As long as human beings exist, conflict must occur. This also includes romantic relationships.
I’ve seen people assume that because they are in love, there can be no wrong. After all, love covers a multitude of sins.
Conflict is bound to occur especially when the butterfly stage is over. This is not to impose fear in you concerning your relationship. Instead, conflict occurs because two different individuals are involved.
So, if you desire to have a happy relationship where you and your partner feel appreciated irrespective of your differences, this article will guide you on how to handle arguments in a relationship.
Think back to when you lived with your siblings. Like many of us, chances are your childhood consisted of sibling fights among each other. Even if you were of the same gender, your perceptions, and natural behavioral patterns caused some differences.
So, if that was normal, how much more a relationship. The biological differences between a male and a female are enough to show how opposite they already are.
What further differentiates them is the way each species views life.
Even the best of relationships experience one form of conflict or the other.
It will be unusual for a relationship to not have disagreements.
The difference, however, is the degree to which you argue.
An occasional argument or two may be fine, but if you find yourself arguing a lot with your partner, this is a cause of concern.
This is where you need to understand how to handle arguments in a relationship.
You see, knowing how to handle arguments in a relationship is a sign of maturity and a skill every couple must learn. I mean, who wants to live at loggerheads with someone?
When you have this skill, you can easily coexist with your partner.
Tips On How To Handle Arguments
So, having disagreements with your partner is not unexpected. However, how you manage these conflicting moments can contribute to what will eventually make or break your relationship.
If you find yourself unhappy about the outcome of your disagreements with your spouse or significant other, you can pick one of these tips on how to handle arguments:
1. Ensure your environment encourages openness
Normally, if you are in a romantic relationship, you both should be able to communicate on diverse issues without judgment or fear.
2. Remain respectful and calm especially when things get heated
Conflict is usually emotional, and this blinds a person’s logic. You find yourself saying words your logical mind knows will crush your partner, but because of the electrifying moment, you spill those words anyway.
Self-control is important in these moments. It doesn’t matter what caused the conflict, refuse to insult or disrespect your partner.
3. Target the cause of the conflict
Is there an unfulfilled need your partner is expressing? Sometimes, an argument is an offshoot of a bigger problem. Rather than retaliate, take a moment to ponder on the message behind the argument.
4. Determine if the argument is born out of a desire to control you
If you feel your partner wants to control you, you need to watch out! If your partner gets angry when you talk to other people, prioritize your dreams and goals, or want you to limit your association with others, your partner may be trying to control you.
The popular excuses could be “I can’t help it because I love you”, or “I have trust issues because of…” Refuse to tolerate this.
If this is prevalent in your relationship, you may need to get out of it and get help.
5. Find a balance
Find a middle ground between what you and your partner want.
This is important especially if you both want the relationship to work.
Evaluate what you both want and make compromises where necessary.
Finding the middle ground isn’t difficult at all. For example, if your partner complains you play action movies on date nights but prefers fantasy movies, you could alternate the dates you both will watch fantasy and action movies.
Yes, finding a balance may not be so easy, but there is always the middle-way you both can meet to accommodate each other.
6. Select your battle
Consider whether the issue at hand is worth a conflict with your partner.
The truth is, while you won’t always be pleased with your partner, not every issue is worth an argument.
So ask yourself if you won’t be upset by that issue next week. If you won’t, it’s better to drop it. If not, then go ahead and discuss it with your partner.
7. Determine if the issue can be solved or not
Sometimes, your arguments with your partner may be about life-altering issues like how many kids to have, where to live, etc.
If you think you’ll be sacrificing your goals and principles to fulfill another person’s desires, you will need to evaluate if the relationship is worth getting into.
For a relationship to work, you both have to share the same values, ideas, and vision regarding your future.
If your values don’t align, you may need to rethink your relationship.
Related Post: Fun Question-Game For Couples
Why Do People Argue
If arguments can destroy a relationship, why do people argue? You may ask.
A certain degree of arguments is allowed. This is because of the unique differences between a male and a female.
But if we are different and conflict is bound to happen, how much arguing is normal in a relationship?
There are several reasons people disagree with one another.
These reasons depend on their temperament, perception, or core value.
Knowing the reason why people argue can help you in averting a serious argument before it happens.
While this list is not exhaustive, I have outlined below some answers to the question: Why Do People Argue
1. They are easily offended
People who are prone to be annoyed will try to get into an argument. Once they do, they will attempt to win such an argument to justify how they feel because losing that argument will make them feel worse.
2. They are stuck with limiting beliefs
Some people have developed limiting beliefs to protect their psychological health. So, when they engage in an argument, they do so not to win but to defend their already held beliefs.
3. They love to be right
Some people hate the idea of being wrong about anything. So they argue to prove their point. They have a huge ego and lack high self-esteem, so they are easily triggered when their position is threatened.
4. They are curious about everything
These people get curious about the things that happen around them. When they question them, it seems as if they are prepared to argue. Not many people are fond of having them around because of their persistent questioning.
