How To Argue With Your Partner In A Healthy Way
When it comes to relationships, disagreements are inevitable, but this doesn’t have to be distressing or mean your relationship is on the rocks. Couples can argue sometimes while still having respect and compassion for each other. In fact, couples who don’t have occasional conflict are often the ones who get divorced. However, frequency or hurtful conflict is not healthy. You can argue in a constructive way that can actually benefit the relationship. Keep these things in mind to argue with your partner in a healthy and productive way.
Be Curious About Your Fights
Most couples have the same fight over and over, almost following a script, without really solving anything. This doesn’t mean it’s time for the divorce solicitors but should look at these fights.
Do you fight on a weeknight because your partner wants to tell you all about their day, while you need a minute to decompress? This can make your partner feel that you don’t care, leaving you feeling attacked, and an argument happens.
Try to pinpoint what triggers these repetitive fights, and try to find ways to compromise instead of having the same fight again. Don’t follow the same script and try a new solution. Instead of ignoring your partner trying to tell you about their day, suggest greeting each other, and then having fifteen minutes apart for you to recharge, then come back together to chat about your days. You can both communicate what you need without repeating the fight.
No matter how well you communicate, you still have disagreements. When you do, it can help to choose a time to talk through the conflict. If you start to disagree, stop, and agree to pick up the discussion at a later time when you have time to discuss it properly.
This works as you both get space to prepare. You can think about the best way to communicate your feelings in a calmer way, without getting defensive or angry. In the heat of anger, things can be said on impulse that we don’t mean, but that stay with us afterwards.
Take A Time Out
During an argument, you might enter ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ mode. This happens when your stress hormones activate. When you enter this mindset, problem-solving is much harder, as you are only thinking about reacting to the threat you perceive. This can cause frustration and escalate the fight.
If you’re upset, and your partner is trying to solve the problem, it can feel as though they aren’t listening to you. When this happens, call a timeout.
Frame the timeout in a way that doesn’t make your partner feel like you’re walking away from them. Say that you want to have this conversation, but you need a few minutes to calm down. Express that you love them, and you will come back to the discussion when you can problem-solve instead of just reacting.
When you come back to the argument after a timeout, both people will be in a better place to make proper progress.