Matt Varblow
4 min read

18 Proven Ways to Prolong an Argument with your Spouse

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100_3230There are so many tried and true ways to keep an argument going with your spouse. I was shocked the other day to realize that I have yet to read an article on the most effective methodology. Not to worry, the gap has been filled!

I gathered input and created an itemized list for you. Here are the best eighteen ways to keep those disagreements escalating. Thanks to my many friends and family members for their advice, contributions, and for even giving the occasional demonstration. ;)

  1. Never, ever begin a discussion with prayer. This could open your heart to your spouse’s perspective and potentially derail your argument before it gets off to a good start.
  2. In the same vein, never stop an argument to pray. You don’t want your heart to be softened when you’re about to go in for the kill.
  3. Turn the subject as quickly as possible to your spouse’s major recurring faults and away from the topic at hand.
  4. Be sure that you are both thoroughly sleep-deprived. Since Ephesians tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger, we must always take this to literally mean never go to sleep angry. Fighting when you are both tired will lower your tolerance and help you to take your disagreement beyond the current issue as quickly as possible.
  5. Be sure to use broad general statements like “you always” and “you never.” Keep an arsenal of unrelated examples from various points in your relationship to support these broad general statements.
  6. Try not to apologize. If you really feel that you must, be sure to do so in a qualified manner, “I’m sorry if you felt that way.” This keeps the blame squarely on your spouse while giving you the ammunition of having apologized first.
  7. When your spouse is talking, don’t waste time listening. Be sure to spend that time formulating your defense and counter attack.
  8. Don’t listen to the words that your spouse is speaking, rather point out that they interrupted you, used a mean tone of voice or yelled. This works like lighter fluid on smoldering charcoal.
  9. Misinterpret what is said wherever possible.
  10. If your spouse asks you to postpone the discussion until you’ve both calmed down, you should, of course, refuse.
  11. Never give in or concede a point, unless it’s part of your plan to appear conciliatory while secretly baiting your spouse into saying something they shouldn’t.
  12. Call names and say insulting things. Comparing them to their parents, one of the children, or a long dead dictator is especially effective.
  13. Leave in the middle of the argument. Punctuate your exit with a nicely slammed door.
  14. Leave your spouse crying and go play a video game. She just needs time to calm down.
  15. Take him leaving the room as a personal affront and not as a need for a break from the drama.
  16. If your spouse starts crying be sure to have a sudden unconquerable urge to laugh. If you mistakenly suppress it, do be sure to at least smirk a bit.
  17. Be selfish. Everything is about you. Remember: Your spouse does things you don’t like just to offend you.
  18. Change the topic. If it seems like you’re resolving the issue, or heaven forbid, that your spouse has a valid point, reintroduce a subject from an previous unsolved argument and breathe some new life into it.

And just in case you need any help getting the argument started in the first place, here are three proven methods to get things going:

  1. “The slow build.” This is where you give him the cold shoulder for several days to be sure he starts to suspect something might be wrong before you let him in on the problem.
  2. “Look, honey, we have an audience!” Wait until you have friends or family over. Then start pointing out her shortcomings.
  3. “Instant Explosion.” The moment he says something a little off, draw all possible negative conclusions from the statement, and attack.