Want a Better Marriage? Learn How to Fight Better

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Playing How Do We Communicate Better When We Argue?

Marriage is definitely not easy. In fact, actor Kevin Fredericks and his wife Melissa would say it is actually really hard. In their hilarious new book, Marriage Be Hard, the two share the experiences they've had throughout their nearly two decades of marriage, from being newlyweds through the more recent years. The book is meant to be a guide to working through issues that they struggled with themselves. 

In addition to sharing their wisdom through the book, Kevin and Melissa are also answering a few of our viewers questions. Melanie and Josh are newlyweds, married last November, and they ask Kevin and Melissa about communicating effectively to resolve arguments.  

"For the most part, our arguments aren’t about anything major—like what to have for dinner, or whether one of us got in the other's way when they were busy working from home—but we both tend to be stubborn or passive aggressive if the other does something to upset us," they explain.  

"We end up wasting time giving each other the silent treatment, rather than communicating what's bothering us and coming up with a solution from the start. Do you have any advice for how to effectively communicate and move on from an argument?" 

Melissa explains that oftentimes an argument is not about what you are literally fighting about, but instead about something bigger. "So you should try to get to the root of what the problem is...if it's that you're bothering me while I'm at work, maybe the issue is really that you're feeling disrespected, or that your work isn't really important to your partner. If the argument is about what to have for dinner, are you tired? What are we really talking about because we’re not really fighting about having pizza for dinner," she says. 

And Kevin shares with the couple that they're not alone. "One time, Melissa and I were arguing about tupperware. She would take the time to put the tupperware in neatly, put the lids in the right place, and I'd go in and grab the tupperware with reckless abandon. And we argued about it. What she was really saying is you're not seeing me, you're not valuing the work I'm doing. And I'm like who cares? It's tupperware," says Kevin.  

So, Kevin and Melissa explain that once you learn what the argument is really about, it's essential to follow the three pillars of communication to resolve the issue.  

The Three Pillars of Communication in a Relationship 

Honesty  

"You're not going to get anywhere meaningful with your spouse unless you're honest about what's bothering you," Melissa says.  

Transparency  

This takes honesty to the next level, explains Melissa. "If honesty is the 'what,' transparency is the 'why.' It's identifying the reason behind the feelings," she says.  

Vulnerability  

"This invites your partner to your deepest, darkest, even ugliest parts of you. If transparency allows you to recognize the issue, vulnerability allows you to share it," Melissa explains.  

Kevin and Melissa also help answer another couples question about getting on the same page sexually.  

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