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How to Handle Relationship Fights to Connect Deeper with Your Partner

How to Handle Relationship Fights to Connect Deeper with Your Partner

Just as fights can break a relationship, they can also be used to strengthen it.

Today, I will tell you how to achieve this — how to handle relationship fights better so that you can connect deeper with your partner.

It’s not as complicated as it may seem, but it does demand effort, commitment and dedication.

You see, when relationships get serious, it means the clashing of two worlds. Two persons will share more and more of their lives with one another.

Casual relationships don’t demand any effort, because when something goes wrong, it’s just bye-bye and we forget about it. But if we want to keep that significant other, there are many things we need to change.

First things first…

1. Never Allow Emotions to Get in the Way

Arguments can heat up too quickly if we don’t keep our emotions under check, so the first thing you need to do is to refuse to get emotional.

Go against your own ego, against your own anger, against your fear… even against those feelings of hurt. And, as demanding as it sounds, you also need to go against the feelings that your partner is eliciting in you.

Why? Because if you allow your emotions to speak for you, you will only be adding fuel to the fire.

One thing will lead to another, and suddenly emotions will get the best of both of you.

So, as difficult as it may seem, engage in the argument with the complete determination to not let your emotions get in the way. Refuse to react to them and move on to the only way you can handle relationship fights properly:

Direct communication.

Although we may want to express ourselves freely, we cannot allow emotions, or miscommunication to get in the way.

2. Don’t Fight Fire with Fire

Whit this I mean that, whenever you are solving a problem with your partner, you have to refrain from using hurtful language, rhetoric and sarcasm. They will only add an emotional overtone that you definitely don’t want to get in the way.

We may not be able to get inside our partner’s mind, but if there’s one certain thing we can do, that is to control our own actions.

If you use only direct communication, you will get the point across, and that’s all you need to do.

The real test of all relationship fights is to traverse the emotional field and simply get the point across so that it can be solved. Once you achieve that, communication does the trick.

And now we have to talk about communication.

In order for you to get the message across, you must do the obvious:

Refrain from attacking and stating your thoughts, needs and concerns without any additional information.

But also, a very important thing to do, is to listen and understand your partner’s concerns. If you think it’s all about you communicating your needs, you would be forgetting about half of the relationship: Your partner.

3. Listen and Understand Your Partner

It doesn’t matter if this relationship fight arose from your complains or concerns, it’s also important to understand your partner’s position. Once you do this, you can communicate better.

You know where you are, and where you need to go (figuratively). And now you also need to know where your partner is standing, and how to get to common grounds.

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This is starting to make sense, right?

Now we need to actually get into handling argument.

There is a widespread toxicity between couples nowadays. A toxic habit to use love for the other as a bargaining chip.

If you are doing something I don’t like, well, then maybe I don’t love you anymore.

Oh, you are not obeying me? Well, then I take love away.

I am sure you know what I mean, and if you want to connect deeper with your partner, you cannot do this.

4. Put Love Before Everything Else

A point where you and your partner decide if you will keep walking together… or not.

I know it sounds drastic, but it’s true.

Be aware that every argument is either solved successfully, the breakup point or kept as resentment by the unsatisfied partner if the relationship goes on.

If love is taken away on discretion, used as a means to control the partner, it’s called manipulation. And manipulation is fundamentally going against good relationships.

Love must be put before everything and anything. And I suggest you start your communication by reminding this to yourself and your partner.

This is something that I personally say, and it’s a great start to handle relationship fights:

“Look, I love you, and that’s above this argument, and so I need to tell you that I feel… “

And then, you state your thoughts and concerns, as well as asking clarifying questions to reassure and care for the other. This is extremely powerful and it allows for communication to flow correctly.

5. Embrace Change

If you do this, then fear of breaking up, fear of abandonment, fear of being neglected and “discarded”, fear of being controlled… they all go away.

We may not be used to hearing this, but think about it for a moment…

… it’s the very fears that lie at the core of most relationship fights.

And love trumps them all!

Start from love, from unconditional love, and you can conquer all relationship fights.

Everything sounds beautiful so far, right?

Now we have to delve into the not-so-pleasant aspects of overcoming an argument…

The ones that demand more from ourselves…

After you both have stated your concerns and thoughts, and after communication is flowing smoothly and unemotionally, you need to get to action.

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And what does action means in relationship fights?

Change.

Yes, whatever the problem is, if you want to solve it, it will mean change.

You can talk with your partner and apologize and fill each other with love but, if the problem is not corrected, then the couple is doomed to failure.

6. Forget Blame, Focus on Responsibility

For example: If the problem is that your partner didn’t listen to you and was chatting all the time on the phone, you need that attitude changed, right?

What’s an apology without a changed attitude? It’s nothing, so there needs to be change and that goes for you too.

In order to determine what needs to be changed, we have to let go of the concept of blame and substitute it for responsibility.

If I yell at my wife, apologize, and do it again, then nothing happened.

An apology is not a blank slate to go and make mistakes all over again. It makes sense only with a changed attitude and corrected mistakes.

That’s why responsibility must be assigned to whomever made a mistake. And that’s why I said we need to let go of the concept of blame. Complaining is not to make the other feel bad.

It’s funny how our egos work, isn’t it?

