On thing that couples don’t really think during an argument: “We really disagree on our values on this one!” It’s too bad—that thought could change the argument. When couples are locked into how they are both right, they often stay stuck with their “righteousness” rather than work their way out of the impass. Yet being able to take a step back and think, “we just disagree” often is not felt to be enough. We each often think/feel that we have our “right” point or issue and the other is wrong. But the partner is thinking the same thing. So to back out in your mind (or even by physically taking a step back) can drastically change the shape of the argument.
Our values are deep-seated in us and can get us into trouble, if we think we have to always make sure ours are the only important values. So one tool you could use is to step back, to say, “wait, let me take a step back here,” or “ok, I get it, we disagree on this one.” Sometimes couples get locked into a values argument that wouldn’t matter much to them the next day. You can watch it in front of you even in couples therapy. So understand that your values are important, understand that your partner’s values are important, and understand when you are locked into both being right, that you are both believing your value is the right one. To just see and accept this is the big step out of the conflict.
Once you understand that, you have pulled back from the heat of the argument. “We both have strong feelings about this—let’s take a break and come back to it.” “Let’s sit here and think about what we can do about what we each think about this.” When you are stuck in the middle, it can help to step back from the heat to get a different view. When you think you are the right one, it can help to see how your partner is right too. When you don’t know how to get past a difference in values, you can go to a couples therapist, but you could also take a step back and quietly work to find a mutual solution.