Guest post by B. Anne Hancock, PsyD
There’s nothing wrong with a married couple having an argument. In fact, some level of conflict
is a good sign because it means the couple is communicating, rather than hiding emotions and
avoiding intimacy. That said, there’s a big difference between the occasional disagreement and
nonstop squabbling. Do you feel like you’re always having the same fight? Has there been a
breach of trust that’s now bubbling up in little disagreements all the time? Perhaps life has been
overwhelming lately, and you’ve lost sense of what matters most. Whatever the case, if you’re in
a relationship where the fights never stop, you may need practical help to set a new course.
Keep reading for advice on how to get to the cause of constant bickering and resolve it before it takes
over your marriage.
What's behind all those conflicts?
Have you ever wondered why some couples communicate in a healthy way about disagreements
and others get bogged down in constant fights? One important key is what they’re arguing about.
For example, are you frustrated about who did the dishes last, or are you wondering if your
partner truly cares about you? When you’re sparring about where to spend the holidays this year,
is it about the travel plans or feeling controlled by your spouse? Couples who solve conflicts in a
healthy way have learned how to look past surface issues to what’s happening underneath them.
This allows them to cut to the main problem and expedites their ability to resolve it.
Working through an argument
Even if you understand the root issues of a fight, you still need to work through them properly.
Healthy couples know not to have a serious heart-to-heart in the car before walking into the in-
laws’ house on Thanksgiving. They also steer clear of poor discussion habits, such as shouting,
attacking or refusing to look at the situation from another point of view. Rather, they choose
times when they’ll be able to focus and communicate clearly. They look for areas of
compromise. They focus on the reasons they want to be together and work towards resolution.
5 strategies for preventing bickering before it starts
If fighting is the norm for you and your spouse, you may want to think about conflict prevention.
Happy couples know what does and doesn’t work, and they adjust accordingly. With that in
mind, consider the following strategies to prevent bickering before it starts:
In marriage, one of the most important lessons to learn is when and when not to fight. If you’ve
been going through a period of major conflict, stop and think about what’s really going on. How
can you and your spouse move toward, instead of away from, each other? Use the tips above to
chart a new course for your relationship — and gain a more peaceful, happier life.
About the author
B. Anne Hancock, PsyD is a prominent marriage therapist and founder of Wellness Counseling Center. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Hancock specializes in working with couples and families. She has a doctorate in Psychology and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Hancock always works from a wellness-oriented, non-pathologizing point of view — which means no blame, no shame. In addition to couples counseling services, Hancock also conducts personalized two-and-a-half-day couples intensives.
Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.