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It happens in every marriage: the bliss bubble pops and out spills tiny schisms that swell under the silent treatment and unpacked feelings, leaving cracks in your foundation. No one expects to have a conflict-free marriage. But sometimes that conflict can turn into resentment and strife. If we’re honest, it’s easier to start a fight than it is to stop one, so here are a few creative ways to end a lingering petty argument with your spouse:

Randomly argue your point using a foreign accent. Like full blown Bajan or Wakandan dialect. At some point, your partner will either laugh hysterically, or they will use all their energy trying to decipher what you mean and lose sight of what you were fighting about in the first place.

Remove one article of clothing for every valid point made from the opposing side. If somebody ends up naked, then you’ll know who was right and who was wrong. End the argument there and spend that time making up and making more satisfying noise.

Neutralize the situation with a “No Consequence Zone.” Stuck in the middle of an argument small and annoying like a splinter, but not massive enough to google “divorcee attorney near me?” Consider creating a safe space where each of you can break from reality and spell out the consequence that you’d want the other person to face. Barring death, it could sound like this: “You made me so mad when you _________, I wanted to buy your favorite cereal and leave a teaspoon of milk in the fridge.” Each person gets a turn to unleash the harbored thoughts in a safe space, acknowledge the offense and then let it go.

You said_______, I heard________. This is an old faithful counseling tactic, but it can bear a lot of weight when trying to overcome a recurring argument. We tend to filter our perspectives through life experiences and the lasting effects that they bring, especially experiences that shaped us from childhood. Messages often end up misunderstood and misinterpreted because we don’t take the time to consider one another’s perspectives. Sharing how a message is received versus how it was intended can help significantly in allowing a couple to discover a language that is unique to them.

Game on! Break the lingering silence by initiating a game. This could be something as simple as naming streets in your town for every letter of the alphabet or breaking out a set of UNO cards. Strike up a conversation that is not attached to your challenges, but instead focuses on lighter, more playful topics that both of you can participate in without any pressure connected.

Revisiting your grievances after shared moments like these can make resolution easier and more productive once the momentum has shifted back towards togetherness.

Tea Time! How long have you stayed upset with your spouse after a petty argument? What ended the feud? I’d love to hear your story!

Written By: Ashley Littles

Follow Ashley on Instagram: @moxiedmama

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