How to Navigate Your First Argument as Newlyweds

A young newlywed couple sitting on opposite ends of the couch in the middle of an argument.

There’s truly nothing like newlywed bliss. You’re still fresh from your honeymoon, you’ve recently unwrapped all of the wedding presents, and you’re excited to embark on this new life together. But nothing can pop that newlywed bubble quicker than a knock-down, drag-out fight for the first time in your marriage.

All couples get into arguments every once in a while—and your relationship is no different. Here’s how to navigate your first fight as newlyweds in a healthy and, dare-we-say, productive way.

Don’t Panic

Whether your first fight happens during your honeymoon or months into your marriage, rest assured that married couples do fight, so don’t panic and think that you have a doomed relationship already. Marriage is not a cure-all for any existing disagreements that you had before you walked down the aisle and, believe it or not, you don’t have any newlywed dust that is going to prevent a big argument.

That being said, the first fight of your new married life can be especially startling—so it’s completely OK to get upset or even cry. Just don’t panic and think that it’s already over. You will likely have many (many) more fights.

Understand that Everyone Fights

If you grew up with parents who were constantly arguing or who got divorced, arguing with your spouse can be especially triggering for you. It’s important to understand that at some point every person who cohabitates with another person is going to get into a squabble over something—whether it’s the laundry, bills, or overbearing mother-in-laws.

As long as the fights are few and far between and not about anything relationship-threatening such as an affair or abusive tendencies, it’s perfectly healthy and reasonable to think that everyone is going to get into a fight every once in a while.

Look for Deeper Meanings

A young newlywed couple sitting separately on a bed in the middle of an argument.

The argument you’re having about doing the dishes probably isn’t really about doing the dishes—it may be about the two of you not having an equal share of the household work. And the fight you’re having about the new dining room table that you bought for your apartment isn’t really about the fact that your new spouse doesn’t like it—it may be that you spent money without talking to them about it first.

It’s difficult to do in the moment, but during your arguments you need to dig deeper and look for more meaning than what’s on the surface. It’s only then that you can be able to move on and not have the same fight over and over again.

Learn from the Argument

A newlywed couple embracing after their first argument.

After you’ve cooled down and you’ve shared an embrace at the end of all the arguing, it’s easy to resume to normal life and forget like it ever happened, but this would actually be a mistake. If you’ve deeply upset your partner, you should learn how to correct the behavior—or come up with a compromise to adapt. Learning from arguments is one of the ways that they’re actually valuable.

The goal of any argument is that you learn more about the intricacies of your partner, which will hopefully lead to the two of you getting along more often than not.

Know How to Fight Fair

Just like in professional boxing, there should be certain limits that you can’t go past in order to fight fair in your relationship. Everyone’s personal limits are different and can range from topics like ex-partners, family, or bringing up past transgressions that bear no relevance to the present day. Know your spouse’s and don’t tread in that water because it can be dangerous territory for you both.

Of course, another element of fighting fair is to respect how that person likes to argue. Some spouses prefer to talk things out immediately while others need a minute to cool off and meditate before they say something they regret. Understand what your partner needs to feel like they have been heard and vice versa. You’ll eventually settle into a rhythm and learn how to work arguments out quickly.

Don’t Immediately Run to Friends and Family

When you were dating, it might have been second nature to report all of the nitty-gritty details to your mom, sister, or best friend, but now that you’re married you should probably stop this practice. This person that you married is not only your spouse, but they are also a new family member.

It’s better for your relationship to keep things between the two of you, especially if they are only silly, day-to-day married life fights. Telling your friends and family the details of your arguments will be an annoyance to your spouse and limit their trust in you. It may be tough to keep it inside, but it’s ultimately better for your friends and family to not know how the sausage is made, so to speak.

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