Fight Smarter, Not Less

Did you know that most couples across the world have repeating arguments year after year? The interesting part is that they often do so without realizing it. When two people get into a relationship, conflict is inevitable. However, the quality of an argument and its frequency can vary from couple to couple. So, it is unrealistic to expect that there will never be an argument. The key is to understand how to resolve a conflict so that the relationship can only grow stronger.

The first step in doing this is to recognize a similarity or pattern in the fights. Identifying patterns can help couples predict situations that may lead to conflict and of course correct an argument before it explodes, says Linda Charnes, a leading therapist in New York City, who also provides couples therapy. This can also help couples understand the difference between productive and devastating fights.

Why Many Fights are Repetitive

An article on Psychology Today states that a large number of conflicts amongst married couples do not get resolved. There are many people who have never seen their parents work through conflicts effectively and therefore do not have any precedent to follow. Money, free time, housework, children and intimacy are some of the most common issues couples fight over.

When we are questioned about our performance, competence, and virtue, our ego gets affected. Unless you are someone who doesn’t need validation from others, any negative comment from your partner could easily hurt you. As a result, the couple could end up fighting about the same things over and over again.

Make Fights Productive

There is actually a difference between an argument and a fight. You might be surprised to know that couples who argue more are also more likely to stay together. This is what an article by Rebel Circus states. Healthy arguing is a form of communication that let couples focus on the problem before it gets out of control.

To know if your fights are productive, make sure to:

  • Stay in the present and not bring up past arguments

  • Not include non-verbal cues that can hurt the other

  • Try and understand that other’s perspective.

Leading marriage counsellors often advise couples to respond to a problem, and not react to it. If one partner feels that it is their fault, they should keep their ego aside and apologize. Be open and accepting, leading by example for the other to follow. Sit down together and jot down the problem areas. Argue, but make sure the comments are constructive rather than offensive.

And, if you find that all your efforts have not helped to resolve the issues, don’t hesitate to seek couples therapy.

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