During the early stages of a relationship, it’s quite comforting to think, “Wow, we haven’t even had our first argument yet.” The sentiment might feel nice, but it’s nothing more than a temporary fantasy because no marriage is without its share of arguments. Yes, it’s true, all couples bump-heads at some point. It might sound stressful but, it’s true. However, fear not.
TrendBahn.com conducted a survey of 109 married couples and concluded that 46% of couples that argue at least once a week believe that it helps facilitate communication. These couples believed that an occasional conflict can be much healthier than merely letting negative feelings bubble underneath the surface until they explode. Believing that submerging your negative emotions will eventually damage your emotional health and your relationship.
To be clear, we are not advocating that constant fighting is necessary or good for a relationship. In fact, we believe couples should learn to peacefully resolve their differences rather than being at each other’s throats. Remember that the most important thing is to be there for one another even when you two disagree.
Sounds easier said than done? No worries, here are some excellent conflict resolutions strategies to keep your relationship intact despite those relationship conflicts:
Find The Right Time. Make sure both of you are content enough to get into a serious discussion. If your partner is preoccupied on finishing up a work related assignment which is due the following day. Or if they’re in a crappy mood following a long day at work. Maybe it’s best to hold back on the conversation until they are in better spirits. It would be far more advantageous if you and your partner are calm, cool, and collected before started a serious discussion.
Pretend Someone Else Is In The Room. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to blow up on your spouse while riding on the bus or in a coffee shop, in front of strangers? What would it be like to call them names or throw wild accusations at them while out in public? Although, you should already know to avoid these situations, sometimes it helps just to pretend that there’s a third party listening to your conversation. Why? That is because you are more incline not say something rude or offensive to your partner if someone else could your words. Bottom line, is don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t do if someone else were watching you.
Don’t Throw Blame. Nobody likes to be held accountable for something terrible they did. So if you must refer back to something they said choose your words carefully and don’t use extreme or absolute words like, “Always” or “Never.” For example, a statement such as, “You always do that! You never listen to me!” should be rephrased to “Sometimes, I just feel like I’m not being heard when I express my concerns.”
Don’t Exaggerate. Avoid building a mountain out of a molehill. Don’t say statements like, “You’re constantly late to dinner” if your partner was only late once or twice. It’s easy to make a rare occurrence seem like a constant struggle. Not to mention, exaggeration is the cousin to a lie and you don’t want to compare your partner to a liar if that is not what they are.
Express How You Feel. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements.” For example, it’s politer to say, “I felt really bad after you said that”, rather than “You made me feel bad after you said that.” This statement avoids blaming the other person, which would cause them to become defensive.
Avoid Giving The Cold Shoulder. No good or productive conversation ever came out of ignoring your partner. If the conflict is contentious it’s understandable to sometimes take a moment and back away from the situation until cooler heads prevail. However, purposely ignoring your partner as a way to punish them or to get back at them can be destructive to your relationship. It can be as hurtful as harsh criticism
Attack The Problem, Not The Person. Always remember that you two are working together to solve an issue. You want to fight the problem, not your partner. If finances are a significant source of stress, don’t address it by criticizing their spending habits. Gently let them know about budget issues and how to work together to solve the issue. At all cost avoid insults, curse words, and accusations. Find some mutual ground to prove that both of you can solve the problem together.
Don’t Bring In Another Person. It can be tempting to mention someone who agrees with you to prove that you are right. However, a third-party opinion is usually useless. Saying something like, “Yeah, well my co-worker said I’m right,” does little to convince the other person of your side. Instead, it just makes it seem like you and the other person are teaming up against them.
Show Humility. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong. One of the important rules author Dale Carnegie outlines in his book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ is that people should be able to acknowledge when they have made a mistake. He references up an old proverb: “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
Remember That You Two Are a Team. You’re supposed to work with your loved one, not against them. Correct your problems together so that both of you can live your life the way you want. A stress and conflict free existence.
Nobody ever said that relationships were simple. You need to put in the necessary effort to make it succeed. Conflicts and arguments are a natural part of any romance. The trick is to learn how to deal with them peacefully. Trust and understand your partner. Try to see their side of the story. Once you do that, both of you will be able to appreciate each other entirely.
Remember, successful couples support one another in times of need.
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