The truth is, every couple fights once in a while. Sometimes about serious things and other times about trivial things. Even couples who get along well and have a stable marriage have different opinions at some point.

Disagreements can escalate to a fight, especially if a couple fails to let go of previous problems like an ex-girlfriend, a run-in with the mother-in-law or a disagreement over finances. To avoid a big blow-up, stay calm. Take a minute to be alone until you can compose yourself.

Arguments aren't totally bad however. They just mean you've reached a point of familiarity at which you both feel comfortable saying exactly what you think and being who you are. Arguments don't happen to people who aren't extremely close. For example, you would never argue with someone you just met. Married couples face life together, and with that, many situations where both spouses are still learning.

Here are a few tips to help put respect above problems and avoid unnecessary fights:

  1. Avoid fighting with your spouse in front of your children.

  2. Avoid arguing in front of family members or friends. If you want to talk about something sensitive, do it in private.

  3. Admit when you're wrong and apologize.

  4. Avoid believing what other people tell you. If you have questions about your relationship, ask your partner directly.

  5. Avoid taking problems personally.

  6. Be positive and believe that everything will turn out just as you hope.

  7. Try to understand your spouse's temperament. If you know something will irritate your spouse, don't do it.

  8. Accept your spouse as is.

  9. Decide not to fight, and keep your word.

  10. Identify the negative aspects of your spouse's personality and accept them with tolerance.

  11. Never provoke each other with hatred or bitterness. Don't bring up the past.

  12. Discuss only the problem in a civilized manner.

  13. Be sensitive of your spouse's needs.

  14. Listen.

  15. Try to come to an agreement where the compromise is balanced fairly for both partners.

  16. Love your spouse and practice the language of love - both spoken and physical.

  17. Respect space and privacy.

  18. Encourage hobbies, and respect your partner's taste for certain foods, clothing or entertainment.

  19. Treat problems seriously. Give adequate importance to what your spouse says and feels.

  20. Come to an agreement and then hug and kiss each other. Show the love you feel.

Don't forget the basics. Treat your spouse with respect, courtesy and politeness. Put the situation in perspective. Ask yourself if it's really worth it to destroy a day of your lives together for something that will soon be over. Determine whether the reason for the fight will be important in 10 or 20 years.

Just remember, fights in a marriage cannot be about winning or losing. Choose your battles depending on what's truly important in the both partners' lives. Be kind.

There is no fight that can't be resolved if both partners are responsible and recognize their mistakes, give a little, and speak the language of love.

Translated and adapted by Vaughn Christensen from the article "20 formas de evitar brigas des necessárias com seu cônjuge" by Chris Ayers.

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