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It’s hard to communicate with someone who is argumentative, regardless of what you’re talking about.
If your husband constantly picks fights with you, he is seriously jeopardizing your marriage even if he isn’t aware of it.
That’s because communication is key to a successful relationship and a happy marriage. And, yes, you have probably heard that a thousand times before because it is true.
What you don’t know is how to stop your husband from turning everything into an argument.
You know and accept that fights happen in every marriage, but your husband seems to start them when there’s not even an issue…
Maybe he picks on everything you do or gets frustrated whenever you want to have a conversation with him.
This means that your marriage is in trouble, but don’t despair! Here are some of the things that you can try when your husband argues with everything you say.
However, keep in mind that therapy might be the only thing that could save your marriage. You can try these things first:
1. Figure out the reason.
Why does your husband behave this way? If you can answer this question, you are one step closer to finding a solution.
Did something happen recently that’s making him frustrated, or has he always been like this?
Is he unhappy, and if so, is he unhappy with you or in general?
Maybe he is upset with you because of something you did that he can’t yet forgive you for.
Maybe he is unhappy with his life or with your marriage.
Perhaps it’s just his nature. Or, he has learned to behave this way because of his past, whether that’s his childhood or previous relationships.
Whatever it is, you need to know so that you could find a way to address it.
When you’re trying to figure it out, look beyond the surface. A fight about dirty dishes could actually be about childhood trauma, unmet needs, or insecurities. So don’t assume that the issue at hand is the real problem because, often, there’s an underlying issue.
Maybe something changed recently; it doesn’t even have to be a bad event. Your husband could feel under pressure because of a big relationship milestone, a new promotion, or buying a new house.
2. Talk to him about it.
Talk to your husband about how things have been. Let him know that you’re worried because you constantly get into arguments over everything.
Reassure him that you love him and tell him that you want to stop arguing so much.
Maybe your husband experienced some problems recently such as job loss or the death of a loved one. If so, give him some time to recover but let him know that you want to help him, not fight with him.
Maybe your husband is unhappy in your marriage instead. Ask him about it and let him know that things have to change if your marriage is going to work out. Tell him that you’re willing to put effort into improving your marriage but that he has to do the same for it to work.
If he is unhappy, arguing with you is not going to change that, and it’s making you unhappy too. Tell him that and let him know that you can be happy together if you can stop arguing over nothing.
Show him that you want to communicate with him without raising your voice. You should be able to talk about things without screaming at each other or using name-calling.
3. Don’t be argumentative.
If your husband is argumentative, you don’t have to be. In fact, you shouldn’t be if you want to calm things down.
Don’t be critical, sarcastic, aggressive, or blame him for everything. Instead, calmly let him know that you used to get along well until recently. Ask him to tell you what changed and help you fix it so that you can go back to the way things were.
Make sure to use “I” statements and focus more on how you feel rather than what he does. Instead of, “You always lash out on me,” say, “I feel sad because we don’t communicate like we used to.“
Be assertive instead of aggressive or passive-aggressive. Don’t get defensive or yell back at him when he yells at you. Show him with your actions that you don’t want to talk like that anymore.
Ask him to talk to you like he would talk to a friend. You want to be his friend and help him get through whatever it is that he’s dealing with. Also, ask if there’s anything that you can do to make things better. Apologize if you have done something wrong.
4. Ask questions.
Did you do something wrong? You probably don’t know anymore, but your husband does. So make sure to ask questions while talking about this.
Ask him how he has been feeling lately and what is bothering him. Ask what you can do to make things better. Ask him whether he wants to improve your marriage by suggesting ways you could do that.
Let him know that you are acknowledging the problem but that you need more information from him to find a solution.
Ask him whether he’s happy and, if he’s not, let him know that he can’t be happy if you argue all the time. So, you need to work on this so that you can both be happy.
Also, ask him if he would be willing to try couples counseling or individual therapy or both. Tell him that you’re willing to admit your part of the blame but that you don’t know how to fix things.
