No matter how happy a couple may seem, I promise you, they argue! They may even argue more than you think. But, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received about arguments with your partner is “quality over quantity.”
Disagreements can actually be really healthy for your relationship and can help you understand and appreciate each other more. Just because you argue with your partner more often than another couple doesn’t mean you have a bad relationship. What really matters is that your disagreements are healthy and respectful.
Here are a few ways to tell if your disagreements are healthy or not…
You speak quietly and calmly
Screaming and yelling at each other only leads to aggression which generally leads to saying hurtful things that you don’t really mean. When a disagreement is starting, take a deep breath and speak quietly to help keep yourself and your partner calm. If you stay calm, chances are, your partner will too.
You argue in private
Arguing in front of family, friends, or strangers in public is uncomfortable for everyone. If a disagreement is starting at a public event or a family gathering, you and your partner should nonchalantly step outside to discuss the issue in private. Everyone doesn’t want or need to know your business. That’ll only cause issues later on.
You keep it off social media
Putting your business on social media is even worse than arguing in front of family or friends. Putting your relationship’s issues and your partner’s flaws on social media for everyone to judge is rude and disrespectful. Whether you’re arguing or not, you should still have your partner’s back. Throwing your dirty laundry on social media will only open the door for third parties to judge your relationship and throw their two cents in leading to further arguments and doubts.
Bottom line… keep your business between you and your partner!
You don’t bring up past mistakes
If you’re upset with your partner because you feel they weren’t listening to your last important conversation, don’t bring up that time you felt disrespected in front of their friends two years ago. Those situations have nothing to do with each other and the past should always be left in the past. Unless one situation literally led to another, then they shouldn’t be discussed together. You’ve moved on from the past and you don’t live there anymore, so quit looking back there. Focus on the situation at hand.
You look at the situation from your partner’s POV
This is a tip that has saved my relationship during disagreements. Sometimes you hit a point where you’re so frustrated that you’re feeling stubborn and set in your ways, but it’s always important to step back and clear your mind. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to imagine that your partner did to you what you just did or said to them. Would you appreciate that behavior? Maybe not…
You walk away, if necessary
Sometimes it might be necessary to leave your partner or hang up the phone for a little while to think about your situation. If that happens, calmly reassure your partner that you love them and you will talk to them in a little bit after you’ve had some time to think. Walking away like this does not mean that you’re relationship is over. It just means you need to think. You may be able to come back and talk in 20 minutes or maybe later that day. Take the time you need to cool down and think things through and give your partner that same respect. Either you’ll see that maybe your partner was right or you’ll be able to figure out exactly what it is that you’re trying to express to your partner. Space to think will always help you gain clarity and a new perspective on the situation.
You use “I feel…” to explain your side
Throwing accusations around and blaming everything on your partner won’t get you anywhere. When you’re speaking calmly, explain how the situation that caused the argument made you feel, whether it’s confused, hurt, betrayed, etc. Explaining how something made you feel is always better than just talking about the situation in general. It’ll also help your partner gain clarity into your POV.
You let go of your pride and apologize
Always, always, always apologize. If you realized that you messed up, own up to it and apologize for your actions. But don’t stop there. Explain to your partner that you understand where they were coming from and what you plan to do to fix this behavior in the future. That shows your partner that you truly care about them and your relationship and that you’re making the effort to do better.
Now… everyone might not agree with me on this, but I also believe in apologizing even if you weren’t wrong in the first place. I tried this in my relationship and it has made a huge difference. Chances are, there is always something that both partners can apologize for after an argument. Even if your partner was wrong to begin with, you might look back at the disagreement and realize you started yelling and screaming when your partner was being calm, or maybe you said something really hurtful just because they upset you. Look back at how you handled the situation and notice if there is anything you could have done differently. Whether you were upset or not, always try to be the bigger person and do the right thing, even if your partner isn’t. Now, please understand that just because you do this, you are NOT saying that your partner’s actions were acceptable, but you are showing them that you are willing to do what it takes to work on the mistakes together and do your part to better the relationship as well.
For example, I have noticed that I tend to be very overdramatic and take the argument to a level it never should have reached. When I do this, I always go back and apologize to my boyfriend for my actions. In turn, by him seeing that I’m working on this habit, he feels closer to me and feels that he can communicate and be more open with me than before. He feels more comfortable making a simple mistake knowing that I won’t blow it up into WWIII. This has only made us stronger and more confident in our relationship.
You always make up in the end
You should never leave an argument open-ended just because you don’t feel like dealing with it. Work through the issue, even if you have to just agree to disagree and then move on. When it’s all said and done, kiss your partner and remind them how much you love them and how committed you are to this relationship regardless of the issues you two have.
Do you and your partner have healthy arguments?
How do you feel about apologizing for the way you handled an argument?