5. They want to stand out
Some people hate being agreeable. In turn, they argue to prove a point to themselves and others. They love the idea of being the odd one out because they believe it makes them special
6. To boost their self-esteem
Some people view argument as a means to evaluate their self-worth. So when they argue to the point where the other party cannot debate further, they feel validated.
7. The weight of the matter is heavy
Arguments can arise when people feel the issue is of weighty importance. It could be a cultural, family, or personal concern they uphold. In these scenarios, such a matter cannot be ignored. Therefore, it brings up a lot of arguments.
8. To correct a belief
If someone holds a belief another person perceives to be wrong, an argument can break out.
9. To show the need for respect
People who have power but feel they lack respect will get into arguments. A study showed that people who have power on a low status will cause more conflict.
10. They lack enough sleep
Sleep-deprived people have a high tendency to argue. Sleep deprivation produces feelings such as irritability, depression, moodiness, anxiety, and even anger. Sleep-deprived people are often unfriendly and have a higher tendency of arguing.
11. They are over rational
When arguing with someone, there’s a tendency to tell the person to be rational. But when one is rational to a fault, that can produce more arguments.
When people are being rational in an argument, they tend to pick points they can easily criticize.
When this happens, people hardly compromise or try to see things from the other person’s perspective. All they are focused on is using their mental strength to win the argument, rather than seeing the truth in the situation.
12. They lack self-compassion
People with no self-compassion are not ready to consider the other person in their argument. To them, what they say matters the most even if it means cutting the other person to pieces with their words.
The Danger Of Constant Arguing In A Relationship
A woman once complained saying, “My husband argues with me over everything, is this normal?”
There are countless questions on how much arguing is normal in a relationship.
The truth is the act of arguing is a negative one, even though it cannot always be avoided.
It produces negative emotions that make both partners stressed out and anxious.
It can cause a rift between both partners and may even make them hate each other.
Unhealthy Arguing Techniques To Avoid
There are many unhealthy arguing techniques couples unconsciously do that aggravate their arguments.
When this becomes constant, it can cause bad blood between the couple.
Knowing these unhealthy arguing techniques will help you become more conscious when next you argue with your partner.
Because you are more aware, you will begin to learn how to stop the cycle of fighting in your relationship
Now, let’s look at some unhealthy arguing techniques you may be applying while communicating with your partner:
1. Including ‘never’ and ‘always’ in your statements
Including absolutes can make your argument more heated. There’s also a higher tendency for your spouse to react using the same words. In the end, you build a negative cycle where everyone ends up with bad blood and no one wins.
2. Being a grammarian in the middle of an argument
Imagine talking to someone and your grammar gets corrected in the middle of the conversation. Annoying right?
Likewise pointing out their grammar errors which are unrelated to the issue at hand can cause the matter to escalate.
Nitpicking is also rude and should be avoided altogether.
3. Not pausing when things become heated
It’s more tempting to continue arguing just to drive home your point. But many times, it’s better to part ways for the moment.
However, make sure you do this properly. Just leaving your spouse mid-sentence can make your partner feel afraid or angry.
So inform your spouse you don’t want to continue the conversation at the moment, and you would rather take a break.
Make sure you tell them when you will return, and fulfill it.
4. Including “you did this” or “you did that” in your statements
By blaming your partner, you force him or her to become defensive. So, if you want to point out something, always make yourself the subject.
For example, instead of saying, “You hurt me,” rather say, “I feel scared I’ll get hurt.”
Using “I” and expressing your feelings will ease up the tension between you and your spouse.
5. Avoiding eye contact
Not giving eye contact makes you look disrespectful. It can feel dismissive if your partner chooses to text while arguing with you.
There are a lot of wrong signals that act communicates.
So, it’s better to show courtesy by maintaining eye contact and making sure your partners do it too.
6. Being too focused on winning
When you win an argument, you feel great about yourself.
However, this can be detrimental to your relationship.
So, take note that this doesn’t become the focus because it can cause fights to escalate.
Worse, focusing on winning the argument can make you resort to name-calling, accusation railing, or nitpicking.
Avoid anything that makes you downgrade your partner in any way.
7. Not listening to your partner
One major rule of arguing is to hear the other person out. Truly it can be difficult when the emotions run high, but try to listen. You will get to better understand what your partner is saying.
8. Waiting for the perfect time to argue
Waiting for the right time to discuss certain issues can lead to a full-on argument. By delaying bringing up those issues, you have already formed a negative perception in your mind. This has already set the ground for a full-blown argument.
9. Being rude
Let me repeat this. Anything that downgrades your partner and your partner’s feelings must not be mentioned.
Even if you must mention some facts, avoid name-calling at all costs.
It causes hurt and breaks communication.
10. Not sticking to the topic
Anger is such a terrible thing. When you’re angry, you’re likely to mention an offense your spouse committed years ago.
Resist that temptation. It’s the wrong time. Instead, focus on the topic at hand.
If it’s about food, discuss food. If it’s about money, talk about money.
11. Making your partner look like the enemy
When arguing with your spouse, there’s the tendency to see your partner as your enemy.
