When you are arguing with your spouse and your mind starts to go there, to take things personally, step back and see if that is what your partner is really saying. Are they really blaming and judging you for what is happening or are they frustrated and angry and sharing those feelings but not making it all about you?
If you can recognize that what your partner is saying isn’t a personal attack, it will help you stay calm at the moment.
4. Don’t hold onto soundbites.
You know when you and your spouse are going at it and someone says something that is stupid and thoughtless. Something that perhaps they didn’t mean but they said it in the heat of the moment. Something that you zero in on as a weapon in the fight going forward.
Holding onto things that are said in the heat of the moment will only cause you to spiral to a dark place.
Imagine if you are in a fight with your spouse and you say something like ‘You always do this. You are a mama’s boy and always put her needs first.’ While you might mean this sentiment, that you feel like your husband makes his mother a priority over you, the fact that you called your spouse a ‘mama’s boy’ could be something that your husband zeros in on to hold over your head during the argument.
So, instead of the fight being about his priorities and making attempts to make a change, it spirals into one about how horrible your words are around his relationship with his mother.
Which will get you nowhere.
So, make an effort to let go of the sound bites. I am guessing that you didn’t truly mean that your husband was a ‘mama’s boy’ but, unless your partner can let those words go, the fight will devolve into being about them completely.
5. Don’t raise your voice.
Finally, an essential part of how to stay calm during an argument with your spouse is working to not raise your voice.
When we yell, our body chemistry changes. Our emotional brain takes over, our stress reaction is stimulated and our fight or flight instincts comes rushing in. And when this happens, all hell can break loose.
Instead of yelling, I would encourage you to take those deep breaths and to step away so that you can regain your composure. If you continue to yell, not only will your partner be in high alert mode and be unable to hear your words but they might shut down completely and go silent. Both of those things will get you nowhere.
If you can work hard to keep yourself from yelling it will help your argument not become a screaming mess where nothing gets worked out.
Knowing how to stay calm during an argument with your spouse is a key to keeping the disagreements productive so that they don’t have to happen again and again and again.
I am guessing that if you are reading this article, you are eager to change the pattern in your marital spats. So, remember to take deep breaths so that you can think clearer, step away for a moment, or an hour, to reassess. To try not to take things personally and hold on to soundbites. And try, really hard, not to yell.
I know that you can do this. We all can make a change with awareness.
Now that you have it you are ready to start making those disagreements productive and make real change in your relationship.
Written By: Mitzi Bockmann