All couples fight. The longer you’re together, the more inevitable it becomes that you’ll disagree in some way, maybe even explosively. However, this doesn’t have to destroy your relationship or cause a major long-term rift. It’s all about knowing what not to do during an argument that will help you get through it so you can get back on good terms. Cross these behaviors off your list because they won’t get you anywhere.
- Refusing to back down During an argument, especially one in which you’re pretty certain you’re in the right, it can be tempting to continue to draw the fight out even if your partner is trying to make peace. Prolonging the disagreement so you can feel like you’ve got the upper hand isn’t just pointless, it’s manipulative and wrong. You should be working to find a resolution together, and digging in your heels to avoid having to admit you’re wrong or that you don’t know the right resolution isn’t going to do anyone any favors.
- Trying to “win” Similar to the above, trying to win an argument is ridiculous. You’re not competing against each other – you should be working as a team. Making below-the-belt comments or underhanded tactics so you can feel like you’ve come out on top is something you definitely shouldn’t do.
- Attacking your partner’s character If you’re arguing because your partner never takes out the trash or because they think you’re getting too friendly with your co-worker, the last thing you should be doing is making comments or digs at your partner’s personality or character. This will last far beyond the fight you’re currently having and could create a serious long-term rift you’ll never be able to come back from. Stay in the moment and don’t insult each other.
- Making assumptions You’re not a mind reader, so don’t act like one. Don’t assume you know exactly what your partner is thinking or feeling or that you know the motivation behind their actions because you don’t. Communicate like adults – ask them about their thoughts and feelings and why they do the things they do. That’s the only way you’re likely to get a real response.
- Forgetting to listen At the end of the day, the only way to find a resolution to an argument is by listening to each other. Don’t just speak over your partner or shut them down when they try to express themselves. Actually listen to them, and you might just find a way through.