7. Tame Your Ego

I yell at you. You tell me I am guilty of deteriorating the relationship. And I feel bad for you calling me out on that?

As absurd as it sounds, we need to get around this problem that is so common.

Whenever you are having a relationship fight, be humble, and dare to recognize your own mistakes.

Connecting deeper with your partner will almost invariably mean change.

As I stated above, it is the clash of two worlds. Two different concepts of life that need to align… or not.

And the only way the concepts can possibly align in a non-toxic way is if both persons involved are humble and brave enough to change whenever it is necessary.

This is where you will find more friction. You will create a lot of resistance here, and you must fight against that resistance and allow change in yourself.

It all comes to priorities: It’s either your ego or the relationship.

8. Prioritize Your Relationship

I know, once again, that it may sound drastic, but if we don’t bring it down to a simple binary choice, the relationship can really deteriorate.

Putting the other person above the relationship is also negative, as it creates an imbalance, a lack of reciprocity.

And that goes against healthy relationships.

So, dare to confront yourself and recognize when it’s time to change.

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This is a very powerful way to connect deeper with your partner. He or she will know that you are taking responsibility if your actions. And it will also be clear that you prioritize your partner and the relationship.

Whenever you find yourself looking for excuses to justify something you did, resort to honesty and authenticity.

It it’s time to change, it’s time to change. Doing all this will allow you to have a clear vision, and to know when the scale is tipping against you.

Now, this cannot be a one-sided effort. Ask your partner to work with you the same way you are doing it. That’s the only way you will successfully handle relationship fights.

9. Be the Change First

You may be thinking that this guide is a little bit one sided, but think about it:

No one talks about your responsibility. No one is making you accountable.

And it’s not because I am assigning the blame to you, and it’s not because I want to burden you with the whole responsibility either. In fact, the reason is very simple:

If you don’t bring this to the table, your partner most likely won’t.

And if you start by taking these actions, you can ask your partner to mirror them.

In the end, it’s all for the sake of connecting deeper with your partner. And we are so used to keep distance with our partners because of fear of being hurt.

But you know what’s lacking in the relationship: Responsibility.

If you bring that to the table, you are so close to creating a deep, meaningful relationship, or strengthening it!

Once you and your partner have assigned responsibilities it’s time to wrap it up in a way that satisfies both of you.

And yes, this is all done direct communication. Explicit and detailed.

10. Never Assume

Don’t assume your partner knows something, and don’t use ambiguity to allow for actions that may result in a future fight.

Once you have reached an understanding, a great way to end the argument is to apologize and to state what is going to be changed in the attitude or relationship.

For example: I apologize for yelling at you. I will control my emotions and I won’t yell at you again.

This makes you (or your partner) accountable. And it is necessary for a healthy relationship.

These actions craft beautiful love.

You take responsibility, and so does your partner. You have your partner’s back, and she’s got yours too!

Conclude verbally and there will be no emotional residues. No possibility of encountering the same fight again in the future.

It may take a couple of tries, but take your time to solve it all.

Now, there are some last-minute recommendations I want to give you…

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11. Handle Problems and Concerns One at a Time

We can easily get lost in a relationship fight by bringing up other issues that are not current at the moment.

You guessed it: That’s the product of an argument handled incorrectly, and of emotional residue.

So, in order to keep this from ruining every single argument, start by dealing with the issue at hand first.

And then, after you both have stated your conclusions, your apology and the change you are going to make, take on the next issue. And yes, this can be taxing.

It will take time, effort, patience and persistence. But your relationship is worth it.

I also don’t want you to think that all the weight must fall on your shoulders. As I stated above, this is just to instruct you on how to properly handle relationship fights. Once you understand, you must make sure your partner is also willing to make the same effort and take the same responsibility that you are taking.

Never be afraid of pointing out something that is wrong.

12. Remind Yourself That YOU Matter

You need to be heard and your concerns need to be addressed, even if it takes time and effort; even if you need your partner to change so that the relationship grows.

Emotions are sure to arise even if you have made the decision to not get emotional. That is natural. But refuse to engage in hostilities with your partner, even in the worst of cases.

Don’t respond to yelling by yelling. Don’t respond to insults with insults. Handle hostilities and ask your partner to refrain from them.

But if they persist, it may also be a sign that your partner is not as willing to make an effort as you are.

And this takes me to the last recommendation in this guide: Be brave.

If your partner is not willing to change. If he/she is not willing to recognize mistakes, apologize and change… Then maybe it’s not a relationship worth pursuing.

Be brave to see this. It’s better to be alone than in bad company.

But if you want to connect deeper with your partner, use this guide to solve any relationship fight you might encounter.

Love Trumps It All

By being the change you want to see in your partner, you are being the solution.

This is unconventional, because we tend to escape additional responsibilities.

But if you dare to do this, if your relationship is worth it, you are creating the strongest bond of them all:

Love. True love.

And there’s nothing stronger than that.

More About Relationships

Featured photo credit: Jacob Mejicanos via unsplash.com

More by this author

George Alonso

Mental Health Expert, creator of the Transcendental Mindfulness Therapy.

9 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Calm Your Mind Having an Emotional Breakdown? 15 Ways to Re-Center Yourself Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional? How to Handle Relationship Fights to Connect Deeper with Your Partner Why You Keep Getting Into Toxic Relationships (And How to Stop)

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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