Relationship conflict affects even the happiest couples. But how do you resolve an argument when you just can’t seem to agree?
It can feel overwhelming and downright frustrating when you feel like your partner isn’t listening to you. Many couples make the mistake of trying to talk over each other instead of talking to each other during relationship conflict.
But real communication isn’t about who can yell the loudest or who can take pot-shots at the other. It’s about resolving an issue at hand.
- What causes relationship conflict?
- How do you handle conflict in a relationship?
How you handle a disagreement says a lot about how you feel about your partner. That’s why we’re looking at 9 respectful ways you can resolve relationship conflict without causing a rift between you and your spouse.
1. Don’t Yell – Communicate
Communication is the cornerstone of healthy, successful relationships.
Partners who communicate with one another build a sense of trust. They understand how the other one thinks and feels and knows what triggers to avoid.
Communicate with your partner regularly – especially if you’re disagreeing.
When things get heated, it can be difficult to keep your cool. If you want to resolve relationship conflict without hurting your partner, avoid yelling and name-calling.
Speak to solve by asking questions such as:
- Who are you angry with?
- What is at the root of the problem?
- How can you resolve the conflict?
- How can you prevent this issue from coming up again in the future?
2. Learn to Listen
Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to conflict resolution.
You show your partner dignity when you hear what they have to say. It would also be wise to stay quiet and patient as your spouse expresses their feelings.
You can also resolve relationship conflict respectfully by avoiding distractions.
Maintain eye contact as you talk, and eliminate distractions such as the television, radio, or phone.
3. Choose the Right Time to Bring up Differences
If you have an issue you want to set right with your spouse, it’s important to choose the right time to bring it up.
Problem-solving will go smoothly if your spouse is alert and in a good mood.
But bringing up a subject that could lead to an argument would not be wise if they are cranky, tired, stressed out, hungry, or distracted.
4. Watch Your Tone
Do you understand your tone of voice?
We may think we are saying something in a mild manner to our spouse only to have them burst into tears, convinced that we are yelling at them.
If you want to resolve relationship conflict without hurting your partner, avoid using sarcasm or belittling tones.
Arguing over text is a sure-fire way to be misunderstood by your partner. Your spouse is left guessing what tone you’re speaking to them with.
If you feel that you’re being misunderstood via text message, call your spouse and clear things up immediately.
5. Show Respect
When things get heated, you may resort to some disrespectful speech or actions that you normally wouldn’t.
Disrespecting your partner is one of the worst things you can do during an argument.
You can resolve relationship conflict without hurting your spouse by taking a minute to cool down. Conflict resolution isn’t about seeing who can yell the loudest or opening old wounds to make your partner submit. It’s about solving a problem.
Show respect to your partner during disagreements by:
- Sticking to the topic at hand
- Taking your partner’s opinions seriously
- Not interrupting your spouse
- Listening patiently
- Letting cooler heads prevail
6. Remember That You Love Each Other
We tend to get carried away when we are upset, but it’s important to remember that the person you are arguing with is also the love of your life.
Not even the happiest couples agree on every matter. It’s okay to have disagreements once in a while so long as you treat each other with love and respect when you do.
Don’t sleep on an argument.
You never know what tomorrow will bring, so why not makeup and give yourselves a peaceful night’s sleep?
7. Have Empathy
Misunderstandings turn into arguments when couples don’t understand where the other person is coming from. That is where empathy comes into play.
Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s feelings.
When you have empathy for your spouse you’re able to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.
Having empathy is essential to resolving relationship conflict peacefully. When you empathize with your spouse, you are giving them your attention, bridging the divide in your argument, and promoting compassion.
8. Agree to Disagree
Whether it’s about politics, religion, or family, there are going to be some occasions where you and your partner simply can’t agree.
In these situations, it’s best to agree to disagree. This means that you both accept that neither will change the other’s mind on a matter.
So long as the matter at hand is not pressing and will not negatively impact your family dynamics, such as poor financial decisions or issues involving, simply agree to disagree and move on.
9. Learn to Forgive
One way you can avoid hurting your spouse’s feelings during relationship conflict is by learning how to forgive them.
It’s easy to say you forgive someone, but forgiveness is more than your words.
You show you forgive someone when you let the matter drop – not using it as leverage in a future argument.
True forgiveness means letting go of the anger you feel and treating your partner with love and respect after the argument is over.
Learning how to communicate is essential for couples who want to solve relationship conflict without hurting each other’s feelings.
The keys to great communication are learning to listen, staying respectful, trying to see a situation from your partner’s perspective, and forgiving each other. These tips will help you resolve your issues without starting a war.
More Tips on Resolving Relationship Conflicts
- Relationship Problems: How to Resolve the Conflicts
- How to Argue So You Won’t Damage Your Relationship
- The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach
- Conflict Resolution: 5 Rules From a Mom to Resolve Conflicts at Home
Featured photo credit: Joe Yates via unsplash.com