It's Not What You Argue About, But It's How You Argue

You're going to get into fights with your partner, there's no denying it. There's going to be a situation that comes up that tests both of you. You're going to disagree on something, one of you is going to say something that makes the other upset, one of you is going to do something that drives the other insane, and you're going to argue. Arguing itself is not the problem, it's actually healthy for couples to get into an argument. The problem that does arise, however, is how you fight. The way you communicate and act towards each other during conflict can drastically effect your dynamic in either a positive or negative way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you two begin to argue. Of course they won't necessarily be easy to think about during this time, but if you put effort into actively following them the end result will be much better for the both of you.

1. Keep your voices down. The second you begin to raise your voices the words will no longer be heard. The only thing you guys will be doing is competing over who can scream louder.

2. Do not interrupt. You do not want to be interrupted, so do not do this to them. Not only is it rude, but it makes them feel that you are not listening to them.

3. Stick to facts only. Don't become overly emotional and drag in opinions. Only discuss facts.

4. Do not name call. Name calling is a sign of weakness and immaturity and is one of the most disrespectful things you can do. Stick to their birth names if you don't want to say "baby" or "honey."

5. Acknowledge the issue your partner is having. Don't try t make them feel silly for being upset with you, show them respect and acknowledge their feelings.

6. If things get heated, calmly walk away. Take a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood, or an hour long trip to the grocery store. Calm your mind and continue the conversation in a calm way.

7. Compromise. You're in a committed relationship now, no more "what about me" all the time. You both need to give a little and compromise.

8. Come up with a resolution and stick with it. Don't change your mind once things have been situated.

9. Allow your partner to express their emotions. Once they open up, gently hold their hand and calmly tell them that you are there for them.

10. Stick to only the current event. Don't bring up the past, especially if it has nothing to do with the exact situation.

11. Don't use absolutes, such as "always" and "never." They overly exaggerate the issue and create more tension.

12. Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. Say, "I am upset," not "you never do this."

If you can't remember these tips off hand, print this out and stick it somewhere you both can see it. Go over the list, use it, and resolve your issue in a healthy and productive way.

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