We try not to, we do our best, but sometimes tempers run high and we can’t help it. Arguing, fighting, getting cross, it’s only human; but sometimes it can have a catastrophic effect on a relationship.
The point to fighting should be: to bring up issues that bother one/both of you, and then work through them!
In order to make your arguments productive and not destructive, there are some basic rules that are worth following.
So strap in guys, it’s going to be a long ride! (I really did do my best to keep this post short, but it took on a mind of its own).
Rules for a Fair Fight:
1. Make sure you are both arguing about the same thing! How many times have you spent ages bickering and then discovered you both agree?!
Be clear about what it is that bugs you!
2. Instead of saying: You never listen! You don’t pay me enough attention! And so on… Try: I feel that you never listen! Feelings are always valid. Saying “I” instead of “you”, sounds less like you’re accusing your significant other, and more like you want to talk about something that hurt you.
3. Try not to drudge up the past every time you fight. If you forgave him for something he did, and decided to stay together and move past it, then don’t rehash it! Doing so will only harm your relationship if you can’t forgive and really move on.
(This may sound cold, but if you can’t get over it, it may be a sign that you shouldn’t be together!).
4. Try to take a deep breath (aka, don’t scream, throw things, hit things or go nuts; you will miss that vase/cell phone when the fight is over). Once we get all worked up we stop making sense! At this point, it is probably best to take a breather and reconvene the arguing at a later time.
5. This may be a little cliché, but you really can’t take back words; once you say something it’s out there, it is now its own entity! So be careful; don’t be mean and spiteful (don’t forget, that after you cool down you will still want to snuggle up together).
6. Bring things up that bother you, WHEN they bother you (as in: if your boyfriend constantly uses your outrageously expensive face cream, tell him at the time that you would rather he bought his own! Don’t wait three months until you get into a huge fight and then bring it up).
7. Try and not blow things out of proportion! (Enough said…)
8. Listen! You need to create a safe space where you can both talk. If you don’t feel safe with each other, or if you feel what you’re saying isn’t being heard, it will have a destructive effect.
Don’t forget that the point of arguing is to bring up issues that either of you have within the relationship and talk through them (not to play the ‘who can insult who more’ game). Thus, allowing you to get things off your chest, and live happily ever after! The more you can communicate your problems (and not let them build up), the happier you will be with each-other.