But if you don’t identify the real issue you’re fighting over, you’ll end up quarelling over the symptoms, he cautions. “When one wins in a quarrel, it doesn’t mean he has resolved a conflict.”
1 / 5 Conflicts are normalLoad more
2 / 5 But watch out for triggersLoad more
Married couples here tend to argue about kids, in-laws and money matters. “When a baby is born, the family dynamics change – couples need to adapt to a life with an additional family member who needs a lot of attention,” says Edmund. “Sometimes, there may be different expectations from either parent when it comes to caring for the new baby.”
Fights with in-laws happen over ways to discipline the kids or childcare issue. Mums and dads also work long hours and may bring home work stress, which affects their communication.
And if a new mum decides to leave her job, this may put stress on the family’s finances, leading to tension at home.
3 / 5 They can help your relationshipLoad more
If you put in effort to accept your differences or come to a compromise, he says. “A relationship is often tested in a conflict situation.
However, in the process of resolving it, a couple’s connection grows stronger because both parties experience a deeper sense of trust and confidence in each other.”
(Also read: 7 date night ideas for sporty couples)
4 / 5 Learn to fight wellLoad more
Edmund observes that women tend to be more emotional and men tend to be less tactful during arguments. So to fight right, you should confront each other at the right time and place. Speak slowly, maintain eye contact, and be conscious of not raising your voice.
“A little humour may help but couples need to focus on the main issue at hand, instead of the symptoms. If necessary, they can have a short time-out and come back to it again. Always allow revisiting a previously agreed action plan.”
Cool off before your argument escalates to blows, because that doesn’t help the situation at all, he warns. “You’re the owner of your emotions, which means no one can make you angry; it’s your choice. When you become emotional, you can tell your spouse that you feel angry, frustrated or sad, and ask for a time-out to calm down, if it helps.”
If this happens often, seek help from a counsellor or anger management class.
5 / 5 Bring it up againLoad more
Let your spouse know if you think the matter isn’t settled. Edmund says it’s perfectly all right to revisit the issue. “When you can laugh at the matter, it means you have put it behind you.”