“We just fight way too much. We don’t have anything in common anymore. We go round and round in circles and it’s exhausting. I don’t want to do this anymore, I think we need to end the relationship.”
You declare this to your best friend as you shovel your way through a comforting mountain of apple pie. Not only did last night’s argument drag on for the best part of two hours, but it didn’t even resolve.
It just ended in angry silence as you both turned your backs on each other— each planted firmly on opposite sides of the bed. A giant vacuous space teasing you to kiss and make up. Except, neither of you did.
You both pretended to go to sleep and lay there still as statues, silent as spies for five hours.
And then, when the sun came up, you each waited (under closed lids) to see if your partner would extend the olive branch – also known as, The Morning Cuddle. Except, that they didn’t.
They wordlessly got dressed and left for work.
And so, it’s come to that point – where 12 hours of silent treatment has passed and you look at yourself and your partner, and think: “There has to be a better way”.
The Keys To Healthy Arguing (so that you won’t end up feeling exhausted and resentful at the end)
Fighting and arguing are a normal part of any relationship. It’s healthy, it clears the air, and many times, it gets the sexual energy rocketing so that you have the best sex of your life once the anger’s been expressed and your energies are clear and free flowing.
However, if you know that you and your partner are being triggered left, right and centre, and fighting over every point, I want to let you in on some perspective shifters which will radically change the way you approach your next argument.
1. Everyone’s Reality Is Different.
Everyone’s reality is subjective. Our perception of the world has been shaped by our parents, our friends, our life experiences and all of the thousands of influences which have made us the complicated, nuanced human beings we are today.
This means that disagreements are inevitable. It also means that arguments may not wrap up with a nice, neat conclusion where your partner agrees with you. It’s just not going to happen, because they just can’t see it your way. Because they haven’t lived life the way you have. Because they’re not YOU.
Sometimes, all you can do is agree to disagree.
It’s all about awareness. Once you and your partner both recognise the fact that you are ultimately two different people who happen to share a lot of critical common ground, you can leave out the combative and condescending intensity, and keep the communication on a more even keel.
2. There Doesn’t Have To Be A “Correct” Answer To Every Argument
As kids, we’re always told that there’s a correct answer. That there’s a right way to do something. That you have to know the difference between right or wrong, and take the moral high ground where you can.
Whether we realise it or not, as adults, many of us cling to this uncompromising way of thinking, and it trickles into the way we argue.
The main reason why arguments go around in circles is because we each believe that our view is right. In fact, it’s so correct, that as a matter of common sense, you can’t understand why your partner doesn’t see it your way.
And so, you raise your voice, throw your arms up in the air, and repeat yourself in 20 different ways. The penny never drops. Instead, your partner resents you for being lectured at, and you feel completely misunderstood and let down.
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
What if you were to take a step back and turn the argument on its head? What if you asked yourself: “So what, if I’m correct? What does that really achieve?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should concede every point.
We all need to have our boundaries that we can uphold and maintain- for example, if there’s been betrayal and dishonesty, then you’re rightfully going to make a call about the relationship and hold your ground.
But if your partner is just being obtuse, momentarily thoughtless or not pulling their weight, keep your power and try not to fly off the handle. Make your point, receive their apology and then move on.
3. Are You Arguing With Your Partner Just To Test Them?
Have you ever subconsciously started an argument for the sake of shaking things up? Creating some excitement? Pushing them to the edge just to see if they’ll still love you at the end of it?
Many of us project our insecurities onto our partners. We dump the day’s frustration onto them.
We hurl anger and generally awful and unacceptable behaviour in their direction because we think: “If they really love me, they’ll still love me at my worst, so here’s their chance to prove it to me.”
But taking your partner out with your baggage destroys the respect and connection. It also kills the sexual tension.
Worst of all, your partner will actually start to really dislike you as a person, and this little “test” that you’ve set may inadvertently blow up in your face when they actually walk out and never return.
So, try not to do it – because it’s not about them, it’s about you.
It Takes Two To Argue
Rewiring your brain to change the way you argue isn’t going to happen overnight.
But the more you can work on yourself and understand how your conditioning has created your relationship dynamics, the more you’ll be able to let go of your auto-pilot responses of reacting and blaming, and the love between you and your partner will flourish to a whole new level.
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Robert Kirby – Mind/Body Transformation & Integration Expert