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Arguing can take such a dramatic toll on relationships that compatible couples think they’re incompatible, separate, and/or divorce. This article will explore some practical ways that you can stop arguing with your partner. There is hope, I promise!
But these tips will only work in a relationship where you and your partner are equally committed to growing and working hard to change the communication dynamics. If both partners don’t give effort then nothing will change because relationships involve two people not one.
“A conversation about how you feel is not supposed to end in an argument.” So, “I’d rather lose an argument to you than lose you to an argument.”
And don’t forget, you and your partner have the POWER to keep the sparks of love alive forever. It’s possible. And you both deserve it!
1. Take your Time
Often times, when we have a disagreement with someone we love, we try to fix it all in one sitting. That’s not the wise thing to do. As you probably know, couples are usually fighting about a deeper rooted issue. And sometimes they both don’t fully understand what the deep rooted issue is.
My advice to fix it? Use a safe word to communicate the conversation is too much. For instance, you can say popcorn to indicate that you are about to pop. You can both shift the conversation to positives OR decide to resume another time.
Please take your time. Talk about what you can handle at the moment. Do not push yourself far beyond your capabilities. If you sense that you can’t control your emotions then it’s time to step away, seek couples counseling and/or personal mentorship to guide you each individually. Be sure to communicate you want to continue the conversation and come to a solution when you’re able to engage calmly.
Also, don’t spend 90% of your time discussing problems with your partner. I know you desire to be vulnerable and for them to understand, but telling them every negative emotion you feel will burn your partner out. Your partner is not your therapist nor invincible. Please don’t give all your emotions to your partner to solve it or support you. They do not have the strength to carry all your emotions and their own.
Having trouble thinking of conversation beyond your frustrations? These conversation starters are a great way to connect on light topics:
2. Respect your Partner
It’s important that you seek to be loving, patient, gentle, and kind to your partner even in the heat of the moment. Don’t say things you’ll regret nor things to hurt them on purpose. Remember, step away and take your time if you can’t control yourself. The more you are able to do this defines the depth of love and vulnerability you’ll see flourish in your relationship.
Also, respect that they’re different. Compromise on decisions. Choose to let go of the small things and don’t forget to prefer your partner every moment you can!
Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 TPT
Other practical ways to respect your partner: Listen to them, chose to understand their opinion rather than fight to share, don’t bring up the past constantly, forgive, don’t accuse, speak gently, don’t be revengeful, don’t nit pick, be open, focus on the positives, be selfless, be grateful, and initiate kind gestures/romance even if you don’t feel like it!
Engaging in pettiness, revenge, passive-aggression, and other unhealthy behaviors will add to the stack of problems in your relationship. Please don’t give your partner things they need to FORGIVE you for even if you feel they deserve it. It really doesn’t matter who did what first… Healthy Relationships only happen between mature adults.
3. Be Aware of Blindspots
We often enter into relationships and assume that we know our partners and ourselves very well. But we eventually realize that everyone has their own unique way of thinking, behaving, and communicating.
According to Good Therapy: "A blind spot is a range of view that is blocked. It can be an area where a person fails to exercise judgment, awareness, or perspective. In a relationship, a blind spot can mean any area a person fails to recognize is impacting their relationship either in a negative way or as a needed growth area."
When people have a hard time communicating due to blindspots it can quickly turn into a heated argument. The tricky part is we don’t know when we are operating from a blindspot. We often blame the other person and focus on their wrongs because we aren’t able to see our own unhealthy behaviors accurately! Most of us have grown up seeing these behaviors, so we subconsciously find it NORMAL.
To reduce the negative effects of a blindspot, we must learn to accept we don’t know everything, that our behaviors affects others differently, and we will always have room for our growth… This mindset shift can positively change our relationships dramatically. Here are 7 Causes of Blind Spots:
- People are unique and think differently: our cultures, income bracket, intellect, gender, family trauma, childhood experiences, and other differences affect how we communicate and HEAR what other’s communicate.
- Unhealthy behaviors: our way of coping with emotions can be unhealthy if we have never learnt healthy tools. Unfortunately, some people don’t know that they are using unhealthy tools and think it’s normal and okay to communicate with toxic strategies.
- Unforgiveness: if you are still harboring anger towards someone you will interpret everything the other person is saying or doing from an emotionally charged perspective. And your partner can hear the unforgiveness in your words and behavior! I know it’s hard, but if you want healthy relationships you have to let go of whatever you’re holding against them or YOURSELF!
- Lack of vulnerability: Some people retreat when it’s time to be vulnerable due to fear of abandonment and insecurities. Yes, opening your heart up and sharing yourself to another person is SCARY! And honesty is NOT vulnerability. Vulnerability is fearing the response, behavior, and treatment of someone and deciding to trust them despite those fears. Of course, our vulnerability should NOT be shared with abusers.
- Overwhelming emotions: whenever we communicate from a place of pain or heightened emotions it will spill out into everything we are doing. For instance, if someone feels they’re always getting in trouble at work then they may feel their spouse is picking on them. Or a person that feels misunderstood might get angry when their partner doesn’t acknowledge their hard work.
- Romantic Expectations: the purpose of a relationship isn’t about making you feel loved and pumping up yourself esteem. What if the purpose of a relationship is having a companion and teammate to tackle life together with? What if we weren’t meant to be perfect before a relationship? What if we just have to be humble enough to allow someone to see us in our mess? And what if we had enough unconditional love to love someone in their mess?
