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How to STOP Fighting With Your Partner

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1 How to STOP Fighting With Your Partner on Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:08 pm

cresteb

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Find out why you're arguing

It can be useful to think of an argument like an onion. The outer layer is what you're speaking about, while the deeper layers beneath represent the issues beneath this.

In other words, sometimes what we argue about is only a symptom of what's going wrong, not the cause.

For example, Sam gets into an argument with his partner about whether they do their fair share of the household chores. On the surface, the argument may seem to be about something small, but it could also tap into wider feelings about how well supported Sam feels in the relationship generally.

It may also remind him of other situations when he has felt let down and unsupported by other people in his life. For Sam’s partner, the argument may tap into deeper worries about how controlling they feel Sam can be.

If you find you and your partner argue frequently, or about the same kinds of things a lot, it can be a good idea to think about what’s really causing the conflict. Are you arguing about what you think you’re arguing about – or are there other things going on in the relationship that are frustrating or worrying you?

You may want to consider other influences too: have there been any recent changes in your lives that may have put extra pressure on either of you? This could be something like a bereavement, starting a new family, moving house, financial problems, work pressures or just a reaching a relationship milestone such as reaching a big birthday.

Maybe you have been spending less quality time together than before? Has there been an incident that one or both of you is struggling to get over? Did you used to argue less? And if so, why do you think that is?

Seeing past your emotions and trying to look at the wider context of the situation can be a great way of getting to the bottom of what’s going on.

Choose an appropriate time to talk. If you think you’re going to struggle with your emotions, it may be worth simply coming back to the topic when you’ve both calmed down. Likewise, it’s a good idea to have the conversation at a time when you’re both able to focus on it – not immediately before someone has to go to work or with the TV on in the background.

Try to see things from your partner’s perspective. A conversation is unlikely to go anywhere productive unless both participants feel listened to. It can be tempting to just try to get your point across, but if you want to resolve things, it’s really important you take the time to hear what your partner has to say too. They may have an entirely different perspective – one you’ll need to understand if you want to get to the root of what’s going wrong. Try to validate each other’s feeling by saying things like: ‘It makes sense to me that you feel like that’. Making your partner feel heard can be hugely powerful.

And remember: you may not just be arguing the surface problem. As much as we like to believe our partners will – or rather, should – always understand where we’re coming from, the truth is they’ve grown up with their own ideas and with different influences. For instance, if you think they’re controlling with money, it may be that their role model when they were younger was in charge of all financial affairs – so they’ve always assumed that’s how things work.

Be prepared to compromise. Often the only way to reach a solution is for both partners to give some ground. If both of you stick rigidly to your desired outcome, the fight is probably just going to keep going and going. It might be that one or both of you needs to compromise a little so that you’re able to move past things. Sometimes, an imperfect solution is better than no solution at all.

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