3 Ways to Calm an Argument with your Spouse

Statement of Faith

We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female. As such He created them different so as to complement and complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. Therefore, we perform and mentor marriages in accordance with Biblical guidelines. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-11. 6:18-20, 7:1-3 and 7:8-9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)

By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott July 15, 2020 Communication, Conflict

There aren’t many things that are worse than getting in an
argument with your spouse that just keeps escalating. No matter what either of
you try to do, you seem to be at a stalemate. Or worse, things are starting to
get a little ugly.

Luckily, there are several ways you can defuse heated
conflict with your spouse. Doing so will give you both the opportunity to step
back, regroup, and come back to the discussion with a fresh perspective. Let’s
dive in.


Many of us struggle with the impulse to jump right in and
make our case before our spouse is even done talking. Rather than listening to
understand, we listen to respond. So it’s important to slow your response time
so you have a better chance of understanding what your spouse is trying to say.

Here are a few ways you can be a better listener and respond
to your spouse more appropriately:

Practice active listening

Face your spouse and make eye contact

Eliminate distractions while you’re talking

Ask clarifying questions

Repeat your spouse’s concerns and verify you understand


If you and your spouse are in the middle of a heated
argument and you can’t seem to find common ground, take a break. It may seem
counterintuitive, but walking away for a little while can help you both clear
your heads and mull over the situation before it morphs into something you can
no longer control.

Conflicts aren’t always easy to resolve quickly, and if
you’ve been together for any length of time, you understand what we mean. It’s
perfectly acceptable for conflict resolution to take time. So use your ability
to take a break, get some air, and sort things out before coming back together
to continue the conversation.


Sometimes, verbal communication can get difficult to
navigate. If you and your spouse are having a hard time talking things out
without getting overly emotional, try writing down your feelings and exchanging

Think through what you’re writing, and once you’ve put it
together, hold it for at least 24 hours before giving it to your spouse. That
will give you a chance to make sure everything you wrote is both loving and
rational. Writing your feelings or position down will give each of you a new
perspective on your position in the conflict.

Getting your thoughts onto paper might also help you sort
out how you really feel about a conflict. Writing can untangle a mess of
thoughts and feelings. You might find that there are more commonalities between
you and your spouse’s opinions than you realized.


There’s no shame in setting “rules of engagement”, per se,
with your spouse early on in your relationship. When you have a clear set of
boundaries in place before a conflict comes around, you’ll be better equipped
to keep your communication civil and rational while you work it out.