| Anyone who has been in a relationship has had their fair share of fights; frustrating and exhausting and too often ending in pointless anger. While you and your partner may always disagree about certain issues it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a reasonable and productive discussion. Following a few simple and easily managed steps maybe able to help your crossing thought patterns and who knows, perhaps even make you feel a little closer.
The Weight of the Problem: Often arguments begin over the most ridiculous topics, even simply misunderstandings; it’s important to remember not to make a big deal out of a small issue. Though discussing how you feel about any issue, big or small, is important, throwing an absolute tantrum of a small problem put far more of a strain on your relationship then is necessary.
The Right Time to Talk: Waiting until a particular habit or action has driven you crazy before mentioning it is often a huge mistake; equally as frustrating can be blurting out every word that pops into your head simply because you feel angry. Though it won’t always be possible to delay your discussing of the problem it is certainly better to take a few moments to calm down so that you can express your thoughts clearly.
Both Sides of the Issue: Especially when feeling frustrated it may be quite difficult to see your partners’ side of the issue, but if possible it can greatly help in your understanding of the situation, especially when the argument is a complete misunderstanding.
Slinging Mud: Though it is wickedly tempting to throw out all sorts of names and accusations, especially if you feel that they will help you to win your side of the argument, in all likelihood you will simply delude your true point and cause your partner more distress. Keep in mind that though it might feel good at the moment, calling your partner names won’t solve the problem and you might just say something you deeply regret later on.
I Feel, you Feel: It might sound a little corny, but how you phrase your sentences can have an enormous effect on the frustration level of the discussion. Rather than stating the he, or she said, or did something that you do not approve of remember to tell them that you feel that they say or do the things to which you are referring. What is the purpose of this phrasing? Simply admitting that you might be mistaken in how you have perceived certain situations can relieve a great deal of tension. When people feel that they are being attacked, even just verbally, most tend to become defensive and angry.
Know when to admit that you are wrong: When in the middle of an argument it can be particularly difficult to admit that you have made a mistake, but the importance of such words can have an incredible impact on your ability to communicate with your partner. In many cases, admitting that you are fallible will help your partner to do the same.
Sorry is Important: You probably already know how important it is to apologies for your mistakes, but knowing how and when can at times be difficult. For example: if you have repeated made the same mistake and continuously have arguments about it, apologizing is a good start but you need to show your partner that you are working on it, rather than just talking about it. A small gift or token of how you feel about your partner can at times be a lovely way to show that you really put some thought into your regret; which in meaning is often more important than the value f the gift. Never apologies dismissively or with an angry tone, it doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone; wait until you are able to say it calmly and directly to your partner. In certain cases explaining your side of the mistake is also a necessary part of the apology, understand why the situation came about will help put your partners’ mind at ease.
Repeats: Most couples who have shared a home together for a significant length of time share routines and as part of those routines they tend to have the same arguments again and again. These repetitive fights can make both people in the relationship feel exhausted and as though their thoughts are not being communicated successfully. When discussing something with your partner that has been an issue in your relationship for some time, try to break the normal routine of fighting; changing your surroundings, how you speak, even offering a drink or snack prior to the discussion can show your partner that you not interested in fighting so much as making progress.
Forgive and Forget: Some issues are too painful to forget and while many people try to overcome these kinds of difficulties for the good of their relationship, time can’t always extinguish so much as diminish painful memories. If you are the partner who is dealing with something painful remember that you agreed to move forward and try to forgive; using this past incident as ammunition in a fight can not only hurt your partner but you as well. If this painful memory simply won’t be dismissed, it might be time to reconsider what you are capable of forgiving. Don’t be too hard on yourself, after all you were the victim and you can’t help how you feel. If you are the partner that made the mistake, remember to have patience with the person you hurt; the issue may come up at the most inconvenient times, but as with most poor decisions the honorable thing is to take your punishment without retaliation toward the victim.
Reassuring Actions: During even the most horrible argument a little reassuring can go a long way; remember that your partner is not the enemy (or certainly shouldn’t be,) and that despite the anger you feel now, you respect and love this person. If the moment is appropriate, saying a few words about how much you care for your partner can deflate a lot of tension between you.
Compromising you Temper: Whether you can keep a cool head, or are quick to heat up, showing your partner that you care enough about them to remain calm and focused when they speak is important. The words you are hearing may compel you to interrupt, shake your head even make strange, frustrated noises; often this implies that you are either not understanding what your partner is saying or you won’t give them the chance to explain. Without listening, your chances of making progress are slim to none; remember to give your partner a chance to tell you how they feel.
Small squabbles, or bellowing battles, you can not only discuss touchy issues with your partner, you can do it without destroying the time you spend together. A little time and patience, learning to listen to and understand your partners’ side will help you progress not only through, but past these difficult periods of your relationship.