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What to do Before Things Get Heated-Relationship Advice

Updated on March 1, 2018

Stop Before Tempers Flare

When a couple has a disagreement about a situation and one is disagreeing with the other, things can get to the point where a huge argument can occur. Voices start escalating and screaming may start. One thing leads to another and feelings get hurt. One person may start bringing up past arguments that never got resolved, then the tempers flare and the fighting begins.

Hurtful things sometimes are said in the heat of the moment to each other which can never be taken back. Once something is said, your partner will more than likely remember it. This is why sometimes it is better to back away from confrontation to give both people a chance to get their thoughts together before blurting out something that will later be regretted.

If this happens time and time again it can lead to a deteriorating marriage and or relationship. The things that you have said in the past will just keep resurfacing time and time again.


How To Avoid Full Blown Fights

I am not an expert at all, but this is from my own personal experience of a 25-year marriage, and I find that it has saved many disagreements that could have turned into full-blown fights.

When you are discussing something and you can feel an argument about to happen walk away. Go into another room, go for a walk, just avoid the argument altogether. This may seem silly to many people but just keep reading.

You want to get your point across to the other person but if it is going to cause an argument, is it really worth it? My husband and I rarely fight .... we avoid each other. Sometimes this will last for a few days if one of us has done or said something to really anger the other. By the time we have both calmed down and have had time to think about what we initially were about to argue or fight over, we are able to sit down and discuss it rationally without tempers flaring.

Ground Rules

In order for this to work the couple has to agree that this is the way in which they will both handle an argumentative situation. This way neither person will feel that the other person is showing an attitude of not caring.

How To Let Off Some Steam

If you feel that you really need to blow off steam write a letter to your partner. Get everything that is on your mind onto a piece of paper or type it out. Don’t actually give it to them though. Write it, read it and let it sit until the next day and then read it again. Chances are you will tear it up and throw it away. I find doing this very therapeutic.

On the other hand, I am sure that there are people that like to argue and maybe some couples actually thrive on it. I try to see both sides of every situation. Guess that is why I am a Libra.

I asked the following questions on the Forums here at HubPages:

  1. When you argue or have a disagreement with your partner how does it get settled?
  2. Do you yell and scream at each other or do you calmly discuss whatever it is you are fighting about?

Here Are The Answers I Received Back

From Seeker7

I sometimes shout when I'm angry but more often than not I am more silly than that and go very, very quiet. Nothing is discussed at this time because I don't say anything - I'm just too mad to speak. Eventually, I do try and see the issue from another point of view and compromise whenever I can.

From laidbacklady

It seems that with us, it never really does get settled until a long while later, sometimes months, sometimes even never. I am the less argumentative of us and I will usually try and walk away, and he won't let me. He has to keep at me and keep it going, all the while not really wanting to hear what I have to say--you know what I mean--you turn to speak and they cut you off mid-sentence and go off on another rant. Finally, I will do or say something to make him feel like a jerk, or more like just make him realize how close he's pushed me to the edge and then he'll back off for awhile.

Communication is our one big problem. I would like to have a calm discourse about the issues, he wants to place blame and sling mud. Folks, without clear and honest communication, and without both parties being allowed to voice their side of the issue, there can be no compromise and no solution.

From Jonesyo311

We both eventually realize that what we are arguing about has no effect on tomorrow. She usually laughs at me and we move on.

From BenjaminB

Pistols at 20 paces, if we both miss we stay together :)

Please Leave Comments Below

If you wish to share how you handle arguments or fighting with your partner please leave your comments in the box below. Thank you for reading this hub and if you liked it or didn't like it please let me know.

© 2011 Susan Zutautas


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    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      oops sorry did I speak out of term :)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Carson City

      Susan...."for that great makeup.....what?!".....Is that a Canadian term?

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Paula, I know many people that love to fight just for that great makeup sex :) I prefer the quiet way of dealing with situations.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      Susan.......Whoa....just looking at the couple in the photo.....I am NOT feelin the love, GF.....Wouldn't want to stick around for that conversation.

      I guess I'm going to have to toss in a few votes.....for several different methods of dealing with disagreements or all-out warfare.

      Every situation is unique....personalities are complex and relationships go through changes often.

      I don't fight with anyone these days....but when I was "active duty".....I usually played it by ear.........Up+++

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Natashalh, Respect is very important in any relationship. It's always best to look at what you write and think ... Hmm do I really want to send this?

    • Natashalh profile image


      8 years ago from Hawaii

      Love it. Sometimes disagreements re necessary, but I think you should always try to respect each other. You can disagree without resorting to yelling and other childish behavior. I really like your letter writing strategy and I have used it, but with text messages. I look at them later and wonder "what was I thinking?"

    • DarylnCochrane profile image

      Daryln Cochrane 

      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Exactly! Lol. But still, what you say is totally right. Just walk away and think about it.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      DarylnCochrane, I know what you mean. It's hard sometimes to walk away, especially when you know you're right.

    • DarylnCochrane profile image

      Daryln Cochrane 

      8 years ago from New York, NY

      What you say in your hub is soooooo true. I just could not agree more! It's exactly what I am trying to practice with my partner of over 10 years. Sometimes, I must admit, I do stray from just walking away and things come out of my mouth that probably shouldn't and I end up regretting it!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Jennifer, I hope this works for you.

    • Jennifer Joyner profile image

      Jennifer Joyner 

      8 years ago

      When we argue, I try to have a calm discussion and genuinely try to see his point of view, but, many times it becomes a huge argument anyway. I think I need to take your advice for sure. Thanks for posting!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      smz, It took me awhile to get used to doing this, but now it happens naturally.

