When faced with a disagreement, we might become defensive about our opinions and occasionally hurt or denigrate the opposing party in the process. Any marital relationship could suffer from this, especially in the long run. Then, how can you settle disputes with your spouse without getting into a fight over a contentious debate? This subject is covered in TOUCH Family, which also offers advice on how to handle disputes in relationships. In a dispute, emotions can and often do run high. But it would be beneficial to process and discuss your feelings with your spouse rather than yelling and pointing fingers. Be mindful of your voice tone. While discussing a problem, try to exercise self-control and respect for one another. During disputes, many people have a tendency to keep track of the other party’s past wrongdoings and use it against them. It’s best to avoid bringing up old, unrelated events because doing so doesn’t help with the current problem. A more long-term strategy for maintaining a relationship might be to take a “give-and-take, agreeing-to-disagree” stance. Long-term marital success can also be achieved by practicing forgiveness and calling a timeout when an argument becomes too heated. The most crucial first step is gathering all the information and being absolutely clear about what the conflict is about. At this point, no one should point the finger of blame at the other. Select the most urgent issue to address if several come up. The couple will strategize and generate potential solutions to the problem at hand during this phase.