How to Win Every Argument with Your Spouse


How can you ensure that you achieve victory when you and your spouse have a disagreement?

One piece of the puzzle in resolving conflict is learning how to reach a win/win solution after you understand each other’s feelings and needs surrounding an argument. Notice how I used the term “win/win”. I do not use this term lightly because when it comes to resolving conflict in a manner that draws you closer together, a win/win option is the only option. There is no such thing as a win/loss scenario in a healthy, satisfied marriage. If one of you feels like a solution is a loss, then both of you lose.

Several years ago my wife and I were transitioning from a job at a church. We were leaving the church and there is never an easy way to leave. We got in a huge conflict, and by huge I do not mean bad or ugly. I just mean that we were at complete opposite ends of how to leave the church on our last Sunday.

Amy felt we needed to disclose more details on why we were leaving and I felt like we couldn’t disclose enough information to give a full understanding. I felt like our inability to share the whole story would leave people with too many questions and then their imaginations would start formulating their own ideas. This is never good in a church environment.

On our way to our marriage class for our last Sunday, Amy and I reached a stand-still on what to do. She had very legitimate reasons for what she wanted to do and I had very legitimate reasons for what I wanted to do. This was a classic stand-off, so how do you reach a win/win solution when the two of you are on opposite ends? Easy.

Here are three suggestions on how to find win/win solutions when the solutions do not readily make themselves obvious:

  1. Ask a trusted friend to act as a mediator
  2. Go to a pastor or Christian marriage counselor
  3. Be a servant

1. Ask a trusted friend to act as a mediator

If you have discussed an issue and both of you feel like you understand each other, but you still can not come to a win/win solution – call a friend. Do not be ashamed to ask a friend to step in and offer help in finding a win/win solution. If both of you trust this person, then allow him/her to listen to both sides and then offer a third alternative or even choose either of your ideas. Couples get stuck, this is not bad or abnormal, the problem occurs when couples refuse to seek outside help. Some conflicts do not merit professional help, so ask a friend to get involved and trust the friend to make a good decision that will benefit your marriage.

2. Go to a pastor or Christian marriage counselor

If the conflict you are experiencing is serious, like dealing with an affair, then seek out help from a pastor or Christian marriage counselor. When you get stuck and can’t seem to find the light of day in your conflict, get help. There are people in your community that have spent years (my wife and I have been helping couples for 15 years) helping couples resolve conflict. Use them as a resource to keep your marriage strong. Do not allow conflict to erode your marriage simply because you are not willing to humble yourself and ask for help.

3. Be a servant

The nuclear option is to always choose to be a servant. This does not mean you act like a doormat. But sometimes the most logical and helpful solution is deciding to serve your mate’s needs and to lay down your life for your mate. Being Christlike is a win for anyone! Step up to the plate of servanthood and boldly announce that you want to hit a home run of serving your mate. That is the kind of person people want to be married to.

How did my wife and I solve our dispute? We took option number one and asked our dear friend Dr. Peter Bigler (our family doctor) to provide a verdict on who’s idea was best. Of course we both trust Peter, but I knew that Peter would see the genius of my solution. So of course he decided that Amy was correct. Dang! But I agreed that I would take Peter’s influence because I trusted that Peter wanted what was best for both of us. He and Amy were right. The best course of action was her plan, I just needed a little help in seeing it.

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