Even the happiest couples will have spats that can get nasty. Conflict is inevitable in every relationship, but how it is approached can make a huge difference. Whatever issue is being hashed out or faced, there is always a way to get it right. Conflict resolution takes thought and action, not just emotion and reaction.
Below is a list of a few ways happy couples handle conflict:
When people are arguing with one another, they are often more focused on comebacks or the next part of the argument, then what is being said. Arguments make us want to be defensive. When this happens, we are much more often to have some form of miscommunication. Two people talking at each other is not a good form of resolution. Instead, we must take time to digest and build off of what is being presented so that everyone is heard.
Along with being a good listener, we must also pause before responding in an argument. It is best to count to ten before reacting at all when in a tense conversation of predicament. Thinking before speaking allows us to avoid saying something that could be later regretted. It also allows us time to see things from the other person’s point of view for a few seconds.
Own Your Feelings
This is an area many people forget, but it holds great importance. Instead of using accusing “you” statements, use “I” statement to make your feelings your own. “You make me angry” is accusatory, but “I feel angry when …” allows you to own your feelings, whatever they may be. If a fight starts unexpectedly, take a moment to say some agreed upon phrase that allows for time to get emotions under control and the argument to be more effective.
Those who fight effectively as a couple understand one another’s fighting style. Set these rules before a major fight so they will be respected. If you need a break mid-argument, let your partner know so they can respect the brief intermission while you both cool down.
When to Fight
When something controversial or sensitive needs to be brought up, review HALT to make sure it is a good time. HALT refers to hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. These needs should be met before any sensitive topics are purposely broached.
Big Picture and Priorities
When a fight arises, a couple who realizes that each fight is not world ending will do better over time. One difficult moment will not ruin something that two people have invested in over time. If you are able to think of your bond and relationship as better than a disagreement, even a big one, then things will work out. In conjunction with this, the amount of times you fight is not as important as how each fight is resolved. Once it is resolved, it should be over with no harbored resentment.
Relationship as the Winner
Finally, those who fight right, always put the relationship first. It does not matter who wins or how long it takes, as long as you are still committed to the relationship. If a fight continues during the night, put it aside and sleep on it. A good night’s sleep can help gain perspective and possibly end the fight.