You are angry. Your husband is angry. You are in the middle of a fight. How will it end? It depends. If you say what you want to say, unfiltered and uncensored, it will probably not go well. If your husband lets fly every single thing he’s thinking, that’s not going to help either. You, my friend, need some fighting tips, and fast.
First, acknowledge that even though it’s your husband’s responsibility to control his actions, what you say during a fight will influence his behavior. And as much as you might want to bury him under a verbal avalanche, don’t! Look over the fighting tips below that fall in the “what not to say to your husband during a fight” category.
Other versions of this inflammatory statement are: That’s ridiculous. That’s ignorant. That’s unrealistic. This one falls under the category of labeling. Let’s say your husband comes up with an idea for something while you’re arguing, or he tries to summarize his thoughts or opinions. If you say some version of, that’s stupid, you’ve just thrown gasoline on the fire. The reaction to this comment might stir up defensiveness in him and put him on the attack.
If you really disagree with something he’s said, say it in a non-threatening and nonjudgmental way. Remember that one of a man’s basic needs is to feel respected. So when you use “that’s stupid,” you’ve cut to the core of who he wants to be. If you want to diffuse this situation completely, say one of these 3 things to your husband instead.
If your husband is a halfway decent guy, this one will really get him. Most men who love their wives and children do what they do for the sake of their family. Just like you, he probably sacrifices a lot of his own preferences and gives up a lot of me time to be with you and the kids.
Again, if he really is being selfish, come at it a different way. “Honey, you know how you planned that outing with the guys the weekend before I have that big deadline at work? Well, it makes me feel kind of angry that you didn’t check with my calendar first.” A lot longer, yes. But a whole lot better than, you’re selfish!
And if you just can’t shake the opinion that he is selfish, look over these 99 things you might be thankful for about your husband to see if maybe he’s not so selfish after all.
You always do this.
Maybe he does have a habit of bringing up the past when you fight, or he does mess up in the same way often. But, really, does he always drop the ball? Those blanket type words — always and never — don’t have a place in fair fighting. Remember, you’re trying to resolve the conflict respectfully and calmly.
This is so you.
This one really stings. You might as well say, “You’re just a loser.” Or, “I knew I could never depend on you.” It immediately puts you in a superior position, looking down on him and the essence of who he is. Try to remember that most men need respect like a fish needs water. If you’re still not convinced, look at what marriage researcher Shaunti Feldhahn has to say about how and why to respect your husband.
This version of the silent treatment is usually accompanied by a smirk or a blow off move like walking out of the room. If you’ve reached your limit and you can’t discuss things any longer without losing it, try this instead: “You know, I can feel myself getting really angry, and I’m not able to calmly respond right now to the things you’ve said. Give me some time and we can talk later.”
Silence may be golden, but in marriage arguments, it’s fool’s gold for sure.
So, what’s something you try to never say when you’re arguing with your husband?