"A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire." Prov. 15:1 MSG
I love the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. The book has 31 chapters, one for each day of the month. The best advice I can give you is to read a chapter each day, it only takes a few minutes, and its life changing. You will see things and people differently as this wisdom becomes your way of living, and it can if you read and apply them daily. Today's chapter has some of the best wisdom you'll ever hear when it comes to avoiding a potential argument. Married couples can tell you that the main reason for arguments in the home is one snapping at the other. From the first short but effective retort in a biting manner, it snowballs into an avalanche of accusations, and days of ignoring each other. No one likes the coldness that follows an argument. And these arguments, if not resolved, do great harm that can't be repaired in the marriage, and cause our affections to slowly fade. Over what? A sharp response instead of a calm reply. And the ripple effect carries over the children in the home, they may tend to argue with each other, or take their feelings out on their friends. All because you couldn't speak softly.
Before I was blessed with this gift of sobriety, a good argument was all I needed to hit the bar. So if I wanted to get out of the house, I would use that technic. The results? A night of hanging out with my drinking family, having a great time, and...eventually divorce. Most of what I see in myself today if I answer harshly is my trying to maintain control over my loved ones, and that's old life behavior. So I have to ask God's help regularly to give up being a control freak. I ask Him to help me be aware of that character defect when I'm in conversations with others, but especially with my spouse. Do the same. Set down together and agree not to disagree, at least don't allow smart alleck responses to each other, be respectful, be adults. And don't argue around the children or grandchildren. Finally, ask God to help you as a couple, and you as an individual heal those wounds from the marital battlefield. If you approach God seriously with a willing heart, He will do so. Read the Proverbs, let these ancient words become your way of life. God be with you. Keith