Last article was on All about Live-in Relationships,so today we pick a broader and common topic for love life. Be it marriage, dating or live-in, fights are there. Foul or fair, fighting is inevitable. Experts even call it the necessary evil in relationships. Couples fight irrespective of age and the span of relationship. No matter how much you love each other, you will argue, bicker and fight. Fights allow couples to interact at an altogether different mental level. “Perfect couples are those who are absolutely comfortable with fighting”, says a magazine columnist. Couples may fight over just anything. It could be money, resources, wet towel, toilet seat, make up, clothes, friends or any weird subject. Once infatuation fades away and you start discovering the realities of living together, disagreements are obvious.
If you pick some pearls of wisdom from successful couples, fighting is normal and manageable. Relationships are moving and progressive. You will face dynamic situations and will react as per change. So, nothing is static and permanent. Same is true for fights. Then why hold grudges for life? You need to move on, forgive and forget. Let’s take an insightful dig at the fights and disagreements between couples.
How fighting can be good for your relationship
People in love tend to have disagreements as well. Since the other person is important, you take everything he says or does very seriously. Marc and Kathy had their first big blow up immediately after the engagement ceremony. “It was all about the wedding preparations. We had so many differences that every time we discussed something it would end in a fight”, laughs Kathy. Differences can be constructive and actually bring you together. The problem is that we consider fights as an opportunity to vent out anger. For some people it’s the special occasion to be abusive. Happy couples are not the ones who never pick up a fight but the ones who know how to resolve it. Relationship expert Joe Watson describes couples fight as different from rest of the world. He remarks, “Outside your home, it’s all about being right and wrong, winning and losing. But as partners the purpose of fight could be expression and emotion. Disagreements need not be as tormenting in love life.”
Fights actually help you establish an emotional equilibrium with your partner. In the heat moment, you might express thoughts which you otherwise don’t. It can have positive outcomes if you know the right tricks. Fights are psychological pressure relieving valves that can help you distress and invigorate. Do not focus on winning the fight; focus on understanding the root issue. You definitely will have insightful discoveries after the end of each fight.
Digging the Past
Arguments should not be history classes wherein you start ruminating past happenings. It’s the most impractical, futile and painful way of managing the relationship. If you start digging old trash, only foul smell will fill your life. Whenever you have a discord, stay in the present. As per experts, couples who move on stay together longer and happier. You may come across people beginning a fight about the financial statements and conclude at the dirty dishes in the kitchen. Hilarious? It’s the most common mistake we all make. We might laugh at others but we too indulge in stupidity once in a while. The word of wisdom is that you do not bring in old stories and look towards future.
Abuse and scorn
Needless to add, anything nasty and scornful will definitely spoil your relationship. There are a million things you want to yell out at your spouse but that will help nobody. If you cannot control your tongue, better evade the moment. Everlasting matrimony and bonhomie demands respect from both sides. There is nothing more punishing and exhausting than living with an abusive partner. Harsh language, physical abuse and violent behavior will only have devastating effect on both of you. As per a recent survey, most marriages break on grounds of abusive behavior by the other partner. “I hated when he shouted on me. He would use all profanities and I felt my self esteem was hurt. I walked out of his life”, says Joan. So, if you are one of those shouting, yelling and abusive partners, better check your behavior. You may be feeling perfectly alright after venting your anger but it will only have a negative effect in the long run.
Watch out your Fighting Style
Each one of us has a unique style of fighting. Some people externalize, lash out loud and express verbal distress. Others are less vocal, withdraw in silence and hold it. Some people are like footballers and boxers who watch out for the score to settle. They will have a tit-for-tat approach. This may work at office but will not do great thing to your relationship. If you are a silent fighter who would quietly smile yet hold grudges; think twice. Whom are you fooling? It’s better to be expressive and open about your thoughts. Another style is the diplomatic style which is quite dangerous. Do not be a political icon at least with your significant other. Your diplomacy tricks are not meant for love life. So, whatever be your fighting style, work towards constructive and positive ways of resolving differences. It helps you foster better bonding and nurtures your relations in the long run.
Stick to the topic
Fighting like an adult is important. Do not be a kid who starts throwing tantrums and is all messed up in the head. When you are having an argument, stick to the main topic and do not deviate. Confusing with multiple issues simultaneously will only make the situation complex and tensed. Relationship expert Maria Joseph clarifies, “Most couples who come to me for counseling complain of fights heading towards dead end. It’s not about arguments; it’s about resolving and reaching a conclusion”. We need to transform our attitudes in a realistic way by accepting foibles and try not to change your partner. Often couples get mad over such relationship advice and ask, “How the hell I stay organized when there are mental and verbal missiles shooting from both sides”. True but this is what sensible people do and you have to be empathetic to understand the delicacy of fights.
This one is critically important and most neglected aspect of fighting. All of us want to say a lot and listen very less. Slipping in your tongue and opening up your ears is a wonderful art. If you can work towards your listening skills then it will do miraculous benefits to your love life. When the other person is upset, sometimes you are just expected to sit down and listen patiently. Let him/her vent out the frustration and you will feel better about calming them. “All I want him to do is to sit and listen when I am angry”, says Sara. As per relationship experts, couples often complain of partners being impatient. So, take a deep breath and let the other one go on.
We should not miss the most important aspect of fighting – patch up! Some people say ‘just make love and say sorry’. This works quite okay most of the time with most of the couples. But it’s not a great idea every time. There may sometimes be a need to repair some personal rift. It’s important to discuss and talk it over. It may not be feasible to reach a conclusion but definitely clarification is needed. You need to verbalize your thoughts in a planned manner and approach the person. Try to clarify your stand and how you never meant to hurt the partner’s feelings. This will go a long way in making a healthy relationship and not piling up grudges.
It’s completely normal to fight. So, do not let your fights scar the entire relationship. It’s a small and healthy aspect of being together. Take your time and space and make efforts to resume normalcy as soon as possible. Snooty faces, cold expressions and silence are the worst reactions after fights. As per experts, you should never sleep over a fight. Let’s go by this wisdom and make an attempt not to drag the issue for long. Experts also emphasize some basic gender differences when it comes to disagreement. Men and women have different ways when it comes to dealing with arguments. Women are more vocal and demand discussion. Men withdraw and need space to become normal.
Admit your mistake and accept the fact that your partner is unchangeable. If you come to terms with realities, you are in a better position to resolve conflict. Neither submissiveness nor aggression lets you win over the other person. Be assertive and make your point objectively. Learning basic communication strategies can actually help you deal with your partner as well.