All couples fight – it is natural. When two people with different personalities and different views stay together, disagreement over some issues is inevitable. However, sometimes, small disagreements can slip into arguments and fights, which is not healthy for any relationship.
Arguing hampers productive conversation and conflict resolution. If you have been bickering over trivial issues, we have some tips on how to stop fighting in a relationship and turn them into a productive conversation. Keep reading to learn more.
Table Of Contents
Why You Pick Fights With Your Partner
You love them so much, so why do you pick up fights so often? This is a common dilemma faced by most couples. There are several reasons you cannot break this cycle of fights:
1. Transference Of Anger
You had a bad day at the workplace. You are upset and angered. You are in no position to argue back and cannot release your anger. Instead, you take it all out on your partner. You bicker over dinner and pick fights over small issues. Sounds relatable?
More often than not, arguments happen due to the transference of anger. Your partner may not be the person you are angry with, but you take it out on them. It’s because the helplessness you felt at work (or any situation that upset you) strips your feeling of control. You know you can easily unload your frustrations onto your partner – they love you enough to forgive your outbursts. This sets a very dangerous precedent, and your relationship may be facing truly difficult times.
2. Finding Fault
Finding faults and blaming each other can sabotage a relationship. They make you feel alone, and, somehow, you cannot measure up to the expectation. You get caught in this cycle of negativity, and your thoughts, perceptions, and feelings turn negative.
3. Disagreement Over Major Decisions
Be it getting a home loan, planning a baby, and taking up a new job at a different location – disagreements over major decisions often cause a rift between couples. Any small doubt or second thoughts that linger in the mind may fester and trigger arguments. Subconsciously, one or the other partner may try to stall this decision with unnecessary arguments.
Money is one of the main reasons fights and arguments can erupt between two loving partners. Unbalanced earnings, unnecessary spending, and even unmatched financial priorities can cause issues. Having more financial power in a relationship may also cause the higher earner to be more dominant. This may cause insecurities and lead to arguments.
5. Lack Of Intimacy
Intimacy is equally important to sustain a healthy relationship. Emotional as well as physical intimacy influences your overall well-being. They transmit a sense of being loved, cared for, and accepted. However, due to some reason, couples may not initiate this intimacy. In such cases, the partner who wants intimacy may drag on some minor issues and cause huge arguments.
There could be many other issues that may trigger arguments. Whatever be the reason, you have to take steps to prevent the issue from escalating. Here are a few tips to avoid arguments.
How to Stop Fighting in A Relationship
If you’re in a relationship where you find yourself fighting more than having quality time with your significant other, rest assured, here we discuss how to stop fighting in a relationship and enjoy each other more.
1. Stop Assuming
People who have been together for a long time tend to assume that they know everything about their partner. While it is true that being in an intimate relationship for long helps you know your partner in and out, it does not mean you know it all. Your partner may have a different perspective and opinion. By ignoring them, you may end up imposing your choice on them. This often causes arguments.
To avoid that, talk to them and clarify. Try to understand what they are thinking and what they want. This will help avoid unnecessary arguments and tension.
Effective communication is an essential aspect of relationships that helps a couple achieve intimacy, understanding, and growth. Communicating helps promote better understanding. And when you understand each other better, nothing can cause disagreements.
3. Control Your Emotions
You may feel irritated or angered over something your partner said or did. It is natural for you to react. But wait – will your reaction resolve the situation or escalate the issue?
When you feel emotionally overwhelmed, you often do not think twice before reacting. Your anger stops you from understanding what your partner is trying to say. Do not let your emotions get in the way. Take a step back, calm down a bit, and try to think logically, and then “respond.”
4. Do Not Hold On To Grudges
If there is a situation that may lead to arguments and differences, and if you feel angered by the way your partner responded to it, do not keep quiet. It’s because your emotions can pile up inside your head and may turn into resentment, which is not healthy for any relationship. Moreover, not addressing the issues will make you emotionally distraught.
The solution is – discussion. Be calm, bring up the topic, and understand why your partner reacted in that way. Understand their perspective and resolve the issue amicably.
5. Stop Being Defensive
When any argument pops up in a relationship, partners generally take a defensive route to justify their arguments. This defensive attitude often stems from emotional reactions rather than any rational thought. By being defensive, you may unintentionally hurt your partner and again escalate the problem.
