My husband and I are both stubborn, and we never back down during arguments. After bickering, we feel bad. So how do we keep small issues from spiraling out of control?
It sounds like you've both met your match. Do you fantasize about having your spouse always give in, never take a stand, and back away from every discussion like a whimpering dog? Us neither. So there are going to be times when things get heated, especially between a husband and wife with stubborn streaks.
But beware: The price both of you will pay for always being right and winning an argument is feeling alone. Standing your ground feels good in the moment, but it quickly can turn sour. So ask yourself why it's so important to you to stay firm and not compromise. Little things shouldn't cause big problems, so there might be a bigger problem that you're not facing. Maybe you choose to bicker over non-issues that actually represent more significant issues.
You've probably heard it before, but you really need to pick your battles. Stop trying to win all of the time, and your mate will take your cue (and hopefully back down too). When you feel yourself going into that stubborn-mule mode, take a minute to collect your thoughts, calm down, and stop fighting just to fight. And keep in mind: You're a great team. If you ever need someone in your corner, you'll have a partner who will fight with you, not against you.
[Nestpert] Nili Sachs, PhD, a marriage and relationships coach in Minneapolis
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