5. Don’t use destructive ways of fighting.
When your husband argues with everything you say, you can react in different ways. You can’t make him fight fairly, but you don’t have to use destructive ways of fighting either.
Stonewalling, criticism, belligerence, sarcasm, and defensiveness just make things worse.
Stonewalling is when a person withdrawals entirely and refuses to discuss the issue.
Criticism is when you comment negatively and make your partner feel threatened or attacked.
Belligerence and sarcasm can make your partner feel belittled and humiliated.
Defensiveness and justifying yourself can also make your partner feel attacked.
Don’t do these things, and try to explain to your husband how destructive they are if he does them. Things like that can only escalate an argument, and they’re not a healthy way to resolve them.
When your husband constantly picks fights with you, don’t react by making things worse. Try to stay calm and ask him what the real issue is. Reassure him that you’ll understand, but he needs to have a calm discussion about the problems that are bothering him.
6. Be willing to make compromises.
A lot of times, the only way to resolve an argument is to make compromises. If you both stick firmly to what you want, it’s likely that neither of you will get it. You’ll just end up fighting even more.
So, be willing to choose an imperfect solution instead of no solution. Making compromises is a skill that can make a marriage last. Sticking to your guns could end it.
Let your husband know that you’re willing to meet him halfway. Discuss possible solutions that could be okay with both of you.
You don’t have to be right all the time. In fact, it doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. What matters is that you find a solution for your problems. Focus on that instead of proving your husband wrong or demanding to be right all the time. Compromises could save your marriage.
7. Take a break from fighting.
It’s easy to say that you should be calm during an argument. Actually staying calm when your blood is rushing through your veins, your heart is pounding, and your soul is hurting is not so easy.
When you can’t stay assertive and calmly discuss your problems, take a break.
There’s a wonderful thing called a pause. You can pause the fight until you’re calm enough to talk about the issue without raising your voice.
You can always say “We are too upset, and this is not productive, let’s sleep on it and discuss it tomorrow after coffee.”
No one can make you engage in a fight, even if they’re yelling at you and making you want to scream back. Make a choice to take a break when you can’t fight productively.
The problems aren’t going to go away on their own anyway. They’ll wait for you to cool down so that you can calmly discuss them and focus on finding the solution instead of hurting each other.
People can get irrational and say things that they don’t mean during a fight. Prevent this by taking a break to be alone, cool your head, and regain perspective.
8. Only fight in person.
We’ve started to use our phones for communicating with people even more than we talk to them in person. However, fights are not something that should happen through texting or over the phone.
A person could read something entirely different than what you wrote. This is because they can’t hear your tone of voice and see your body language. A message that sounds normal to you could sound aggressive to them.
Fights over long messages are usually full of misunderstandings, and that’s not productive. If your husband starts arguing with you over text let him know that you’ll talk about it when you next see each other. End the argument with that until you see him.
The same goes for when he picks a fight with you over a phone call. A simple “We’ll talk about it when I get home” could save you a lot of trouble.
9. Set boundaries for your fights.
You should be fighting the issue, not each other.
When an argument becomes about attacking your character and insulting you as a person, it’s no longer about the issue.
Focus on the issue that you’re fighting about, not hurting each other. Swearing, name-calling, yelling, avoiding the problem, and attacking each other won’t get you anywhere. It will only make you want to file for divorce.
So, before the next fight happens, sit down with your husband and discuss boundaries for your fights. Agree to stay respectful when you argue. Attack the issue not each other.
Forbid name-calling, yelling, pointing fingers, and similar destructive things. These things distract you from the issue and make you feel unsafe, unaccepted, and unheard.
Talk to your husband and set clear boundaries for when you fight. You’re not going to stop fighting. However, your fights will be constructive instead of destructive.
10. Remind yourselves of why you’re together.
What made you fall in love with your husband? What does he love about you? Why did you get married? What are your plans for the future?
