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Some tips on how to argue with your spouse from the "experts"

Everyone wants to imagine that their life and their problems are uniquely their own. However, this is not true. Social scientists, including many so-called "marriage experts," do hit on some common trends that can help many couples. As you are probably aware, most marriage problems arise due to communication breakdowns. This article will go over some tips on how to avoid this breakdown.

First, timing does matter. You do have legitimate concerns but they can wait until the household is calm and everyone has had an opportunity to relax. Second, don't take timing as an excuse to put off legitimate concerns. Ignoring issues with your partner only ensures that one day in the future they will bubble up to the surface all at once. Quick resolution of issues before they get too big is a good way to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Third, take a moment and consider your words. Don't react or speak instinctively. Your spouse is your partner and what you say matters. Also, while you are carefully choosing your words, think about your body posture. You don't want to take defensive or intimidating stances. Body and facial expressions are a huge part of human communication and taking the time to relax your eyes and shoulders can de-escalate arguments.

Fourth, while on the subject of arguments, don't think of them as "fights" but as opportunities to resolve marital issues. Don't look at these arguments as a zero-sum game but an opportunity for you both to tackle an issue together.

The tips espoused by these experts are applicable in just about every altercation you may find yourself in, including divorce. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Divorce is never an easy decision, nor should it be. An attorney can help you go over the legal, financial and even emotional implications of divorce. You may realize that there are unresolved issues that you did not anticipate.

Source: Huffington Post, "What Marriage Experts Do Differently When Arguing With Their Partners," Brittany Wong, April 25th 2016.

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