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Stop Arguing For The Sake Of Your Marriage

4 September 2009 5 Comments

How to Stop Arguing for the Sake of Your Marriage: 3 quick ways–use your breathing, use thinking instead of feeling energy, use paraphrasing back your spouse’s message until he or she says you “got it.”

Fred Snyder of WGET interviews Dr. Doug on how to stop any argument, anytime.


  • Kaleen said:

    My boyfriens and I have been arguing lately, a lot lately. We always talk about how we need to stop arguing, but nothing ever happens. We are so serious about our relationship. We love each other so much, we’ve been dating for 9 months about, but have been really close for two years. We make each other so happy all the time, but our arguing gets so out of control, about nothing big. I mean sometimes its about serious things but its mostly about little things that just get to us. After we argue and settle down, we talk about what each other needs to fix and work on. We talk about things that make us upset, and we stop doing those things. But then new things come up and start upsetting us. It probably doesnt help the fact we are both going to a massive amount of hurt from our family issues. I guess we kinda take it out on each other, causing more hurt. We just need to come up with a good solution from a good person and quit arguing for good! I hope something will work. I want to be with him forever and I want to be the best girlfriend there ever was for him.

    Please help,

    Sincerely, Kaleen.

    p.s. thanks for listening, please give feed back. ?

  • drwelpton said:

    The surest way to stop arguing is to make sure you understand your partner’s point of view by re-stating it to him until he tells you that you got it. If the issue is one you feel strongly about wait 24 hours before you tell him your view on the topic and ask him to paraphrase or restate your viewpoint until you tell him he has understood you. As soon as you put your energy into understanding your partner rather than arguing with him, you will change how you communicate.
    For added alternatives to stop an argument you will find other steps you can use in my “Relationship Tips” on my blog-site on under: “How to Stop Arguing for the Sake of your Marriage/Relationship.”
    By the way, it makes no sense to argue over your perceptions or over your feelings since each of us creates those for ourselves and no two people no matter how much they love each other will interpret a sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell identically or feel the same way about it. If you watch the same movie, for example, you may well perceive what you saw differently and have different feelings about it.
    Growth in a relationship comes from understanding and tolerating our differences with our partner. If they thought and felt just the way we do the relationship would be boring. Conflict is an instrument through which we grow the way two pieces of metal rubbing against one another sharpen each other.
    When you are under stress from your families intimate couples often take out on each other what they can’t express or share with their families.

  • Ryan said:

    Dr. Welpton,
    I have been in this relationship with this woman for about three months now. In the middle of my travels, we met online and the sparks flew! I really liked her and it seemed she really liked me.We met in person about a month into our friendship and spent the weekend together. HONESTLY, we didn’t intend on being intimate but we did. I’d like to believe that we were ADULT about the intimacy because it seemed to draw us nearer. Fast forward about two months, I came home and we started spending time together daily. Now that I’m home, I’m finding out that she has some issues that were not so transparent earlier in our connection. I knew that she had been married previously, but when I spent the night at her house, I found that she still has remnants of her ex-husband around the house. She still has the Wedding Cake couple ornament in her living room and I told her that it makes me uncomfortable that she has it. I also asked her if she’s still emotionally attached to her Ex- Husband but she of course, disagrees with me and says that I’m making too much of it because it doesn’t mean what I think it means. Yet her reason is that a dear friend who is now deceased purchased this ornament and she doesn’t want to let it go. And to make it worse, her ex-husband used to call her every weekend to “Check on her” and even though she constantly brings him up I drew the line at the phone calls. She tells me, “I want you to know about my past and you act like you don’t want to hear it!” Well, I did express to her that I really don’t want to hear stories of her marriage because I’m trying to build OUR foundation. Now, it seems we are at odds and arguing lately and the relationship is only 3 months old. So my question is…did our early intimacy contribute to this trouble were having right now? And, is this relationship “Toxic” for me because now, after all that we’ve done in such a short time, I’m not happy anymore.

  • drwelpton said:

    Yes, I think you jumped into love-making ahead of where you and your partner are in your friendship and in your knowledge and understanding of each other. Unfortunately our society promotes the idea of being sexual quickly, I think in the false belief it will bring you closer together. The problem is that sex is not just a game of tennis. It is deeply personal and bonding when it is love-making, not just mechanical sex. You and your partner are now having to back up to build a more solid foundation of friendship and understanding of each other, which is awkward when you have already been sexually intimate.
    There are 4 ways to be intimate: one is sex, but the others are: sharing your thoughts, sharing your feelings, and being affectionate without sex–like holding hands and hugging, for example. Sex works best when it is saved until you have first been intimate the other 3 ways. Sex based on love, not on getting a fix or a high, is so personal and vulnerable we have a hard time going backwards once we have taken that step.
    In my workshops for couples almost everyone raised their hand when I asked: “Who wants more intimacy?” When I next asked, “Who wants to be more vulnerable?” not a hand went up. I then asked: “How do you become more intimate without being more vulnerable?” No one had an answer. If I had figured out an easy answer I would have become an instant millionaire. The truth is you cannot become intimate without being vulnerable.
    Before having sex it is wise to ask yourself: “Is this in my long term best interest?” On a short term basis, sex almost always feels good. Sex is meant to be pleasurable; it is meant to keep our species alive. But you need to think long term: how will I feel about being intimate with this person tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?
    In today’s world what I am saying will be seen as prudish and old-fashioned. If it is, so be it. I will tell you from my experience working with couples over forty years it is better for your relationship to take your time to truly know one another very well before you start sexual love-making. There are now studies coming out which indicate that couples who wait to have sex until they are married have more stable and longer lasting marriages.
    Studies on Social Intelligence have shown us that young children who can delay gratification to obtain a larger reward–at age 4 getting 2 marshmallows instead of 1 by delaying eating the marshmallow for 5 minutes–lead different lives than those who chose instant gratification. A major lesson in growing up and maturing is learning patience and being capable of delaying gratification.
    I thank you, Ryan, for being vulnerable by sharing your question and your experience.

  • Ryan said:

    Thank you Dr. Welpton! I truly appreciate your advice.

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