Talk about these things and remind yourself that you love each other and want to make it work. Recall all the things that make you care about each other and want to fight for your marriage. Then, keep these things in mind when an argument happens.
A single big fight could doom or end a marriage. But this will only happen if you forget that you love each other while you’re fighting. If you keep in mind that you want to stay together, you’ll focus on finding a solution for the issue you’re arguing about.
Maybe you don’t feel such intense love after being together for so long, but you can always rekindle the passion. You can even make lost feelings come back, but you probably do still care about each other. Don’t forget about that when you’re upset.
11. Resolve the conflict as soon as it happens.
Don’t prolong conflicts or leave problems unresolved. Letting your negative emotions simmer and avoiding speaking up is bad. It can only lead to bitterness and resentment. This could seriously damage your relationship, especially if you keep quiet about your feelings.
Open up to each other, express your feelings, talk about them and resolve conflicts as soon as possible. Lay all your cards on the table and approach resolving your problems instead of letting them grow bigger over time.
Don’t give each other the silent treatment or leave an argument unfinished. With time, problems will grow, build up, and have side effects.
Maybe your husband constantly picks fights with you exactly because there are many of them that have been left unresolved. Don’t forget that you could always use the help of a therapist in identifying and resolving your issues.
12. Consider things from his perspective.
Always try to consider your husband’s point of view, as difficult as that may be at times.
Maybe it seems like he is causing arguments over nothing, but it’s probably not like that from his perspective. Perhaps you already know how his mind works but don’t assume that you can read it. Things might look entirely different from where he’s standing.
You might even have no clue what’s going on in his world when he’s causing arguments. This is why open and honest communication is so important.
Try to consider things from his perspective and understand where he’s coming from. Help him understand your point of view too.
A lot of arguments happen simply because people don’t understand each other. That is literally the definition of a misunderstanding after all.
Make an effort to see each other’s point of view. It will be a lot harder to fight destructively if you do.
13. Ask him how you can make him happy.
Maybe your husband turns everything into an argument because he’s unhappy. And maybe you’re not the reason for his unhappiness.
But you can help to make him happy. Ask him how.
Let him know that you’re tired of arguing with him and that you’d just like to be happily married again. Reassure him that you love him and want to make things work. Then ask how you can help contribute to his happiness.
Maybe he would like you to support him more or simply give him more alone time. Be open to his suggestions and be willing to try things that would make him happy.
Keep in mind that your husband shouldn’t depend on you for his happiness, but you can contribute to it. You can make things easier for him and help him into a better mood.
How? You’ll have to ask him!
Just make sure to ask with a kind and understanding tone, not a sarcastic or upset one.
14. Prepare him for what you want to say.
When you know that your partner starts arguments for no reason whatsoever, begin by reminding him of that.
Instead of telling him the thing that will likely cause him to become argumentative, prepare him for it beforehand.
Let him know that you need to tell him something. Ask if he could listen and calmly discuss it with you instead of fighting. Tell him that you want to talk like adults and figure things out together.
Let him know that you’re not trying to start a fight; you just want to talk with the man you love. Say that it’s important for you to be able to tell him things without worrying that he’ll turn everything into an argument.
The truth is, your husband probably isn’t aware that he’s starting arguments over everything you tell him. Point that out to him kindly before talking to him about things that you need to tell him.
Be calm, kind, and understanding. Express your worry that he’ll fight with you if you speak and let him know how it makes you feel.
15. Talk about something else.
When your husband gets upset during a conversation, try to change the topic. This is not a solution to your problems, but it could stop the fight. It should also help him cool down enough to address the topic again later.
Try to lighten things up by talking about something that you know would relax him or make him laugh.
Sometimes, sticking to the same topic for too long leads to unnecessary fights. If you have both said what you needed to say, you don’t need to keep talking about it. Know when to stop and change the topic.
If you can’t talk about the subject constructively and it will just turn into an argument, why stick to it? You can always talk about it again another time. Don’t persist in something that’s causing a fight.
