5 Tips for Reducing Spats with Your Spouse

You take two different personalities, two different backgrounds, two different families, and two different people, and you become one without ever getting mad, angry, or frustrated with each other. Your union is not a utopia, but it can be blissful.

Photo by Rachel Bobbitt

Everyone says the first year of marriage is the hardest, and it is for so many couples. For Kevin and I it was our second year. He was deployed to Oman and Afghanistan for four months during our first year of marriage. It was like having a second honeymoon when he returned. The second year was a different story. We were not fighting all the time, but we would have spats over silly things. He has a different way of communicating than I do, and it took some time to figure out how to convey my ideas and thoughts without making him upset.

Here are the top 5 things we have learned about reducing spats over the last 12 years of being married.

1. Communication is key. Listen and let the other one finish before giving your side of the argument. Respect each other's time to speak.

2. Choose your battles. If he always picks up milk on Tuesday for you, but he forgets one time then cut him some slack. However, if he habitually forgets things see number 3.

3. Give reminders in a gentle way. Do not nag your spouse! For example, I have learned that if I email Kevin a to do list with a due date, he will usually get the things done on the list. He can set his own calendar reminders this way, and I am not a nagging wife.

4. Don't beat a dead horse. Don't keep track of all the mistakes your spouse makes. Definitely don't use those mistakes during a disagreement to prove your point. Past grievances should stay in the past.

5. Give each other space and time to cool off. After a little time come together to calmly discuss the situation and disagreement.

This list is for reducing spats. If you are having fights or your spouse has committed a major offense, then please seek counsel from a trained, Christian counselor.  Your marriage is important, and stopping spats before they become full blown fights is a win for everyone.


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