De-Escalating Conflict in Your Marriage
Posted by Ramos Law Group, PLLC | Marriage
De-Escalating Conflict in Your Marriage
Divorce may be our firm’s bread and butter, but we do strive to help our clients and potential clients maximize the relationships in their lives. The Ramos Law Group, PLLC believes that less conflict, whether during the marriage or during the divorce process, is a good thing. While we would love to represent you if you are initiating the divorce process, we also would like to offer some tips as to how to de-escalate the existing tension in your marriage.
- Don’t say divorce.
Consider the word “divorce” to be a loaded weapon. Once that weapon is brandished, a minor disagreement is going to turn into an entirely different type of fight. Divorce is prevalent in our society and partners may throw the word around casually. Divorce may be the only solution. But don’t threaten divorce unless you are absolutely sure you are prepared to go down that path. Once the idea of divorce is on the table, it is often difficult for either partner to be able to move past it.
- Step into your spouse’s shoes.
Some arguments are silly. Some arguments have a clear bad actor. Many marriages have that hot button issue that results in constant arguments – it might be finances, previous adultery, or communication issues. Whatever the problem may be, it’s important to take a moment and examine the issue from your spouse’s perspective. Even if they are the bad actor, just consider their position. Seeing an issue from all angles often facilitates solving the problem entirely, or at least coming to a reasonable compromise. People rarely argue just to be difficult – think about the root of the problem or where your spouse is coming from.
- Take a break if necessary.
Fighting is exhausting and takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. There may be a legitimate concern that needs to be addressed. The old adage “never go to bed angry” may have worked in the past, but in today’s world, where we are bombarded with a constant influx of news, social media, societal stressors, familial roles, and work obligations, sometimes you just really need to breathe. This might mean physically leaving a room for a few minutes or it might mean crashing at a friend’s place for the night. There is no shame in recognizing that an argument is going nowhere and space is needed.
- Do not involve the children.
Children are obviously going to pick up on tension or witness the occasional argument when a family is all living together under one roof. That’s how children learn to navigate relationships – to love, to fight, to compromise. Children should never bear witness to violence, to name calling, to disparaging remarks. Telling your child about the misdeeds of the other parent doesn’t help you “win” against your spouse, it’s hurting your relationship with your child. Children should not be pawns, they should not be used as messengers or manipulated against the other parent. Be the best partners you can be for the benefit of your children, because they are watching and mimicking your behaviors.
- Find common ground.
There is a reason you are married to your spouse. At some point in your relationship, it is probably safe to assume there was genuine trust, affection, and attraction. Marriage is hard, people change, circumstances evolve, and very few people can say they are still the exact same person they were the day of their wedding. Tensions can fester and trust may be broken. But in the darkest moments, look to what brought you together as a couple in the first place. Maybe your children are what unify you as a couple now or you still have the same goals and plans. Problems can snowball to the point where divorce seems inevitable, but if parties take the time to reset to what brought them together in the first place, those problems may seem less insurmountable.
- Violence is NEVER the answer.
Domestic violence is an insidious disease hidden throughout our society. People don’t talk about it or it is dramatized in movies or television. But domestic violence occurs in households of all races, education levels, and tax brackets. Besides being abhorrent and dehumanizing, domestic violence will have a serious impact on your divorce. In Texas, a finding of domestic violence may result in having no legal rights regarding your children, limited or supervised visitation, loss of licenses, and being ordered to pay spousal support. Violence is NEVER the answer, but if your marriage is at that boiling point or if you are a victim of domestic violence, then it is time to step away and proceed with a divorce. That level of toxicity and violence can rarely be de-escalated and you should proceed with an exit plan.
Marriage is difficult, and de-escalating conflict in your marriage can be the key to a successful and long-lasting marriage. Almost all married partners have considered divorce at some point in their marriage, even if for a fleeting second. Some marriages cannot be saved, but many can if the partners take the time to put the work in and compromise. We love love at the Ramos Law Group and want the best for our clients and potential clients. But if the marriage is no longer operational, give us a call at (713) 225-6200 and we can help you navigate through the divorce process.