Try to approach the subject from a different angle next time. Sometimes, all it takes is that it’s not the first time your husband hears about it, and he’ll react differently.
16. Focus on the relationship dynamic not the issue.
When there’s no point in talking about the issue, shift the focus onto the relationship dynamic instead. You don’t have to engage in a destructive fight about a superficial issue.
Ask your husband “Why are you fighting with me?” Talk about your relationship, not the issue. If he persists in fighting, remind him that you’ve been fighting about everything lately.
The issue at hand is probably not the biggest issue in your marriage, it’s just a consequence of it. So, try to talk about your marriage and how you could communicate better.
Don’t get sucked into the story about dirty dishes when your problem is communication. Dirty dishes could easily get cleaned, but improving your communication will take effort.
If you’re fighting all the time, it doesn’t matter what your fights are about. They’re probably not about that, to begin with. Talk about the real problem, and the real problem is that your husband picks on everything you do.
17. Make him realize the consequences.
If this goes on, what’s going to happen? Your marriage might end. That’s the brutal reality of the situation.
Your husband might be focused on the small and superficial issue while the future of your marriage is at stake.
You can’t go on like this, and you won’t be happy if you do. In fact, you are likely to end your relationship over something that could have been resolved.
To avoid this, try talking to your husband about the consequences of your current relationship dynamic. Don’t threaten to leave him, but make him realize that you could doom your relationship if you keep fighting like this.
Again, reassure him that you want to stay with him and fix things, but ask for his help in doing that. If he’s not willing to put in the effort and keeps up with his behavior, you’ll both be unhappy. And unhappy couples search for happiness elsewhere sooner or later.
Let him know that you want you to be happy together again and that you need his help.
18. Talk about his past.
The reason your husband acts this way might be in his past. Whether the problem started in his childhood or in past relationships, it can end now.
But, it won’t be easy. Your husband will need to search for help in overcoming these problems. Encourage him to seek therapy and offer your support.
Let him open up to you about the problems he had in childhood or in previous relationships. Maybe he always starts fights over everything because that’s what his past has taught him.
Let him know that you want to help him, but you shouldn’t pay for someone else’s mistakes. If he’s really starting arguments for no reason, help him realize that he’s punishing you and that you don’t deserve it.
You are the person who loves him and wants what’s best for him. Support him and encourage him to address his issues instead of lashing out at you.
19. Focus on finding the solution.
When you do fight, don’t fight against each other. Focus on finding a solution instead.
Fights are good for your marriage, but only if they are constructive. Even if your husband doesn’t focus on the solution, you can. When he starts a fight with you, ask what you can do to fix the issue. Ask him how he can contribute to fixing the issue too.
Don’t get caught up in destructive fighting. Ask what you can do, and stick to your intention of fixing the issue instead of prolonging the fight.
It’s really hard to fight with someone who just wants to fix things, so your husband is likely to snap out of it.
20. Try therapy.
When you’re constantly fighting, you can’t ignore the issue. As you already know, it could end your marriage.
So, if nothing you do shows any progress, suggest therapy. Problems like these are hard to resolve without some extra help. A therapist is familiar with couples who encounter these kinds of problems. They can help you make things work.
If your husband accepts going to therapy, it’s a great sign. It means that he wants to make things better. If he instead stays immune to all these ways and rejects therapy, it might be time to consider more drastic measures.
21. Consider taking some time apart.
You don’t have to get a divorce, but if things are that bad, consider taking some time apart. Getting some distance could even be good for you.
You can’t go on with being attacked every time you speak anyway. When you separate, your husband might realize the seriousness of the problem and take action. Or, you might realize that your marriage can’t be the way it used to be, and it’s better to go your separate ways.
Before you consider separation though, try therapy. As long as you’re both willing to fight for your marriage you won’t fight with each other for much longer.
Still not sure how to fix the issue of your husband picking fights with you? While the information above is sound, it can really help to have someone to talk to about stressful situations like these. That person should be an experienced relationship expert who knows how to guide people facing marriage problems like yours. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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