There are things that you cannot unsay. When you say mean or hateful things in the heat of the moment, they will linger for much, much longer. It's a good idea to set up some ground rules in advance for the times when fights happen. Here are a few things I've learned over the years:
1. Fight in private: This one should go without saying, but I'm going to say it. Don't fight and argue in front of your children, your neighbors, your families, anyone. Table whatever the problem is, go to a private place where you can discuss the issue and don't yell for all the world to hear. Also, don't get on social media to gripe either openly or vaguely about your issues. (This should be a general rule in life, not just in your relationship.) Don't vent to everyone you see. If you must vent, you need to have that one person you can trust to be open minded and encourage you to fix the issue, not to jump on your side and tell you that you are right all the time.
2. Don't use the Dirty D Word: That's right, Divorce. God gave you your husband to be your help and companion for the rest of your life. He didn't plan for you to get a divorce and you shouldn't use is as a threat. Ever. If you get to a point where either of you are even considering the possibility, you should take a time out. It you think about it regularly, you probably need to seek out some help. Ask a trusted friend who can be impartial, talk to an elder in your church, seek out a certified counselor, find someone you can talk to to help sort things out and get to a better place.
3. Don't say things just to hurt one another: Fights happen because you disagree with one another, this is already a rocky time in your relationship. Don't say things to intentionally hurt each other, it only makes things worse. The end goal of any fight should be a compromise on one or both parts, this will not be achieved if you are attacking each other. Don't bring up old arguments, don't bring up things you consider to be character flaws, stay on point. Only talk about the issue at hand, this is not a time to hash out everything you perceive to be wrong with your spouse.
4. It's not about winning: Think about this, if you always "win" when you fight, that means your husband always "loses". Now you are married to a loser. Is this what you really want? Is this how you really feel about the man you pledged to love until death do you part? Is this how you want to feel about him? No. I didn't think so. Everyone has to compromise at some point. Go into these situations looking for a real solution and trying to work together, not trying to win and get things your way all the time.
5. Encourage each other in the off season: You can be proactive about fights and arguments. If you always try to find things you appreciate about each other and you encourage each other in your everyday life, you will be less likely to get to the point of having actual fights. I'm not saying they will never happen, but if you are constantly trying to see the positive in each other, you are more likely to come to a solution before fights even start.
Remember, your husband is NOT your enemy. You have to stand united, even when you are in a fight. If you don't follow the rules and you start disrespecting each other, you open the door up wide for the actual enemy to get his claws into your marriage. My marriage and my life are definitely not perfect, but I have come a long way. I have had to learn some of these things the hard way and I hope you can use some of these tips to save yourself some pain and heartache.
What is the best marriage advice you ever received?