity, not days or weeks later. Issues should not be “saved up” and then dumped onto your spouse. If the issue is not significant enough to discuss in a timely manner, then it must be dropped and forgotten. No positive changes can come from long lists of behaviors or situations. If we are not aware of the situation, we cannot change it.
- Physical violence or property damage is never acceptable. If this has occurred in your relationship consider counseling to help you deal with situation in more appropriate and acceptable ways.
Relationships are not 50/50. Each person must give their 100% of their energy, attention, and respect for the relationship to flourish. If you are having problems in your relationship with communication or conflict resolution consider counseling. Both individual counseling or couples counseling may help move your relationship in a healthier direction. Consider pre-marital counseling to avoid future problems and establish clear directions for your marriage.
Kim offers a free 10-minute consultation on her Virtual Therapist Network site. Kim accepts most major major insurance companies and even offers a sliding scale for those in lower-income households.
Kim works in Bradley, Illinois and as an On-line Therapist (Video over the Internet) to help her clients verbalize their issues, learn to view things differently, and feel comfortable with their decisions. Just as there is not one correct answer in life, there are multiple ways to find a solution in counseling. Kim will work with you to find the most appropriate solution for you. Please contact Kim at her Associated Counseling office in Bradley Illinois or online at the Virtual Therapist Network.