No matter what, your partner is not your enemy. Once you lose sight of that, you allow your emotions to run wild and things can spiral beyond your control.
Instead focus on solving the issue, instead of winning the argument.
Healthy Arguing Techniques To Employ
If you find yourself arguing over little things with your partner, then you need to start adopting some healthy arguing techniques instead.
These techniques will deepen your consciousness of your actions towards your partner while showing you how to stop arguing over small things:
1. Keep your voice low
One of the fastest ways to aggravate issues with your partner is to yell while arguing.
Choose the opposite. Use a low tone. You will be surprised how problems quickly get solved when one partner chooses to keep a low voice instead of yelling.
2. Rephrase your partner’s words
This is a technique that requires you to listen to your partner’s grievance for a minute.
Then once your partner has aired his or her opinion, you can rebut it by first paraphrasing what the person said.
This will get your partner focused on your next set of words.
3. Put your emotions on time out
Amid an argument, it’s easy to let your emotions overwhelm you.
When you feel those anger bites, pause for a moment.
Excuse yourself if need be. Simply make sure you don’t do or say anything that will jeopardize your relationship.
4. Determine the cause of your anger
Even before getting into an argument, you need to know why you feel anger?
Do you feel disrespected?
Do your spouse’s actions saddens you?
Do you feel you are the only one making an effort?
Figure out the cause of your annoyance before initiating a conversation.
You may even need to do a why do we argue so much quiz with your partner to determine the root cause of your argument.
5. Pick the right timing
This is about choosing when you have enough time to listen to your spouse’s response.
If you’re not ready to hear your partner’s point of view, don’t bring it up.
6. Stay on course
Make sure you are focused on the issue at hand.
One technique is to write down the subject of concern.
This will increase accountability so you will not shift to unrelated issues.
7. Stay open and humble
If you are about you argue with someone, keep in mind that you are not always right.
Your partner’s views may be better or more valid than you think.
8. Avoid arguments when hungry and exhausted
Unfulfilled physical needs can resort to a bad argument.
You can choose to schedule a time to work things out with your partner sometime in the week, or after your needs have been met.
9. Show empathy
Try to understand where the other person is coming from.
They could be arguing from a standpoint of sensitivity or hurt.
How To Handle Arguments In A Relationship Before It Causes Issue
Do you know you can stop an argument even before it starts? Many issues could have been avoided if each partner were discerning enough from the start. Well, it’s not too late.
Check out the following tips on how to handle arguments in a relationship before it causes an issue:
1. You can match the level of the intensity of the argument and reduce the intensity slowly.
2. Sometimes, start with an apology. It eases your partner’s mood and slows things down.
3. Take a note of your partner’s mood. Your partner may not be in the right frame of mind for a conversation. If your partner’s mood is low, forcing a conversation will seem insensitive and become a full-blown argument.
4. Decide on the right environment. Just as discerning the mood of your partner is key, it’s important to determine if the environment is right or not. Consider this: is it wise to talk about how your partner didn’t add enough salt to the sauce in the presence of her friends? Think about that.
How To Stop Arguing With Your Boyfriend Everyday
You are fed up with being at loggerheads with your boyfriend. You feel you both are drifting apart, and this hurts you. You want to fix things. Heck! You want to make things up with your boyfriend to how it was at the beginning of your relationship.
If you believe your relationship is worth giving another chance, here are some clues on how to stop arguing with your boyfriend every day:
1. Have a shared value system across important issues
Part of the reason why you may be arguing a lot with your boyfriend is that you both have different beliefs on certain issues.
2. Develop a conflict resolution system
Have a system for dealing with problems even before they start. One of such could be letting the other one know before a major decision is taken. Another could be an emphasis on mutual respect for the other’s opinion. You both decide what works for you.
3. Have an accountability partner
It’s amazing how we quickly hire coaches and mentors for our book projects, study, matches, or whatever challenge we set on, but we hardly get accountability partners for our relationships.
Accountability partners ensure you both are doing right by each other. Make sure you choose someone with an existing record of a happy relationship.
4. Check yourself
Sometimes, we females can be too emotional. We may say things that provoke our boyfriends to anger. If you can’t be frank with yourself, ask your boyfriend why he gets so mad at you.
You could also ask your friends if there’s an annoying trait about you. See their responses and check that against yourself.
5. Study on relationships
Part of the reason you are arguing a lot with your boyfriend is that you don’t know how successful relationships work. In this day and age of social media, many people take relationship advice from their favorite celebrities.
Worse, your parents may not have a great example of a good marriage. If you truly love your partner, search out people who have successful and happy relationships and learn from them. Read books, attend relationship seminars and apply the lessons to your relationship.
Despite our differences, every relationship can be enjoyable if you are equipped with the keys to managing and running a successful relationship. One important key is knowing how to deal with conflict.
With this article, you would have learned one or two things on how to avoid arguments in a relationship that will help you to enjoy your partner.
Christopher is a well sought-after writer, speaker and life coach, helping many people to enjoy a better life in all endeavors. He speaks and writes on subjects concerning spiritual, relationship, career and finances.