By Rebecca Hastings
Have you ever argued with your husband and regretted something you said or did? We can all use tips on how to argue wisely with our husbands, and I have a few for you today.
3 Ways to Argue Wisely
I still remember standing at the top of the stairs looking at my husband. Our tempers were flaring and I told the kids to get in the car. They were little and didn’t know why, but I was trying to make a point. I loaded them in the car and drove away. We went to Walmart.
I wasn’t driving away to get some space (although that can sometimes be helpful.) Driving away was a big exclamation point to make my husband feel bad and come after me. It solved nothing.
Arguments are inevitable in marriage. You can, however, learn how to argue with wisdom enabling your relationship to grow. Romans 14:19 reminds us, “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” (CSB)
As a woman of God, you can work to promote peace and build up your husband, even when you disagree with him.
Tip One: Stop Blaming
When we are upset about something, blame snowballs – FAST. It can start with a simple you didn’t start the dishwasher and spiral into a laundry list of things for which you blame your husband.
A better option is to identify what’s upsetting you. I’m frustrated that the dishwasher is full and we have no breakfast bowls. I thought you were going to start it last night. You can talk about why you’re upset without pointing fingers.
Tip Two: Say How You Feel
Sometimes I show how I feel instead of saying how I feel. Instead of saying I’m mad, I slam a door or yell. While this may offer a small feeling of release, it doesn’t do much to work through a disagreement.
Simply saying the emotion you feel can help open communication in a less offensive way. There is power in learning how to identify and state what you feel. And if you know you’re feeling something, but you don’t know what it really is, you can say that. You will get through it faster by stating your feeling than by slamming the cabinets or being sarcastic.
Tip Three: Take Space
When things get heated, I tend to push in, ready to argue the situation to death. Sometimes a better solution is to take a break and give one another a little space so you can come back to the discussion with a clear head. This is different, however, from my dramatic exit above. This is an opportunity to be separate but together.
The key to taking space is communicating in ways like these:
- I need to calm down before we talk more. I’m going in the other room for ten minutes and then coming back.
- Can we pause this conversation? How about if I get dinner ready and we can talk after we eat?
- Let’s take a walk and try again.
Whatever space and time you need to take is good, as long as you communicate clearly so your partner has a chance to understand and agree. The problem can get worse without clear communication when you take space, so be sure to say what you’re doing and when you will come back to the conversation.
How to Argue Wisely
While these tips won’t make every argument magically disappear, they will help you and your husband foster the peace Paul wrote about in Ephesians 4:3. We can build one another up, even in our arguing, when we make wise choices.
Note: If you are in a situation that feels overwhelming or escalates to emotional, verbal, or physical abuse, wisdom looks like getting help. Seek out a professional counselor, pastor, or another trusted person to help you find your way out of the situation. God loves you and wants you to be safe. Always.
Wife Step: Apply one of these tips this week and thank God in advance for helping you argue more wisely.
Rebecca Hastings is a writer and speaker helping women discover faith in their real, everyday life. Married for 23 years, she is a wife and mother of three living in her hometown in Connecticut. Her books, including Worthy: Believe Who God Says You Are, are available on Amazon. Rebecca can often be found typing words, driving her kids places, or wherever there is chocolate.