How to Have Good Arguments with Your Partner
The world of relationships can sometimes be a bit complicated. It’s a social relationship in which two people love each other, but they don’t always agree on everything. However, they have to live together and are forced to try to come to an agreement in some way or another.
Arguing with your partner is not a strange or uncommon situation, nor is it a symptom of a crisis. There are couples that don’t have arguments, but which have been dead for quite some time. And there are others which do exactly the opposite. They fight relatively frequently. But, at the same time, they are capable of taking care of other aspects that make them an extraordinarily healthy couple.
Now, there are many ways to express our rights, interests or opinions. However, most of the time we fall into the trap of trying to prove that we’re right without thinking of the price we could ultimately be paying for actually winning the argument.
Why is it so difficult to live together as a couple?
Among the couples that don’t succeed, there are some patterns that we can identify. These patterns, which characterize broken couples, are usually somehow associated to ego or pride. Thanks to our pride, many times we end up on the losing end, and we have to ask ourselves if it is truly worth the fight.
Due to pride, we draw our claws in order to defend ourselves from an alleged threat. It’s alleged because, if we compared it with reality, we frequently find that it’s not a threat at all. We are in front of the person we love and whom loves us back.
Often times we interpret situations in a biased manner and believe that others are trying to hurt us, so we act accordingly. We either avoid the situation and don’t confront it, or we choose to attack the other person.
Deep down within us, fear is hiding. The fear of not being accepted by the other person, of not being right, of not being acknowledged or taken into account, of not being important or special…
Another thing that makes living together with your partner complicated is not knowing how to resolve conflicts properly. It takes a huge effort to come to an agreement that benefits all of the parties involved. One reason that enhances this perception of difficulty is the fear of staying in a situation that doesn’t favor us. And this can compromise our pride. We tend to use rage and anger in such a way that, in the short term, our personal integrity is safeguarded.
The problem is that, in the long run, we burden ourselves within relationships, especially in romantic ones. Arguments wear away at our partner to the point of exhaustion and boredom. They may even start to fear their partner or the arguments they come to have.
Reproaches, always having to be right, exaggerated disputes and not knowing how to reach an agreement diminish the relationship. When we want to solve things, oftentimes it is too late.
Then, when is it good to argue?
Arguments are a part of any normal couple’s relationship, and it’s not convenient for you to run away from them. Instead, remember that your relationship can grow thanks to these arguments. As long as you know how to flow with it and build during them.
Arguing or not is not as important as how you argue. That means, what you say to each other, how you say it, etc.
But if it’s a normal couple’s argument, maintain the love, respectful words and caring. You can disagree with someone and still continue saying things like: “Honey, I don’t see things that way” or “Sweetheart, sometimes I don’t like it that you don’t help out around the house”.
Show empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, or try to think like they would think. It’s not about sympathizing with the way the other person sees things, but it is about understanding why they see things the way they do. Understand that the other person has the right to think how they please, just like we do. And they have their reasons and motives to do so. Comprehension and understanding will open your mind.
Express your point of view. We have the tendency to judge the other person and start arguments with the word “you“. These are some typical phrases: “You make me so angry”, “You’re not even trying”, “You are so lazy”. Let’s forget all about using the accusing finger, and let’s take responsibility for our emotions.
If I’m feeling bad, that’s my problem. It is due to the fact that certain ideas are going through my head, which make me upset. Therefore, the correct way of expressing yourself is “I feel”. For example: “I feel angry when I see you not pick up your clothes”.
Remember the importance of non-verbal language. Everything we have mentioned has to be done with the appropriate non-verbal language. It’s of no use to say “honey” with an ironic tone or express an “I feel” while baring your teeth. We’re supposed to believe it. Therefore, the best thing to do is to stay relaxed, because we’re not facing that threat we thought we were. And relaxed means with a welcoming posture, eye contact, a relaxed tone of voice, etc.
Arguing “correctly” is a matter of communicative intelligence, but also about self-control. If you add love to these ingredients, an argument doesn’t have to turn into a war. It doesn’t have to make the foundation of your relationship tremble.