Each intimate partner’s unique worldview is shaped by their past and current life experiences. In an attempt to convince their spouse to see the world through their own individual lens, couples will engage in arguments. Arguments are healthy exchanges of thoughts and ideas that are driven by each partner’s level of passion for the topic being debated. When both partners take turns speaking and listening, arguments become healthy persuasive conversations that couples use to settle disputes, make joint decisions, and express their point of view regarding a particular subject matter.
Arguments become problematic when partners disable their ability to hear each other. When this happens, couples’ transition from arguing to fighting. A fight is intended to produce a loser and a winner. The main goal of an argument is to identify a mutual intersection where both partner’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas can cross over. Once each partner has respectfully expressed themselves, the couple can move forward with creating one harmonious perspective the relationship can adopt. When a partner approaches an argument with the intention of winning or beating their spouse, then they are engaging in a fight. Arguments are designed to produce resolutions that pull intimate partners together through speaking and listening to one another’s worldviews. The tone is the main factor to be aware of that causes couples to stop hearing each other during arguments.
Every part of the argument or persuasive conversation is important, but the startup holds the most value because it sets the tone for how the discussion will play out. The tone is impacted by the attitude each partner brings into the conversation and influences the volume used to transmit verbal messages. Healthy arguments start when partners communicate in a tone that pulls their spouse in and creates a desire to engage. Partners who are calm and reflect tones that invite their spouse in make it easier to start the argument in a non-combative fashion. The opposite would be true for partners that have an aggressive and demanding approach that makes their spouse become defensive at the start of the argument. The good tone has to be coupled with good timing that activates arguments that conclude with each spouse feeling heard. Finding the right time to engage in an argument is important because partners may need to prepare themselves to listen.