How to Argue Like a Boss
Argument is a fine art, and if you want to be victorious, you have to learn how to fight like a champ.
Here is the skinny. Most couples do NOT know how to handle conflict. As a result, they not only do great damage to their marriage, they also hurt themselves and their children. Divorce rates go up, infidelity and abuse increase, and the next generation assumes this is how things are supposed to be. It’s not.
As Catholic men, we should already know that marriage is not advanced dating, nor is it a partnership, nor is it friends with benefits. Marriage is a Sacrament. It is a grace giving communion between a man and a woman. As a divine gift of God for grace and sanctification, it MUST be treated as such.
We are in it for the long haul, not just to endure, but to win. Winning is getting each other to heaven through growth in union with one another and Christ through total self-giving love. Marriage is not passive. It requires everyone to participate and invest. The good news is that Jesus has done the hardest part. He calls us now to true union and provides the graces we need to be fruitful and successful in matrimony.
But aren’t we talking about fights and arguments?
Yes. Conflict is probably one of the most visible parts of a marriage. At one level it is just a sign that we are unique individuals. We do not always see exactly the same as our spouse. Okay. No big deal. It is when we let our disagreements stir up anger and resentment that we get in trouble. We have to work on avoiding that, and this truly is the hard part. Why? Because our desire to “be right” and our twisted sense of judgement get in the way, and we have to learn to master our emotions, pride, mind, speech, and actions simultaneously.
One thing we need to start right now is to commit to honesty. Guys, this means honesty said tactfully and gently. You must resist the urge to make verbal jabs and emotionally wound. DO NOT ever do that. If you have, you need to apologize NOW and commit to never repeat this. Not only is this pure hurtfulness, it is also never going to win an argument.
The next thing we need to do is commit to dealing with a matter before going to bed. Those long nights when both of you silently fume needs to go away. If we are avoidimg the jabs, it will make it easier on us to reconcile differences and not go to bed angry. Do not give opportunity for disputes to fester into hurt and resentment. Take the lead on this in gentleness.
We should also fix our listening skills. I already wrote about that, so you can go back and read. The point here is controlling our emotions, mind, and tongue while our wife is pleading her case. Listen to what she says. Try to understand. Resist the urge to interrupt or jump one one facet. Listen to the whole thing and control your emotions. Guys, it is hard to do this, but we have to have the balls to do it. Listen, understand, THEN pause and formulate your response.
We must also fight fair even if our wife chooses not to. Like I said, we gotta have the balls to take the lead and see it through. Man up and hang in there. I am telling you that this can work. The problem is that couples give up too easy. Not you. Not anymore. Your marriage is worth it.
Our speech needs to be pure. Not insulting, not sarcastic, not angry. We can describe our feelings related to the matter without accusing or yelling. Stick to the matter of the disagreement. The facts and the truth are what matters. That is the objective reality. How we feel, what we assume the motives are, etc. are secondary to the real matter. If we are handling our emotions we can do this. Kick your pride to the curb. It takes supreme strength to do this, but the grace is there.
Admit your wrongs when they exist. Take ownership of mistakes and ask forgiveness. Again, we must do this even if our wife doesn’t. These changes take time. It goes back to humility and strength.
I know this is a lot of data, and I am telling you that I am not the perfect practitioner. The books and counselors will back me up though. This is the way. Now I am gonna add something they don’t. It is a silver bullet that will help you.
If you will stop what you are doing and say, “Baby, I can see that we are arguing, and I don’t want this to turn into something ugly. Let’s ask for God’s help” we will do well. Pray that God will help you both to exercise charity, humility, and good listening. Ask Him to be part of this conversation (He is anyway). Ask for help in solving the matter at hand. Consider also praying a decade of the rosary. Guys, it is hard to be an arse when you are mindful of God’s presence.
Good luck, guys. You will change the dynamic of your family and save your kids by controlling your arguments. God bless you.
Posted on June 30, 2014, in Catholic Family, Catholic Husbands, Catholic Manliness, Marriage, Sacraments of the Catholic Church and tagged catholic divorce, catholic marriage, couples argue, Family catholic, win an argument. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.