If you are married long enough, disagreements will happen. This is a part of life. The way you handle these disagreements is important in creating a healthy, happy marriage. Arguments can quickly escalate into destructive territory if not handled and approached correctly. The purpose of any argument in your marriage is to resolve the problem fairly. Attorney Leigh Daniel is an expert in marital conflicts. Here are some tips to resolve marital conflicts in a healthy way.

Fair Fighting

No matter how good your marriage is, conflicts happen. According to psychologists, the key to a constructive disagreement is a matter of how you fight. Avoid criticism of your spouse that doesn’t stay on topic. It’s not fair to attack your spouse’s appearance or work ethic if the disagreement is about raising your kids. Showing contempt by screaming and yelling, or name calling, will not solve the problem or help you to see your spouse’s side of things. Try to listen and absorb what your spouse is saying rather than being defensive.

Apologize Quickly

We are all human and sometimes we snap during an argument. Recognize if this happens and apologize quickly. Pride often stops us from apologizing, even when we know we did something wrong, but pride has no place in a healthy marriage. If neither one of you can admit when you have said or done hurtful things during a disagreement, it can build resentment over time. This resentment leads to other issues in the marriage. By apologizing quickly these issues aren’t allowed to fester. This makes it easier to move past the bad behavior and solve the original issue.

Take a Time-out

Sometimes during a disagreement between you and your spouse, things start to get heated. Maybe you attacked your spouse’s appearance or house cleaning ability. As soon as it comes out of your mouth, you wish you could take it back. Instead of continuing the argument and letting things escalate, take a time out. You go to your corner and let your spouse go to theirs. In the heat of the moment things can get said that can not be taken back. A cooling off period allows heated emotions to subside before the conversation is continued. A time out doesn’t mean the disagreement is tabled forever, or ignored, because that won’t solve anything either.

Use Positive Touch

Touching someone when trying to resolve a conflict conveys love. It is important for your spouse to know that you still love them, unconditionally, even when disagreements take place. Touching them lightly on the hand or back lets your spouse know that this disagreement is not the end of the world and doesn’t make you love them any less. That being said, if the argument does become heated, avoiding touch may be a better idea.

Using healthy strategies to resolve marital conflicts is the best way to ensure a happy marriage. If you find that these strategies are not helping, and arguments begin to happen more often or escalate quickly, an attorney may be able to help.