RESOLVING ARGUMENTS IN A RELATIONSHIP
Bickering, arguing, disputing – call it what you want, but all couples get into spats
every now and then. And while quarrels between partners can be considered a
normal part of the relationship, experts say it’s how couples handle these
squabbles that will determine the overall health of the relationship over time.
In a healthy relationship, communication is key. When you communicate
effectively, you understand your partner better and make your relationship
stronger. When you can resolve conflicts successfully, you are developing a
healthy, mature relationship. While conflict is normal, it can also be a sign that
parts of your relationship aren’t working.
Clearing the air and coming back to love and compassion after each disagreement
means those are the emotions left hanging in the air between us, and what could
possibly feel better than that day-to-day? It’s these feelings that lend to greater
love and connectivity, and if that’s not the goal in your relationship then you’re
missing an opportunity to teach the next generation how to have loving and
functional unions that they themselves will pass on. Use the tips below to help
resolve arguments in a healthy way:
When you feel yourself flare up in anger, choose silence until you feel calmer and
have thought about your situation thoroughly. This gives you an opportunity to
weigh your partner’s position before defending yours, giving you a greater
opportunity to find common ground without creating hurt feelings and anger,
which only perpetuates fights.
Clarify what the person meant by their action instead of what you perceived
their action to mean. Most of the time, your partner is not deliberately trying to
hurt you, and getting hurt happened to be a byproduct of that action.
Don’t ask for anything you’re not willing to do first. If you’re asking for something
from your partner, whether it’s broad like ‘I need you to be calmer’ or specific like
‘I need you to start saving money for a house,’ be sure you’re able to point to
your own behavior as an example.
Accept the other person’s response. Once you have shared your feelings as to
what a person’s actions meant to you, accept their responses. If they tell you the
intended meaning of their action was not as you received it, take that as face
Once you’ve both had the opportunity to share your side, mutually agree to let it
go. Best case scenario, your discussion will end in a mutually satisfactory way. If it
doesn’t, you may choose to revisit it later. When making this decision, ask
yourself how important it is to you. If you make the decision to leave it in the
past, do your best to do that, rather than bringing it up again in future conflicts.