Anyone that says you should always sit down and quietly discuss your concerns with your partner is either emotionally dead, physically dead, eternally single or an American psychologist.
For those of us that are alive and kicking arguments do happen in relationships, however it is necessary to understand the rules of arguing. A constructive shouting match can help clear the air but beware the destructive fighting for fightings sake.
Here are 6 rules for healthy arguments in a relationship:
1. Pick Your Fights
It is totally pointless arguing about anything your partner cannot change (eg your relationship with your mother, your partners snoring or because you think their boss is better looking than you are). These arguments are fighting for the sake of it, consider whether these are issues you are willing to lose your partner over, because if you argue constantly about such issues it may just come to that.
Be very aware of what is causing you to fight, money is the number one reason couples argue but the fights may be about the loo seat being left up or mud on the carpet. Money concerns cause underlying stress that can manifest in couples arguing over the silliest things. If you find yourselves arguing regularly consider whether the fights are really about money worries and if so it is time to sit down quietly and produce a manageable household budget, if necessary get help with this.
Only start an argument if there is an issue that can be resolved.
2. Choose Your Words
It is easy to get carried away when you’re angry but once said words cannot be taken back. Do not say anything you do not mean, avoid personal insults and don’t use it as an opportunity to belittle your partner. Calling your partner a fat slob or useless in bed is not going to resolve anything or improve your sex life.
It is difficult not to throw personal insults around, particularly where jealousy is involved but these types of remarks are not easily forgotten and can cause long term damage.
3. Stay Focused
The only good reason to have an argument is to resolve an issue, not simply to sling mud and get ten years worth of annoyances off your chest. Once you get off the topic of the fight nothing will be resolved, your partner will simply switch off and feel picked on. If you spend every argument listing your partners faults they will eventually wonder why you bother staying with them and this will eventually lead to them considering leaving. If your partner begins an argument to get a point across don’t change the subject and bring up things your partner is doing wrong, this just leads to tit for tat fighting and achieves nothing but bitterness.
4. The Past is the Past
Do not drag past mistakes or fights into a your current argument. This is not easy to do, particularly for women but it really achieves nothing. If your partner is running up debts you fear you cannot pay then an argument may clear the air but including shouting about the time they flirted with your friend at a party five years ago is not going to help your cause.
5. Walk Away
This does not mean ignore your partner and simply walk away from the issue, that resolves nothing and will simply make your partner feel “unheard”. However if you feel you are getting too angry and may say something you will regret then walk away, tell your partner you need to calm down a bit but the conversation is not finished. This takes a little practice but really is better than allowing your anger to get out of control. If your partner says they need time to calm down then allow them to walk away and calm themselves, don’t keep the argument going.
Never feel you should apologise for making your issue known but do apologise for anything unfair you say in the heat of the moment and for fighting rather than discussing. Allow your partner to apologise for starting a fight but you should also say sorry if your partner is correct to be angry about the issue. Ensure your partner knows you have heard them and either agree or disagree with them but ensure both of you reach an agreement before you kiss and make up.
There are also some excellent tips for here.