When you feel that you are reacting defensively, stop and take a step back. Try to keep calm and think through the argument logically. Find the root of the issue and resolve things calmly. If you feel your partner is reacting defensively, get them to calm down and discuss.
6. Think Through The Reasons For The Argument
An argument often crops up from trivial issues like forgetting the groceries, doing the laundry, or accidentally ruining your favorite dress. These small issues may cause repetitive arguments that need to be addressed.
When you feel that both of you are stuck in the cycle of arguments over small things, hit the pause button. Sit down and take your time to identify the reasons. Discuss with your partner how those issues may be resolved, and then stick to your decision.
7. Do Not Let Your Past Impact Your Present
Do not let the past color your present. If there is a disagreement, stop going back to what your partner did a few months back. When you keep bringing the past incidents into your discussions, you are just fueling the fire.
Focus on the current issue on hand, keep your discussions around it, and resolve it. If you think your partner has repeated the same mistakes, avoid confronting them over those. Figure out how to resolve the issue.
8. Use ‘I’ Rather Than “You”
This is the best way to defuse an argument and take your partner off the defensive. Rather than using phrases like “you are wrong” and “you made a mistake,” say, “I am hurt with what you did” or “I feel sad by your actions.”
When you avoid blaming your partner, you will never get to hear counter-arguments from their end. Using “I” rather than “You” in arguments help remind your partner that you both are a team and need to work on the issues together.
Using an ‘I’ statement ensures that both respond rationally rather than defensively or emotionally. These statements can help derail an argument and allow the couple to resolve issues calmly.
9. Listen Actively
More often than not, small arguments between partners escalate into big fights due to a lack of listening. Actively participate in a conversation, and rather than react to your partner’s arguments, understand and respond to them.
Your partner may be trying to convey something important to you, and if you refuse to listen, they may feel neglected and lash out in anger. Listening can help you have a productive conversation rather than a fight.
10. The Tone Matters
It’s not always what you say but how you say. Like your words, the tone you are using matters. Using the wrong tone can easily slip a conversation into an argument. Using the right tone doesn’t make your partner feel judged. This can open the scope for conversation and lead to a healthy dialogue.
Do not be rude or use a tone of disrespect. Even in a casual conversation, the tone you use may cause unnecessary fights or arguments. If you feel that you need your partner’s help with something, use a soft request rather than a harsh demand. For example, ‘I do not feel well, could you please help me with chores around the house?’ works much better than, ‘You do not do any work around the house, you just sit idle.’
If you feel that the fight between you and your partner goes beyond a simple misunderstanding, stop for a moment, and think. You may have unintentionally hurt your partner, or you may have been hurt yourself. Speak clearly and let your partner know that you feel hurt.
If you have hurt them, apologize, and try to lift your partner’s mood. You know your partner best – apologize by whatever means you feel will have the best impact.
12. Compromise When You Can
It is unhealthy to think that everything will work as per your or your partner’s will. Compromising means listening to what your partner is saying and contributing your thoughts to the conversation to arrive at a mutually satisfactory decision. Compromising even in small decisions helps build trust and security in your relationship.
13. Agree To Disagree
Sometimes, there may be situations where you cannot reach a consensus even after countless discussions and reasoning. It is better to table these topics in such cases as you agree to disagree with the other.
For example, topics on which you may be unable to agree could include how to handle in-laws, different ways of parenting, how to save or spend money, etc. As long as such topics do not harm your relationship, agree to disagree on these topics and learn how to work around these disagreements.
14. Try The Other Perspective
Sometimes, both may feel that their perspective is correct and refuse to budge. This stubbornness can affect the harmony of your relationship. Put the ego aside and understand the situation from your partner’s perspective. In doing so, you may soften towards your partner and understand their point of view. This will help check a small argument from blowing up into a big fight.
15. Additional Help
Even if you cannot resolve the minor issues that lead to fighting in relationships, do not despair. If you feel that your small arguments are becoming a way of life rather than something that happens rarely, seek professional help to resolve your issues.
Going to a professional couple’s counselor or a therapist help find the root cause of friction. They can guide you and suggest ways to maintain harmony, have a constructive discussion, and lead a blissful life.
Fighting in relationships is quite common, and small conflicts often bring out different perspectives. However, fighting regularly over small issues can impact the health of your relationship and may also lead to separation. Put an effort to understand your partner and try the above-mentioned tips on how to stop fighting in a relationship and maintain harmony and intimacy.