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7 rules to follow when arguing with your parnter

Updated on December 13, 2012

It’s always amazed me how quickly small disagreements can turn into full blown

battles within moments. and the more we know and love someone the more

ammunition we have at our disposal. My husband and I have been together for over

14 years, young parents struggling against every ones expectations. but the moment we

got married everything changed. Suddenly it was our expectations we were struggling with.

The disagreements become battles until we were In all out war.

Desperate to save our marriage we turned to marriage counselling. To be honest it’s been some years ago.

And I have forgotten a lot of the what was said to us. But the thing that stuck was the rules of engagement. How to argue, without fighting.

I am human (with a temper) and we do still slip up every now and then, but when we follow the rules. our communication works 100 % better.

1. Always start with how you feel

When addressing your partner if you go in, full of righteous anger over how they have wronged you.

"You are so selfish!" your finger firmly pointing in their direction of course they are going to get defensive.

On the other hand. start with how the situation makes you feel.

"I feel like you weren’t thinking about me at all” it instantly changes the tone of the conversation. Your still stating what happened but less accusation goes a long way to getting a more open response.

2. Never kitchen sink

This is a term I picked up from our counselling sessions; simply put it means stay on topic. Don’t drag other past wrongs into this new disagreement. Nothing will make your argument escalate faster as your partner will instantly do the same thing to prove their points as well. It’s tempting especially for us with long memories, but it doses nothing to improve your current situation. just adds more fuel to a fire you should be putting out.

3. Never name call or stoop to personal attacks.

This is the most obvious in my list but the most important in my opinion. Calling your partner names, or swearing at them or using information that you know against them should be taboo. It’s hurtful, mean and destructive of all. Words break hearts, be careful of them. A thoughtless insult

will stay in their memories long after the very reason for the fight.

4. Stick to the facts.

As tempting as it is in the heat of an argument to exaggerate stick to the facts as best you know them. One thing I have learned is to Never use the word never. He will always pull out a distant time when he took out the garbage. It may have been three years ago, but it disproves your use of never.

5. Don’t interrupt

This drives everyone nuts, and well it should. Be respectful of what your partner has to say, bite your tongue and wait till they are done. Then respond. If you have to interrupt, ask first, it’s polite. Just because your partner lives with you and puts up with your snoring doesn’t mean we have the right to take over the conversation. You both need to be heard. But it also helps if you listen while you’re waiting to talk :)

6. Respect their opinion.

Remember that not every time are you going to agree, and sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree. but even if you think they are crazy for thinking differently to you. It’s their right as an individual to think and feel what they do. After all you feel that about yourself right?

7. Never go to bed angry

sometimes its hard to let the flare of anger go, but its important for you both to find a way to connect on a positive emotional level before heading into a new day. Every time my husband and I have not kissed and made up before bed, the anger and resentment flows into the following day. Find a way to be loving towards each other, the rewards are obvious.

Of course all this is easy to say and not so easy to always do, but if we act on love amazing things can happen. Its hard not to return love when its freely given.

To quote Dr Phil "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy"

Food for thought…

Pease feel free to add any other tips or bits of advice I have not covered here. Marriage is an ever evolving thing, and as my father says marriage needs more maintenance then any car he has ever owned :)

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    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 3 years ago from Australia

      It has been of great help to my marriage to have rules of engagement when it comes to sorting through conflict, I often wish I had them earlier :)

      Thanks for reading

    • Rehan Ahmad profile image

      Rehan Ahmad 3 years ago from United States

      Many times me and my wife argue and also we have difference of opinion for few topics.. but its never becomes personal conflict.. Its great that you have shared such valuable information so that it help many ..

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 5 years ago from Australia

      Naimishika

      I have to agree that paitence plays a huge role in marriage and without it, love and affection will suffer which will of course bring in a feeling of unforgiveness and frustation to both husband and wife.

      But I do believe that things can be choosen to be learnt, and even the most negative situation can be turned around if the spirit is truly willing...

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 5 years ago from Australia

      anusujith

      you and your wife sound blessed to have such a relationship, that any conflict is dealt with quickly and with love.

      thank you so much for taking the time ro read over this and for your votes :)

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 5 years ago from Australia

      B.Leekley

      thank you so much for your votes up and the link, I will be sure to check it out myself very soon :)

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 5 years ago from Australia

      Herewegobarbara

      reltionships are not always easy and having some guidelines can be a great tool in managing confilct , thank you so much for your visit and thoughts

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      I didn't make a quarrel to my wife from the beginning of our love... If it starts, ends in minutes... little confessions are enough... But this message is helpful for every one who are spontaneous and explosive... take care this enumerated advises help you friends... My guarantee..

      Good hub... my votes...

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All excellent, good sense advice. Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared. And to help say what you are feeling, here is a list: http://www.cnvc.org/Training/feelings-inventory

    • HerewegoBarbara profile image

      HerewegoBarbara 5 years ago from New Jersey

      50/50 I always say and not just on house chores. Great Hub

    • profile image

      This is right. 6 years ago

      THANK FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT.

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      thankyou

    • TruthAwake profile image

      TruthAwake 7 years ago from The Dirty South

      Wonderful, very true. :)

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      thanks for your comment, I am so glad that you found this useful

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sometimes we win the battle but lose the war. Great advice everyone should remember.

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      thank you, I am glad you got something from it

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      fights are unavoidable, but be reasonable. beautiful hub with useful tips.

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and insight comment

      communication is a huge part of having a healthy relationship and I believe the first step in creating open communication, is simply respect...

      Again thank you for your great comment I couldn't agree more

    • MyInnerSpace profile image

      MyInnerSpace 7 years ago from Missouri

      Yes, this has everything to do with effective communication, whether it is with your spouse, your partner, or anyone walking along the street! Those internal thoughts that build and build will cause the resentment and anger, which provides the "kitchen sink" to become dirty! Everything listed is part of having reasonable, affirming, and happy healthy communication that does make life in marriage, and in general a more happy place! Respect, Support, Trust, Accept, Listen, and Encourage ourselves, our partners, our world then it will be come a battleground that negotiates differences, serenty to change the things we can and accept those things that we can not...ahhh the perfect Serenity Prayer!

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you so much, kitchen sinking was and is a great phrase that has stayed with both me and my husband and has been a great aid in keeping us on track in our disagreements. thanks again for you endorsement

    • ThunderKeys profile image

      ThunderKeys 7 years ago

      Speaking as relationship counselor -these are great tips! I really like the kitchen sink metaphor.

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks so much for a wonderful comment, not every fight is worth the battle and the sweet imprisonment sounds good to me!

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Ah! The fair fight. After 43 years of marriage, I've found that the wise one chooses, carefully, the battle. Being right? It cost too much and surrender reaps such sweet imprisonment. Nice write and may the years ahead, bear the fruit of past planting.

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      thanks so much :) all relationships will experience conflict, its how couples handle that determines the health of their relationship..

    • MrsInfertility profile image

      Carisa Blades 7 years ago from Ogden, Utah

      I love this post, fighting fairly in any relationship is so important. Great hub!

    • nighthag profile image
      Author

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      Communication and the freedom to talk honestly two great gifts to any relationship...

      I am glad you found it useful

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      These tips are so useful. Couples should always sit and talk about problems which they have.

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