No matter how long you have been dating, married or even just friends with someone, it is inevitable that you are going to have a fight. Honestly, fighting sucks…it makes me uncomfortable and I actually have a physical reaction to it! My stomach starts turning, I break out in the stress sweat, I’m angry, sad, and have a weird desire to win.Win what exactly I have no idea but arguing with your significant other can end either really badly and you break up, with either one of you in tears, with both of you angry at each other or hopefully with these tips being able to work things out…
1) Never say Never: When you’re in the midst of an argument and notice that all your arguing is going nowhere it is easy to start with the “feel sorry for me” references as I like to refer to them. This includes sentences that begin with, “You never…”. Arguing with the words, ‘You never’ is NEVER a good way to go! When you start your statement with that sentence it will always put your mate on the immediate defense. Not only are you telling them they never do something, you are making them feel bad about the way you feel. Your feelings are completely your own. No one makes you feel anything.
The way you feel might be a result of someones actions, but the way you choose to interpret their actions is your decision and so are the feelings you are experiencing. Own your feelings and make their actions known by saying, “I feel…” instead of “You never…” In doing this you not only take ownership of how you are feeling but you are also not putting the responsibility of your feelings onto someone else. Example: “I feel upset/insecure/lonely when you spend the majority of your free time with your friends instead of me.” Instead of: “You never spend time with me!” See the difference?
2) Get Over the Past: This one is a huge issue for all of us right? Every time you become angry at your significant other all of the past arguments or instances resurface in your mind. Like right now after reading that sentence, you’re thinking of some of the things that he/she has done in the past to piss you off! If your boo has done something wrong in your relationship and you chose to stay in your relationship, then you have to let it go. What I mean by “it” is the anger, hurt and blame.
Your partner cheated on you three years ago and you forgave him/her and decided to stick things out, then you cannot keep bringing up the past to justify the way you now feel in the present. If you find yourself constantly reminding them of their past mistake(s) then maybe you need to take a look within at your true feelings, and decide if you truly can move past the mistake and stay in this relationship. Sometimes an argument can end up in a break-up, and at times that is for the best.
3) Involving Others in Your Arguments: Do not…I repeat…Do Not involve your kids, friends or family in the arguments you have with your significant other! More importantly do not bring up the opinions of others in your argument to prove your point. For example,”Everyone in my family tells me I should leave you!” or “My brother thinks your a selfish bitch…I guess he was right!” Ummm…yeah…that’s just immature behavior that is never okay. Hey, you may be a selfish bitch, and your family may be right about leaving him, but those type of statements are low brow and actually cause more strife in your relationship. Think about it, will you ever view his brother in the same way? Will you ever view her family as lovable and respectful of you and your relationship? Of course not. So don’t go there.
Once my ex and I got into an argument in a movie theater because he was so indecisive about where to sit and the previews which I never want to miss were on. I kept asking him over and over again where he’d like to sit and he kept pointing at all these different areas and why he did not want to sit there. Finally after literally almost 10 minutes of standing in the middle of the aisle I just sat down in the seats closest to us. He of course proceeded to complain about them, and I stated the obvious about why I finally decided to sit down.
Cut to later that night when I told my mom about him getting mad at me and our fight as we were sitting at my parents. He immediately became defensive and angry at me again.The whole situation was a huge mess. And why did I feel the need to bring my mom into it anyway? Because on a deeper level I needed my feelings of being right to be validated by someone else. How many times have you gone to a friend, family member etc to complain about something your mate did? Its one thing to grab a bit of advice from a friend, or just to vent, as we all need to do sometimes. It is another thing to use the opinions of others in your argument to validate how you’re feeling, or to hurt the person you’re arguing with.
Every relationship is unique and every argument cannot be measured by the same standard. What is important is how you behave before, during, and after you argue with your mate. Being able to actively communicate with your partner is the only way your relationship will survive. And if you are having trouble doing so then by all means ask for advice, or seek counseling. Own your feelings, do not place blame, get it all out in the open and do not gloss over the way you feel. Telling someone how you really feel is not only emotionally necessary it is physically liberating also. Think about all that stress, anxiety, anger or depression you are bottling up inside when you are not honest about how you feel. Let it out and then let it go!