A time-out will save your relationship.
Are you guys fighting till the roof comes off?
Take a break.
Not from each other.
From the fight.
Learn how to turn the draining fights into constructive conversations.
“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” a very wise man once asked.
This doesn’t mean that you should back down and not stand up for yourself in order to avoid any confrontation.
All couples experience disagreement and you can handle these constructively – or not so constructively, depending on how you choose to deal with them.
Living with someone and being close to someone that much, it’s simply impossible to avoid any confrontation. For some couples, however, the disagreements escalate into arguments over and over again, and these fights and be difficult to put an end to.
In my clinic, I’ve had many couples telling me that they “need arguments” in order to vent, and that these fights “clear the air” at home.
However, when I prod these couples, they admit that in fact, they don’t so much like the insecurity an argument tends to manifest.
What they actually long for is to be listened to, understood and acknowledged. The funny thing is, that the thing they actually want to receive, they’re not that great at giving.
When both of you are fighting, who should stop, listen, acknowledge and understand the other?
And thereby, stop the fight?
This is what I can teach them.
This is about taking back the responsibility for these arguments.
It’s all about putting an end to this destructive behaviour and, you guessed it, do something constructive rather than argue. When one person starts to change their behaviour, something magical happens to the arguments.
It’s tough to fight with someone who doesn’t want to fight.
The insecurity and uncertainty is the worst part
We can learn how to reduce the frequency of our arguments immensely as well as we can practise how to stop the arguments before they are blown out of proportion.
We can even practise how to not get dragged into an argument as soon as your partner starts up…
Studies, from Denver University (among others), on relationships show how good, stabile, well functioning and “long term” relationships depends on solid communication.
A part of being able to communicate well and constructively is to not let disagreements become arguments where you’re both just ‘fighting to be right’.
This ‘need to be right’ often overshadows everything else and leaves you with a hurt partner, distance, insecurity and maybe even a lack of lust for intimacy, closeness and sex.
The insecurity and uncertainty are what most couples want to avoid.
This is why it’s such a paradox that the insecurity is the actual result of arguments that have gone out of hand.
It’s not about avoiding disagreements but rather about how to manoeuvre through them as a unit and not end up on two different teams, guns blazing.
The whole idea is to be working together as a team to solve the problems and disagreements you are bound to encounter.
FACTS: Situations triggering arguments
It’s easy to fall into the ”fight trap” if you:
- Are mentally unstable
- Are under pressure/feeling stressed
- Are sleep deprived
- Are hungry/have low blood-sugar.
- Have had a bad day.
GUIDE: save your relationship with better communication:
1) Create awareness
Map out your ”argument pattern”. Become aware of how you might start fighting at certain times of the day? (In the morning, in the afternoon etc.)
What do you argue over?
You might want to sit down, once and for all, and solve this one problem.
2) Do what you do at work
Think about how you handle disagreements in a workplace. Do you solve the problem in the hallway being really loud and emotional?
This isn’t a great idea at home either.
If you’re sensing that a fight is about to happen, say stop and tell your partner: “I don’t want to argue. Let’s find a time where we can sit down and talk about this and how to solve this issue.”
3) Postpone the argument
Studies show that you can reduce the number of conflicts in a relationship by 80 % by saying: “We’ll talk about this later.”
Often arguments and conflicts stem from little niggly irritations, which you’ve forgotten about after a couple of hours. More important and bigger things you – of course – need to deal with.
4) Take a time out
It’s hard to fight with someone who refuse to participate in the fight.
Don’t entertain it. If your partner keeps going, take a ‘time out’ and go for a walk.
5) Say you’re sorry
Apologies are extremely underrated.
Apologising for saying something hurtful or doing something stupid is a good way to smooth out any emotional damage.
You’re extending your hand to your partner and acknowledging your part in the situation getting out of hand.
If you want more free advises on how to save your relationship, you can download my Free Online Course where you, first of all, will learn the mindset I have been teaching my clients for years now.
That will remove the anxiety, pressure, and thoughts about performance in your love life and relationship in an instant and replace it with thoughts of support, encouragement, teamwork and loving partnership, AND instantly make your relationship a manageable task.
I hope my guide will help you to save your relationship.
I know these advises have helped over 1000 of people in Denmark, where I have my clinic.
I wish you all the best.
Maj Wismann – Couple’s Therapist and Clinical Sexologist with private clinic since 2006.
*** Have you been in a situation where you felt SOMETHING had to be done to save your relationship? Or do you deal with it right now? Please share your experiences (and lessons) in the comments below. Remember, your comment might help someone else! And as always, thank you for sharing.
*** Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.