All Couples Argue or Disagree on Things. Here’s How Successful Couples Do It Differently.
There’s a simple and effective art to arguing.
The way couples share how they feel or argue will determines if their relationship will last.
Attacking the other person’s character isn’t cool. It’s okay to say, ‘I’m furious with you right now!’ It’s not fine to say, ‘You’re a loser.’
What else stands out in a happy relationships’ approach to arguments? Below, I’ll share five ways a healthy relationship can disagree without getting hurt feelings.
1. They set ground rules for arguments.
Sometimes long-running relationships have never resorted to low blows or have said something regrettable during an argument. If you do that now, STOP IT! If you have in the past — you may have already learned from THAT mistake and changed it. Once an emotionally charged discussion ends, smart couples lay down some ground rules for arguing so it never gets out of hand again.
The ground rules MUST be specific — “We will not interrupt each other when one is giving his or her perspective” — or more about the language: “It’s not helpful to swear at one another.”
2. They don’t run from fights.
Couples in it for the long-haul don’t shy away from discussing topics that could just as easily be swept under the rug. They ask the big, scary questions ASAP — “When, if ever, are we going to have kids?” “What are we going to do if you get that job in another state? I don’t want to move to there!” — so they don’t become bigger issues in the relationship later on, said Diane Sawaya Cloutier, an author and relationship expert.
FYI. Uncomfortable topics remain unaddressed, can and will turn a low key conversation into a big dramatic event that could have been avoided. Never discuss the past.
3. They take turns talking. Listen intently and take it slow.
Arguments generally end the same way they began if both partners can accept to behave as an adult. There’s nothing worse than hearing your partner talk and behave like they’re 12 years old. It isn’t helpful. It’s damaging. Couples who’ve mastered the art of arguing fairly take things slow, addressing difficult conversations with a soft, reassuring tone and dialing it down whenever things get too emotionally charged.
When you begin with a difficult conversation with a soft, regular tone and one that’s respectful, will dramatically increases the chances of a more positive outcome. A aggressive and harsh beginning isn’t going to be a good way to talk for anyone. Often, the partner listening will tune-out. This must be avoided, otherwise what’s the point. Tensions rise and worsen the situation.
3. They never use derogatory words or ‘name-call’.
Happy couples in long-term relationships rarely get into knock-down, drag-out fights because they never or try not to lower themselves to school-yard/high school tactics: Partners understand that negative or toxic behaviors are hard to take back and have a very corroding impact on a relationship.
4. They know when is the right time to take a break or cool off.
When things do get out of hand, savvy couples know how to get a grip on their emotions. They understand and value the effectiveness of taking a time-out, whether that means counting to 10 and taking slow, deep breaths or simply telling their spouse, or partner to talk about it the next day. Never revisit the conversation before work, only after dinner is over and you have each other’s complete attention. It’s important to acknowledge and honor each others emotions without getting overrun by them.
5. Partners give have a view that their partner is truthful and honest. It is free of doubt.
Partners who are able to have healthy and effective arguments never jump to conclusions. Healthy relationships mean that people assume their partner is doing the best they can at the moment. At times the argument may have nothing to do with the partner and may have everything to do with issues in other relationships or work. Relationship anxiety is a real concern because couples are getting lost in all the STUFF they have to do. This makes it even more important to put the phone down, turn off the T.V. and keep your partnership and relatability a part of your routine.
It’s much like raising a plant. It takes good soil, watering, sun, attention. It’s called nurturing. Nurture your relationship. Care for it. Make time for it.
Invest in it.
AND above all LOVE your relationship, partnership and friendship.
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Contact Christie to speak at your school, company or special event. Everyone needs a relationship boost. How you navigate relationship ups and downs determines how successful you will be in your LIFE. It’s important. Communication is important. What’s your communication STYLE? Aggressive or Passive?