Turning Down the Heat in Your Marital Argument

We’ve acknowledged by now that every couple disagrees, but sometimes an argument gets out of hand and moves to another level you hadn’t intended. Gretchen Rubin lists “23 Phrases to Help You Fight Right” on a recent post, but says the best strategy is to use humor and joke around if things are getting to heated. If that doesn’t work, try one of these:

Please try to understand my point of view.
Wait, can I take that back?
You don’t have to solve this—it helps me just to talk to you.
This is important to me. Please listen.
I overreacted.
I see you’re in a tough position.
I can see my part in this.
I hadn’t thought of it that way before.
I could be wrong.
Let’s agree to disagree on that.
This isn’t just your problem, it’s our problem.
I’m feeling unappreciated.
We’re getting off the subject.
You’ve convinced me.
Let’s take a break for a few minutes. [If you can remember to do this, it’s extremely effective – especially if you’re having a big fight. After a break, it’s almost impossible to go back to yelling.]
Please keep talking to me.
I realize it’s not your fault.
That came out all wrong.
I see how I contributed to the problem.
What are we really fighting about?
How can I make things better?
I’m sorry.
I love you.

If you can’t see yourself willing to say many of these, perhaps that is part of the problem. Do you have a phrase or strategy that works well for you?

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One response to “Turning Down the Heat in Your Marital Argument

  1. How practical and wonderful to use. I think I’ll print this and stick in several places. Useful not only for marriage, but also conflicts in our work life!
    Well said!

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