“Every relationship goes through a struggle, but only strong relationships get through it”.
There isn’t a relationship I know of where the couple doesn’t fall out at one point or another. Fights can make or break a relationship. That’s why it’s important you know how to fight well—because the success of any relationship isn’t based on how well you manage the good times but on how well you can deal with the bad.
Criticism and defensiveness are two traits are highly correlated to relationships that lead to breakup and divorce. Whenever my partner and I would have our worst arguments these two traits would always be present, and this time was no different
That’s why becoming more aware of how you deal in argument can help you avoid relationship disaster and instead increase the trust, safety, and love in your relationship.
Here are some of the key reminders to follow when you feel as if you’re descending into another one of those earth shattering fights.
Watch your language
Some arguments can help grow the relationship and develop greater levels of trust and intimacy between both parties. Other arguments are the opposite; they create a hierarchy and a power struggle, which diminishes respect, trust, and love. the start of arguments can predict to some extent their “success” by the language that started them and whether it was “hard” or “soft.”
The softer and kinder our words, the less defensive we become, meaning we are more open to taking responsibility and creating connection instead of disconnection.
A key principle to help with this is to use language to complain but don’t blame.
Safely express your emotions
The intense emotions we have during a fight form a negative filter through which we see the relationship. That’s why it’s so important to clear the filter and express your emotions as best you can.
In arguments and fights we easily turn critiques about our actions into criticisms of our character. Taking ownership helps to release responsibility for what was not. It helps to feel much stronger and clearer in owning your part in the situation and how one communicated it to their partner, as a result.
Respect your partner’s process
No one likes to feel they are unappreciated or taken for granted in a relationship. I know that only too well from personal experience. Understand your partners point of view before getting on to closure.
Forgiveness opens our hearts
Grudges, regrets, and resentment poison relationships and lives. They steal our present moments and keep us imprisoned in the past. It takes more energy to be angry and full of resentment than to forgive, and that energy is damaging and toxic. We really do forgive for our sake, no one else’s. It is an act of strength and an essential part of healing because it releases our pain and, crucially, releases the hold the experience once had on us
Arguments in relationships often get out of control when you are both full of emotion and expressing it from a place of fear. The most important thing missing in most arguments is a safe space within which to share and be heard.
Take steps to create some space to express your emotions, take responsibility for what was yours, and then create a safe environment within which to discuss it.
I learned that it’s not what we fight about but how we fight that’s most important.