8 ways to avoid ugly arguments in a relationship
Arguments are inevitable in every relationship and it often causes a lot of problems if not end the relationship.
No two people, no matter how perfectly matched, will get along in perfect harmony at all times. How people argue is what matters the most as it can break them.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting into an ugly argument;
1. Understand that anger itself is not destructive
There is a vast difference between anger and rage. When someone is angry they need to state their feelings, they don’t break things or relationships – that is rage-full behavior.
2. Talk about your feelings before you get angry
When you or your partner can approach the situation as it happens and deal with it in a safe way, it may not get to the point of being an argument. Sometimes things just need to be verbalized and most arguments can be avoided if your partner understands how you feel.
3. Don’t raise your voice
It’s amazing how issues of hurt feelings or differences can be resolved with a whisper. I counsel couples who are yellers to only communicate with a whisper and it greatly reduces the anger factor in their relationships.
4. Don’t threaten your relationship and don’t take every argument as a threat to your relationship
This type of emotional blackmail puts the other partner in a panic/flight or flight mode. While you’re telling them you want to leave, they may be making plans to find a roommate. In addition, they may be so devastated by the thought of losing their family they can go into a deep depression and be unable to give you what it is you need.
5. Don’t stockpile
This is where you bring up issues from the past to use as a hammer against whatever problem your partner has asked for help with. Deal with their issue first and if you really have unresolved feelings from past problems talk about them at another time.
6. Don’t avoid your anger
If you stuff your feelings long enough you will explode and say or do things that you will regret. Anger does not diminish love, you can be angry with those you love. In fact the ones we love hurt us the most because we love them the most.
7. Create a process for resolving problems without anger
Start by each of you taking five minutes to state your feelings, then take a twenty minute break to think about things and come back to the table for another ten minutes to discuss how you think you can best deal with the problem. Also, know that it’s okay if the problem doesn’t get solved right away.
8. Abuse is never allowed
This includes verbal abuse, any type of violence including slamming doors, breaking plates or hitting. If your arguments escalate to this level you need to leave the house. If one partner ever hits another a police report needs to be made and an appointment with a therapist is mandatory.
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