When you experience fights on a consistent basis, your relationship can fall apart and the connection between you and your partner will break. Small arguments about who was supposed to do the dishes or take the kids to soccer practice can lead to big arguments that end in an all-out screaming match.
I know this is not what you want in your relationship. You want to be able to handle differences and misunderstandings in a way that is calm, collective and respectful. If you are committed to having a healthy and happy relationship, implementing ways to stop fights from ruining your relationship is key. Stress, frustration and differences between you and your partner are inevitable. It’s all about how you handle these differences as a team.
1. Be aware and understand your differences.
Biologically, men and women are born differently. Men handle stress much differently than women. John Gray, the author of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, explains the differences between men and women and how we can have loving, respectful and happy relationships with our partner.
Personally, this book has helped my relationship with my husband. I understand his differences and he understands my differences. When men are stressed about something, they would prefer taking some quiet time alone to think and resolve their problems while women prefer talking about their problems in order to find solutions. This is just a one example. Without knowing these differences between men and women, we will continue to get into fights which can and may very well ruin the relationship.
Take the time to read this book and share your thoughts with your partner. Learn how you and your partner are different. It’s important to know how you’re different because you will become more mindful with how you handle arguments. This book has helped me better understand myself and better understand my husband. Implement the wisdom in the book, and you will notice your arguments decrease.
2. Take a “time out.”
When you are in a fight with your partner, you may say something that you don’t really mean. Because you are emotional and upset, it can be easy to just say whatever you feel without thinking if it will hurt your partner.
When you catch yourself getting too emotional during a fight, take a step back and have a “time out”. It’s better to take time to cool off instead of continuing the fight and saying something you don’t really mean. When my husband and I experience an argument and I find myself getting too emotional, I take a step back and say that I need a “time out” from the argument. If my husband is experiencing the fight or flight response, he usually says that he needs some time to cool off. We wouldn’t get anywhere if we continued to point the fingers at each other and prove our point of view.
When you and your partner experience this, it is best to take a “time out” for a little while and get back to each other when the both of you are relaxed and calm. Maybe you would like to go for a walk or read. Find something else to do that will relax you so that you can get rid of the fight or flight response and think more rationally.
If one of you still wants to talk and not take a “time out”, it’s important for the person that wants a “time out” to express to their partner, “I love you. I will be back. I just need some time to cool off before I say something that I will regret.” You need to reassure your partner that you love them and that you will be back. When you have a fight with your partner, it’s crucial you make sure that you don’t do or say anything that you will regret. To avoid this from happening, make sure that you take a “time out” and reconnect when you are calm and collected.
3. Open your ears and step into their shoes.
The beauty about the human race is that we are all unique and have minds of our own. We are able to create our own philosophy and how we view life.
With that being said, your partner may have a different philosophy than you about different aspects of life. It’s important that you respect your partner’s philosophy. You can’t force your partner to have the same philosophy as you. A lot of couples try to change their partner, but wind up getting disappointed.
The only person you can change is yourself. Don’t be that person that has the philosophy of “My way or the highway.” Open your ears and step into your partner’s shoes when you are experiencing a disagreement. Open your ears and listen. Listen from their perspective. You may not agree with what they have to say, but be respectful and hear them out. When you are in a relationship, it’s not just about you. It’s about “us.” You have your philosophy and your partner has their philosophy. Be a good listener and step into their shoes.
4. Decide today that you will not raise your voice.
It can be easy to raise your voice when you are in a fight with your partner. Because you are emotional and upset, raising your voice to prove your point can become second nature. This does nothing but add more fire to the flames. And the more fire there is, the harder it will be to put it out.
Decide and commit today that you will not raise your voice during an argument or disagreement. The last thing that you want to do is to hurt your partner. Be conscientious with the tone of your voice. If you catch yourself raising your voice, stop and lower your tone of voice. This can be a challenge, especially if you are experiencing the fight or flight response. Be more mindful and take a step back when you notice your voice raising. Not only will your partner appreciate this, but you are creating a good habit of not raising your voice.
5. Explore and get to the root of the hidden issues.
Does it seem like when you get into an argument with your partner, you fight about little things like not cleaning the litter box or watching too much TV? If the answer is yes, it’s likely there is a deeper issue in your relationship to blame.
A lot of couples try to fix surface-level issue such as jealousy, financial stress, communication, sex, religion, friends, children or in-laws. When you fix the surface level issues, the arguments may decrease, but only temporarily until a trigger causes another argument.
If you only fix surface level issues, you are not getting to the root of the problem. There is usually a deeper issue that needs to be resolved. You will continue to experience small arguments, which can ultimately ruin your relationship. Some hidden issues may include lack of affection, control, commitment, acceptance, trust, honesty, respect, and integrity. A way to stop fights in relationships is to get to the root of the problem and work as a team to resolve the issue.