An Interview with Fawn Weaver on her book
The Argument-Free Marriage
Stronger Families’ CEO, Noel Meador, talks with Fawn Weaver, author of The Argument-Free Marriage and The Happy Wives Club. Fawn is the founder of the wildly popular blog “The Happy Wives Club,” which has nearly one million members. She is also an investor in lifestyle brands, real estate, and the tech sector and has experience as the Chief Strategy Officer of the companies in which she invests.
During today’s podcast, you will learn:
1. What does an argument-free marriage look like?
Many couples confuse arguments with discussions. A discussion is when both spouses are in control of their emotions. An argument is when one or both spouses’ emotions are controlling the conversation. When you are more concerned with making your point than coming to a peaceable agreement, it is an argument. Every married couple will have conflicts, but the difference is clear: When you are part of a team, or marriage, you are both on the same side. Arguments belong in the courthouse or in a debate; not in your marriage. Instead of taking sides, say, “OK, what is the middle ground here?” and then commit to either coming to an agreement or agreeing to disagree.
To start working towards an argument-free marriage, pause and take a moment to think about the last argument you had with your spouse. How did you feel in that moment? You might think, “I felt angry” or “I felt mad”; however, anger is never the original emotion. The original emotion, more often than not, is vulnerability; our knee-jerk reaction to vulnerability is a defensive response. When couples get into an argument, it is the defensive response talking and not the person’s heart.
2. How can I be vulnerable with my spouse?
For most people, being vulnerable is not a comfortable experience, but it is vital to the health of a marriage. Think back again to the last argument with your spouse. Perhaps it ended in tears or slamming of doors or the silent treatment. Think about this: If, instead of recoiling from vulnerability, you had paused a moment and said to your spouse, “You hurt me” or “I was afraid” or “You disappointed me,” how would the tone have changed? Not the tone in terms of how loud you or your spouse was speaking but the heart tone. Pausing in the heat of an argument and being vulnerable brings the heart tone to a place where reaching a peaceable conclusion is possible.
3. How can I prevent an argument from happening in the first place?
Another way to build an argument-free marriage is to examine the way in which your arguments begin. Every couple has certain topics that are triggers for an argument; you can feel it coming on long before it erupts. Weaver calls this the “law of acceleration”; when things start to become heated, we can feel the energy crawl up our back or our neck. In those moments right before an argument, the key is to pause and realize that you and your spouse are not speaking from a place of vulnerability. Continuing to discuss the topic is pointless because you are no longer communicating effectively. Ask yourself, “What is the original emotion?” then give voice to that emotion and work from there.
4. What is each spouse’s part in an argument-free marriage?
If you are a man, you might be thinking, “I can barely connect to my own emotions, let alone the emotions between my wife and I.” You are also probably very uncomfortable with the thought of saying, “I am going to be vulnerable with you” to your spouse. These things may not come naturally. Boys are taught from an early age to toughen up and not display emotion, but it is worth it to you to work at being vulnerable.
One way wives can encourage vulnerability in their husbands is by creating a safe space for him. Give him a place where he can share the world with you and what he says will never be used against him. It will never come up in another conversation, and it will certainly never come outside of your home. When your husband knows the four walls of your home, or your bedroom, are the safest place, he will be more willing to let the walls around his heart come down.
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