6 Ways to Tackle Relationship Arguments

January 23, 2012  |  
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Arguments are common in relationships and often strike without warning. But it’s the way you deal with the clashes awaiting you and your man that decide whether your union survives. Couples serious about building a future together plan ahead for potential biggies, i.e. sex, money and children. But as any married couple can attest, long-term relationships are full of experiences you never expect. And since you can expect an argument from time to time, following a set of rules that supports your ultimate goal of staying together will lead to a speedy resolution and great make up sex.

Stay current and move forward.

The healthy life-cycle of a relationship is: (1) Something becomes an issue, (2) Said issue gets resolved; (3) Life makes way for new and exciting issues. (4) Repeat.

What you don’t see in this list is the part where you bring up the time your boyfriend got wasted inappropriately. Nothing said and done gets brought up in a frail attempt to bolster the current argument. It may feel natural, but it’s also wrong. How would you like if someone kept throwing all the mistakes you made in your face every chance she got? Besides that, it completely circumvents your responsibility and the issue at hand.

If you’re the one who’s being put on blast for all things past, remind your partner that you want to focus on moving forward.

Focus on what is said.

Women are awesomely intuitive, having an uncanny ability to read situations men don’t have a clue about. It’s a great skill, particularly for nonverbal communication. But keep in mind that men are simple and literal. When he’s vocal, and trying to keep it real, he is telling you exactly like it is.

If you’re trying to figure out what he means, you’re already over thinking it. Ask him to use clearer language or put it into your own words: “What I hear you saying is you’re embarrassed when I dance on the bar.” Give him a chance to clarify.

Don’t look for meaning into his actual words unless you’re using a dictionary. Whatever ideas you start concocting in your head are more like a movie inspired by a true story than what he really means.

Use your inside voice.

If you tend to scream during an argument, it’s your parent’s fault, not your boyfriend’s. If you start shouting because he left hair in the sink again, he’s likely to retaliate by saying you’re overreacting.

Now, both of you are right, for different reasons, and this argument has zero chance of making sense.

Work on reserving yelling for situations when it’s most effective: to ward off danger or send a clear warning. Shouting at the top of your lungs causes your partner to do the same or draw inward to his safe (and quiet) space. Either way, you won’t get the results you hope for.

Be a lady.

 

Men are natural aggressors, easily swayed to anger. Angry men like to fight and if he isn’t swinging, he is more focused on winning the argument than saying “sorry.” Avoid battling your case with extreme aggression. Not only is it unbecoming of a lady, it can also trigger a situation that both of you will regret for a long time to come. Domestic violence is no laughing matter and is often the result of heated moments where things quickly get physical.

Use constructive examples.

When you’re upset with your husband, it’s easy to focus on what’s wrong while secretly wishing your guy would just do the right thing. You’ve heard it before, men are not mind readers, and two independent minds rarely see an issue or solutions in the same way.

Help him get there by offering constructive feedback or examples rather than criticizing every wrong move. There’s no guarantee he’ll get it right next time, or at all, but at least he’s got a fair shot.

For example, “Why do you keep leaving your shaving hair in the sink?” may be a burning question but isn’t as effective as “Can you plan extra time so you have time to wipe the sink clean when your done shaving?”

Apologize

 

This one’s a no-brainer but it’s equally difficult for men and women to do. You’re not perfect and you won’t always be right. Obviously, that’s ditto for your man, but you can’t control how he behaves.

You can recognize the times when your wrong and focus on a resolution rather than payback or getting your way. A simple apology works wonders.

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