Every relationship has rough spots. Part of becoming a couple is sanding the
rough spots down so you fit together nicely. This is the hard part of any
relationship. No two people see eye to eye on every issue. We all bring our
family history, childhood hangups and bad habits with us when we enter a
Compromise and acceptance
help, but sometimes things just have to be dealt with directly. Sadly, however,
blowups, tantrums and hissy-fits don't really solve problems, they just create
barriers and wounds. So, how does a couple "argue" about things and
solve disagreements? No one simple answer, but the following tips might help.
Plan to argue.
Don't just slip into an argument on the spur of the moment. If there is a
problem which needs discussing, think about it first. Identify the real
problem, not just the symptom. For example - partner A leaves the bathroom a
mess after using it. What is the problem here? Basic differences in what
"clean" means, or a total disregard for partner B? While you're
contemplating the problem, also examine what, if anything, you
contribute to the situation. Do you set a bad example, or are you guilty of
the same thing? Once you have identified the problem, decide what solutions
would be acceptable to you.
Pick a time to argue.
Bad times to argue are: during lovemaking, right after one or both partners
get home from work, in front of kids or company. . . you get the idea. Tell
your partner that you want to talk about something which is bothering you
and if your partner is receptive, approach the problem directly, calmly and
civilly. (We'll look at what to do if your partner NEVER wants to discuss
things, in a future article.)
Argue like diplomats.
Approach an argument with your partner as though world peace depended on a
satisfactory solution. In a way it does. It's your world and it's very
important to both of you.
Do keep your voice pleasant. (No yelling)
Do remain calm. (No waving arms, making fists, frowning, etc.)
Do be nice. (No name calling)
Do avoid starting sentences with the accusatory word "You" as in
"You make me so mad." or "You always...." or "You
Do focus on the problem. Don't try to solve all the problems during one
discussion. Stick to the chosen topic.
Do focus on the present. (Forget the mental list of everything your partner
has ever done to irritate you.)
Do include yourself in the problem. ("I'm sure we both need to work on
Do stop if things get heated. ("Let's think about it and talk again,
later.") However, don't simply walk away from the discussion, leaving
your mate hanging. Explain that you want to stop for awhile, and set a time
Do invite your partner help with the solution. (What can we do about
Once you've started discussing solutions, hopefully you can work out
something which will satisfy both of you.
Seal it with a kiss
(At the least) and thank your partner for listening and helping with the
This article was written by Nora Penia
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