It’s another Sunday that I am reflecting on this weekend and as couples do, we had a moment of disagreement. This has me thinking about how we you go to battle over different thoughts, ideals or interpretations of things in couplehood? How do you disagree, be upset or angry and yet still be loving as well? Is this even possible?
I have read before that how a couple fights is one of the biggest determinations of their success and longevity. How they speak and react to each other will predict if they will stand the test of time I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can understand why this would be a large part of a relationship success study.
In an argument; when your feelings are hurt, you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain angry, most of us are not thinking clearly and often not behaving at our best. How can we make sure our voice or view is heard while still showing respect and care to the one we love?
Having a successful relationship takes a lot of work. It is not easy and yet I believe our human nature is to fight against this fact. We want it to be smooth all the time. We do not desire to argue and disagree or hurt each others feelings. Human nature is often lazy (although we do not like to believe this; at least I do not) and to have a healthy relationship takes effort, time and energy that we do not always feel like expending.
In evaluating our disagreement post fact and knowing we desire to be among those who are successful in relationships, I thought I would share what I think are the ways to argue in a healthy way with your partner.
- Keep voices calm and at normal volume. I know this may be very tough to do, but this is the person you love, why would you want to yell or scream at them?
- Stay committed to the issue at hand. This can be tough, especially if you are the one who has done something to offend. Our desire is to fight back; defend our self and take “the heat off us” so to speak. Turning the argument into another one does not solve the first issue, stay on topic.
- Arguing should be done privately. Find a time that you can be alone without children or others. Never in front of friends or in public.
- Stay respectful. Know and believe that that your partner is desiring the same goal; to have a healthy, loving relationship. Stay away from attacking each other and use I statements rather than You statements. If you didn’t study this in school, here is what I mean: An I statement is a way to communicate that focuses on your own feelings or thoughts rather than those characteristics of the recipient. An example of this would be: “I feel angry when the dishes are often left in the sink rather than put in the dishwasher, it makes me feel unappreciated and that I am the only one that pays attention to cleaning the kitchen.” This is better than attacking and saying “You never wash the dishes, you do not care about a clean kitchen.” etc. I know this is very challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
- Forgive and apologize quickly. Say you are sorry when you do something wrong. Choose reconciliation over being right. You are building a partnership, this requires an immense amount of grace for yourself and the one you love.
When we live with any other human we are going to have disagreements. Living with others can help refine and shape us into our best selves if we let it. Arguments can teach us new things about our partner and give us the opportunity to grow closer. And in choosing to live your best self; learning, changing and adapting is a requirement. There will be struggles along the way, but perhaps these few tools will help you if you are navigating this life with another.
Have a blessed day. Continue in choosing the path that leads you to your best life.