Sadly, it is a fact that every relationship has disagreements. You are going to argue and it is going to stink! Sometimes arguments are the only way to get a resolution to a problem. They don’t have to be the worst of the worst though. There are ways to argue better. It still will not make the times it happens enjoyable, but it will at least prevent the argument from damaging your relationship.
Ultimately, that is the goal of all arguments. To resolve the issue while maintaining, or even strengthening, your relationship. The tips in this post are meant to help you 1) avoid unnecessary arguments and 2) stop your arguments from going past the point of resolution and into the angry and hurtful territory.
I know you have heard this before, but I am saying it again because it is NECESSARY. You have to have lines that cannot be crossed. Arguments can get downright mean and dirty. When they do, that is when your relationship is damaged. You need to do everything in your power to prevent this. Making rules in the moment is nearly impossible. Neither party is feeling particularly gentle or loving toward the other.
Set your boundary lines before the next argument occurs. No name calling. No cheap shots. And no bringing old arguments into the new one. You have to determine what rules your relationship needs. Are you allowed to leave the room if you cannot handle any more? Are you offended by cursing in general or only if it is directed at you?
Rules are needed, but do not create some long list of non-critical guidelines. Rules are hard enough to follow when your tempers flare. Focus on the hard lines. This is not the time to get too demanding. Remember these rules are in place to keep arguments from getting out of hand. This is not the place to get nit-picky. Maybe that should be one of the rules.
When making the rules, keep in mind that both parties are not going to agree on everything. The rule making is an argument free time though. Period. Agree that each person gets to pick the three things they need to stop an argument from becoming too hurtful. Those three things are not negotiable. This is a straight forward matter.
Pick Your Battles
When you are overwhelmed and frustrated it is extremely difficult to let things go. But you have to decide if the concern or the relationship is more important to you. Sometimes for the sake of maintaining a healthy relationship you have to learn to take a moment of silence and drop your comments. Pick your arguments wisely.
Picking your battles does not mean that you cannot address what is upsetting you. You should not let things get bottled up until you cannot calmly respond. Picking your battles means you choose to wait until you are not upset to nicely talk to your partner to find a solution on things that don’t require immediate action.
You may want to use this tactic for times when your partner leaves their things all over the house after you have REPEATEDLY asked them not to! In the moment, you want to blow. But you can choose not to pick that battle and wait until your anger has lessened before you bring it up. You are choosing a strong relationship over your frustration.
There are battles worth choosing though. This is why arguments must occur. So solutions to issues can be sought. When you come across an issue that needs an immediate solution then you must choose to go through that battle. But remember your partner is not an actual enemy.
Be Willing To Lose
You may feel like you are right. That your suggested resolution is the way to go. That may all be completely true. But even in those instances, you still have to be willing to bow out of an argument. To let your partner feel like they are “winning” and just move forward. You have to be willing to lose the argument, regardless of who you think is right.
You should not have to back down in every disagreement. Doing that does not lead to a healthy, balanced relationship. But there will come a time (or several times over a long relationship) where you concede to your partner because it is better for the relationship than continuing an argument. This does not mean you agree. It just means you love your partner enough to choose their happiness over your own in these instances.
If the decision is between your partner being happy or you being right, choose your partner’s happiness. Your rightness will not provide you love, support, and comfort when you need it. In all good relationships someone has to be willing to be the less happy person at times. We have to give up something for the sake of our partner. That is what love is all about. Being selfless and putting our partner’s needs above our own from time to time.
If you are willing to set and follow some rules, choose your battles wisely, and accept that you will have to lose even when you feel you are right sometimes, then you are on the right track. Those key things will help you have less unnecessary arguments to begin with. They will also make the arguments you do have to have result in better conclusions.
If anyone has any other tips please let us know! Thanks for reading!