Disagreements In Marriage
Disagreements In Marriage
Sheri Meyers (Marriage and Family Therapist) gives expert video advice on: Why do simple marital disagreements turn into ugly arguments?; What is the best way to resolve marital disagreements?; What shouldn't I do when negotiating with my spouse? and more...
Is it true that disagreements in marriage can be helpful?
Disagreement can actually be helpful in a marriage, because it forces each of us to stretch our perspective and sometimes leave our comfort zone. Disagreement allows us to really fall in love more deeply with our partner, because it's not because things are so easy that we're loving them. We're loving them in spite of things not being so easy. A disagreement can help us learn how to expand in that way. The most important agreement to have when you are disagreeing, is that you wont yell or berate each other, that you will be nice no matter what. That will get you through a disagreement much more easily in your marriage.
Why do simple marital disagreements turn into ugly arguments?
A disagreement in a marriage usually turns into an argument when we have a whole bunch of unmet expectations or we get into a battle of who's right and who's wrong. What happens is that we're trying to prove our point, our partner is getting turned off and turning away, and we get more upset by their reaction. Nothing gets resolved and it escalates from there.
What are the main reasons for marital disagreements?
No matter what we are fighting or arguing about, if there are some real reasons, underneath all that, what we are fighting about is really simple. We fight when we don't feel loved and understood. If you take any battle and if you look at the core, that will be you don't feel loved, don't feel listened to, don't feel understood. Actually, take any problem you have in your marriage, just go to that core and you will get into the issue much faster. It will be, "I don't feel loved, don't feel listened to, don't feel understood." I think the problems in a marriage can be solved only in longer periods when the arguments are diminished
What is the key to successful marital conflict resolution?
Successful conflict resolution in your marriage begins with a win-win attitude. "I want to win and I want you to win." It's looking at each other's needs and saying, "What is best for the team? What is best for us and how can we make each other happy?" Now, this takes a little work; you need to find out what each of you need in the marriage. Don't just rush to a solution of conflict. Talk to each other. Find out, what you need here, what is it that you really want? Listen to your partner's concerns and desires, see what you can say yes to and find that middle ground. That's what creates the win-win situation in a marriage: both of you willing to say, "I want to win and I want you to win."
What is the best way to resolve marital disagreements?
The best way to resolve and create a solution to your problem in your marriage is to brainstorm. Think about every possible alternative solution. Don't just pick one; discuss them all. Say, "Oh, this one sounds good. No, I like this one." Then, when you find the one or ones that feel the best as the solution, make the resolve to try it and then do it. Follow through with an action plan.
What can my spouse and I do if we can't resolve a disagreement?
Sometimes, when we're embroiled in a disagreement or an argument in a marriage, we get stuck. All creative solutions fly out the window and all we feel is hardness and rigidity. Obviously, you've got to melt. Here are some ways to melt. Take some deep breaths and talk about how it feels to be stuck. That's going to melt you because you're going to reconnect with your body. If, for any reason, the two of you can't - if it keeps going back to fighting and disagreeing - then take a break. Take a five or ten minute break. Go take a walk. Breathe. Get reconnected with who you are, with your body and what you want. Then come back and try again. You can also - and this is most important - affirm that no matter what, you're going to get through this. You can share with your partner, "I'm a little stuck right now. I'm a little frozen. I love you. And I am going to get through this. And I know we're going to get through this." Most importantly, try to be flexible during disagreements in marriage. Try to bend a little bit. Often, we get stuck because we make our position rigid. Breathe. Remember the love. Say to yourself and to your partner, "We're going to get through this." I bet you'll melt.
What shouldn't I do when negotiating with my spouse?
You're in the room, trying to negotiate with this partner that you, maybe even the day before, said is the love of your life. Here are things you don't do, because they do not work. You don't yell, you don't scream, you don't stand up and walk out of the room. You don't pound your fist on the table. You don't say, "My way or the highway," because all of these actions are a ploy to overpower your partner during a marital disagreement. What's going to happen is you're going to shut your partner down and there isn't going to be any successful negotiation. Another no-no is to blame. Often we see a disagreement as our partner's fault; we start pointing our fingers. No – you're both in this together. Another negotiation tactic in marriage is, do not play hardball and do not over-talk your partner. A lot of partners like to do that. They never shut up; they just keep talking, hoping to get their way. The problem is going to be that you're never going to get your way. It's just going to create more of a breakdown in the marriage. Or, you may get your way this time, but the problem is going to keep coming back because it needs to be resolved.
What is 'compromise' in marriage?
Compromise in your marriage is when you move from competition to cooperation in a disagreement. It's finding that ground where you both finally say, “Yes. Yes, I give, yes, I love you.” Compromise is that middle point where you meet in the middle and you say, “Yes.”
Are there bad times or places to discuss marital problems?
To successfully work through a problem that's occurring in your marriage, to successfully negotiate through the disagreement, you need some time. You need the ability to give each other attention. That's why environment is really important. You've got to set time, and you've got to create the environment where you can really talk to each other. Don't disagree in a public place; don't do it when there's kids running around or phones ringing. Go into a room, shut the door, turn off the phone, and have your heart to heart conversation. You need the time and you need the focus on your marriage.