- Lack of wisdom or maturity: you can communicate all you want, but if the other person doesn’t understand it won’t be effective. Sometimes we can’t understand a perspective of someone that has gone through something different than us. It takes maturity to know we can’t understand others without listening and being open to new perspectives. Also it takes maturity to realize we can’t understand someone else.
- Pride: there will be communication issues when someone thinks they know everything and there isn’t anything to learn.
Everyone has blindspots, including myself! Every relationship should work on creating a safe, patient, and kind environment to explore unknown parts of ourselves. Also, try 20 minutes free of empowerment coaching now! I will help you navigate your relationship and help you learn more about your blindspots and self.
4. Trust your Partner
In the rage of the moment, we often can’t see if our behaviors are motivated by worry, fear, stress, and unawareness. And if we use unhealthy behavior when we are triggered we often can’t see that communication is loaded with manipulation, control, blame shifting, victimhood, fear of abandonment, etc.
But do you trust your partner enough to tell you if your behavior is full of unhealthy patterns? Your ability to trust your partner when you don’t see it makes a great relationship.
You can implement this by creating a safe word in your relationship. Whenever your partner uses this word it means that they feel you are operating in an unhealthy pattern. It would be your job to step away from the consideration and look inwardly to evaluate what is going on. Here is an example of this in action:
Tony: I don’t like the way you talked to me in front of my friend. You are always rude. And I think you’re fake because you’re not that nice to me.
Linda: Punching bag *safeword*
Tony: Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realize that I was accusing you. I am so angry. How about we continue this conversation when I calm down?
Related Article: Trust is Earned: 6 Steps To Building Trust!
5. Vulnerability is SEXY
When you’re vulnerable you put your heart in your partner’s hand and you trust them to take care of it. You speak more softly to them. Your whole body relaxes in their presence. The truth is, vulnerability is SEXY.
Vulnerability means, “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”
Fear, control, power struggles, blame shifting, unforgiveness, and manipulation are all ways to protect yourself from being vulnerable with your partner. We often hold onto those emotions to protect ourselves from being disappointed, fear of abandonment, fear of not being good enough, etc.
Allow your partner to see your tears and most scary emotions. Let go of the fear, anger, and pain. Then give your partner ALL of your heart and watch your relationship soar in the intimacy department.
6. Establish Goals
Having a conversation to discuss safe words and goals is tremendously important. It’s important for you both to realize that you deal with issues differently, but you both find the issue very important.
You can both start out by listing out your desires for the relationship. Then you can both share your responses with each other. It’s important that you both respect each other’s thoughts and refrain from being upset or disrespectful. Lastly, I don’t recommend doing all these questions in one sitting. I suggest doing one question each week.
- List the things that are going well in your relationship.
- How can you celebrate those things more?
- What does your partner do that you find incredibly attractive?
- What do you wish the relationship had more of? (Example: kisses, love notes, etc.)
- Describe your ideal fantasy of you and your partner interacting.
- Do you want to hold hands and call each other pet names during hard conversations?
- Describe the ideal way you think that conflict should be handled.
- What is one thing you wish your partner knew?
- What is your biggest fear, weakness, and worry?
- How can you partner help build you up?
- How do you think your partner wants you to love them?
- Did you once fantasize about all the ways you wanted to love on your partner?
- Why did you stop? What’s stopping you from starting?
- What is the ideal way you would like to treat your spouse during conflict?
- What steps can you make to do this?
- Do you wait for them to act a certain way before you treat them well?
- Why do you fall short in your ideals for the relationship?
- Are your ideals for yourself realistic?
If you can’t help feeling sad after the activity above then there is some self discovery that needs to happen. At that point it is important to speak with a mentor, counselor, or coach to get down to the reason why you are triggering. The truth is, you should be so confident in yourself that the opinions of others don’t cripple you.
Your emotions are YOUR responsibility.
Ultimately, It’s important to remember that you are loved despite your partners behavior or word choice. When our self esteem is dependent on someone else then we are like a ship being tossed around in their emotional storms. Anchor yourself with confidence!
8. Self Discovery
It’s a good idea to explore how you are contributing to bad communication. The truth is, you contribute to it even if you are allowing someone to manipulate, control, and blame you. Take these quizzes to get a better understand of the personality traits and emotional habits you bring to the relationship.
Self Discovery Quizzes
- Quiz: Do you have toxic tendencies?
- QUIZ: Are You Carrying Emotional Baggage?
- QUIZ: Am I prideful?
- QUIZ: Do you feel Misunderstood or Unheard?
- QUIZ: Am I codependent?
- QUIZ: Are you stuck in a victim mentality?
TAKE 8+ More Quizzes!!
9. Change your Perspective on Conflict
Lastly, it’s good to have a positive mindset about conflict. I actually don’t like the word conflict and I prefer to say a “disagreement.” It’s a disagreement because you don’t YET understand how you can make the situation work. However, you will both eventually get to the solution.
The truth is, if we really take the time to do relationships well then we will learn to love ourselves, our partners, and the world better. Relationships force us out of our own self and require us to experience the pain and perspectives of others. Most people desperately desire to be heard and fully understood. Give your partner the gift of knowing their soul and their hardness may just melt before you.
10. Is this relationship for you?
If you’ve read this entire article and you don’t think anything will work then you should explore if this relationship is for you, your level of motivation to make the relationship better, and if you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship.
You are not a punching bag and you shouldn’t be doing all the work alone. Here are 64 signs you are being abused. If any of those signs ring true, you should speak to a license professional to help you understand what type of situation you’re in and if you should immediately leave!