Your Relationship Will Never Work Out If You Can’t Argue Like Adults

Whether you like it or not, there’s going to come a time in your relationship when a small disagreement turns into a full-blown fight. Fights are sometimes unavoidable, and they can ruin a solid relationship if you’re not careful. As an adult in a serious relationship, there are certain things you should always avoid doing if you and your guy want to come out the other side of an argument stronger than ever. Learning to shed old fighting habits is a lot easier when you learn to recognize them.

You don’t consider this man to be your partner when you argue. It’s easy to give into blind rage when you feel passionately about your side of an argument, but you have to try to maintain a clear head. You aren’t fighting with a random stranger online, you’re fighting with the person you chose to commit yourself to.  You have to remember that, although you may have felt wronged, there are always multiple sides to a disagreement, and the person you love is on the other side. Relationships can run off the rails once in a while, but never lose sight of the tracks ahead.

You forget the importance of respect. Of course love is essential to maintaining a happy relationship, but you can never forget the second most important ingredient: respect. If you and your guy drag each other down with childish name-calling, you’re not going to walk away from this argument a better couple. Arguments aren’t contests you can win by one-upping your significant other with hurtful jabs. It might feel good in the moment, but it won’t help you find a solution any faster.

You involve other people. When faced with an issue as an adult, like a leaky faucet or a tough assignment at work, you try to figure it out on your own first. Life experience has taught you that you are resourceful enough to find solutions. The same rule should apply to arguments within your relationship. Your friends and family don’t see the inner workings of your relationship, and generally, they’ll always side with you, even if you’re wrong. Constantly dragging third parties into your issues will only make them resent your significant other and could do some serious damage to your relationship. Try to hash things out with your guy before running to your friends.

You forget why the argument started in the first place. Fights are often more complicated than a beginning, middle, and end, but some couples are prone to slow down the process by sprinkling other issues on top of an already sticky situation. Doing this can lead you away from the issue that started the fight in the first place. Deal with one problem at a time and don’t lose sight of your end goal: a solution to the problem.

You know there’s no real solution. If you’re starting an argument just so you can bring up old unresolved arguments, there’s a deeper issue at play. You shouldn’t use old arguments as ammunition unless your guy seems to be making the same mistake over and over again. If he is constantly repeating past mistakes, maybe it’s time to come to terms with the fact that this may not be the right guy for you. If you’re fighting for a solution to an unsolvable problem, you’re just wasting your time!

You let days go by before discussing your problems. Having an argument with your significant other and walking away for a little while to collect your thoughts is okay — totally ghosting for weeks at a time after a fight is not. If you’re using the silent treatment as some sort of punishment, you need to seriously reflect on what you want out of your relationship.

You fight in public. There is nothing more awkward than witnessing two grown adults go from throwing around passive aggressive remarks to having a full blown argument in public. Have a little more respect for yourself and your relationship, and keep your problems behind closed doors where they belong.

You let the booze do the talking. Do arguments with your significant other seem to always occur after a night out at the bar or after a few glasses of wine? Recognize the common factor and realize that you don’t need to rely on that uninhibited feeling you get under the influence of alcohol to speak your mind. Relying on alcohol to muster up the confidence to say what you mean is both physically and mentally unhealthy.

You think fighting is normal. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “you don’t really love someone until you’ve had your first fight.” Yes, eventually you’re going to be faced with a serious discussion or a rough obstacle, but that doesn’t mean your first instinct should be to put your dukes up. Try to replace petty arguments with constructive conversations.

You have to have the final word. You have to admit having the last word has a dramatic, satisfying effect. The problem is, the effect doesn’t last, and insisting on having the final word can lead you to say something you don’t really mean. If delivering the final blow is more satisfying to you than finding an actual solution, you’re not arguing like an adult should.

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