    • smzclark profile image


      8 years ago from cheshire

      I totally agree with you. But I have to admit, I'm not the best at putting it into practice; time will teach us I'm sure :-)

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ruchira, Yes I put a link within my hub to your hub. You can see it under the heading Recommended Reading The Art of Silence. You are very welcome.

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      gosh, Susan did you connect my hub to yours? I have "never" received such overwhelming response on any of my hubs.

      Thank you!!!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ruchira, I thought you might like this after reading your hub today. I tend to give the house a good cleaning when this happens to me. Thanks for coming by to read this. I appreciate your comments too :)

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Well said indeed Susan.

      When in an argument, it is better to just go off for a walk and I have seen that I tend to work out vigorously and burn more calories that day ;)

      btw...the picture of couple fighting is

      I gotta picture myself ~6 years back when I would fight like

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      weestro, Thanks for stopping by to read and for your comments.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice, as I am the animated one im my marriage. My wife has taught me to be calm and think before blurting out something hurtful. Voted UP

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      ershruti, In order for this to work the couple has to agree that this is the way in which they will both handle an argumentative situation. This way neither person will feel that the other person is showing an attitude of not caring.

    • ershruti304 profile image


      8 years ago from Shimla

      I really tried to switch to silent mode whenever I smelled some fight with my husband but he misinterpret this as my attitude and our fight paces up. can you help me in this matter

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Lesley, Even after all the apologies it is natural to remember everything hurtful that your loved one said to you. Thanks so much for your input, I really do appreciate it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


      This is excellent advice. My husband and I use this strategy. The least said the better, because no matter how many 'sorry's' are said and 'I didn't mean what I said' it cant be rewound and taken back. It probably isn't meant, its just that we're angry BUT, once voiced its out there and remembered.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Kari, Thanks so much for letting me know how you and your boyfriend handle an augmentative situation. Everyone has their own way of fighting or not fighting, arguing or not arguing. I just wanted to write a hub about how it works for us and has for over 24 years.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Good Hub topic :) I have been with my boyfriend for about 10 1/2 months and we are still kind of learning how to argue with each other. When I'm angry I tend to not talk and lots of times he will leave me alone until we can discuss it rationally. If things get too heated, we will usually save it for later and walk away. I think for now we are on a good path of learning how to argue in a healthy way.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      danielleantosz, Thanks for your comments.

    • danielleantosz profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      I think it is very important to learn how to fight with your partner in a productive manner. Avoiding the issue for days does not work for me an my partner, but taking a few minutes to organize your thoughts does. Every couple is different! Great advice.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      drkathleenfuller, It is what works for us. Thanks for reading.

    • drkathleenfuller profile image


      9 years ago from 322 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 34994

      Interesting perspective.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Right! I know it would be dangerous for Dave to give me anything while we are "working" things out. Even though I keep my voice down - it can be quite clipped and filled with hostility. But he who speaks the quietest WINS! So I curse in whispers:)!! LOL

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      RH I was trying to picture BBG and Eli myself throwing something back and forth and all I could think of was me throwing something really heavy like perhaps a lamp :)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Susan - I love all the comments:)!! I have to say - Babrger passing back the object that represents who gets to speak? I can imagine her hurling it at Eli if he gets something wrong! LOL!

      Sorry but Susan - your hub went from serious to super funny in this comment section! That's better than awesome:)

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      jennajet, Thanks for your comments and wishing you all the best in your new journey.

    • jennajet29 profile image


      9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Wow, I am a newlywed and we are just beginning our journey together. Thank you for sharing some of your wisdom and insight. I love opportunities to glean from other married couples' mishaps and triumphs!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      TC Design, It would eat me up too if I totally avoided it, but that is why we do talk it out within a couple of days. Thanks for your comments.

      Tina, It did take me a few years to get used to doing this but it really does work. Thanks for your comments.

      Docmo, Epi,& ahorseback, Thanks for your comments, they are always appreciated.

      Spirit Whisperer, I think my husband and I both learned from our parents "Not to do the yelling and screaming approach" as we both came from parents that handled arguing by yelling, screaming and harsh words. Thanks so much for your comments.

      Smart Is Good, Aphrodite and L.L Woodard, thank you for your comments.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Through childhood experiences, I learned early on that words said in the heat of anger can never be revoked. Unfortunately, I have gone to the opposite extreme and often bottle-up my anger or frustration. My current method of dealing with conflict is to use assertive communication techniques--using "I" statements to own my feelings and concerns rather than "you" statements that are blame-based.

    • Aphrodite Venus profile image

      Aphrodite Venus 

      9 years ago from Orlando

      This is exellent advice & usually how I deal with conflict too.

    • Smart is Good profile image

      Smart is Good 

      9 years ago from Lima, Perú

      We try to be more understanding with each other and avoid arguments, but sometimes that is inevitable. When an argument does happen we talk it out. We never raise our voices. I we are mad or angry we make clear we are, but talking never screaming. We are aware of what saying thing you don't mean can do, so we rather stay calm. Beside we are both very pacific people. Then after we talk it's still a bit of tension but it goes away the same day and we're back in "happily ever after" mode

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      9 years ago from Isle of Man

      It is said we marry our parents. If this is true then each person will have a different approach to resolving issues surrounding that particular parent. What is right advice for one person would be completely wrong for another. All we can do is learn to be aware of what is right for ourselves and not be too critical of how other do things. Thank you for bring up such important issues in this hub. Voted up.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Susan , I have always just walked away and that is the best thing to do, there is never a need for yelling and screaming. It really amazes me at times how few people can just calmly "Talk" it out. And I am not one who even articulates well. But a calm reasonable voice will always "Win" ,That! I have....;-} Awesome!

    • epigramman profile image


      9 years ago

      ..three sure-fire tips from the epi-man ...

      1. always be honest with each other

      2. my god, just communicate

      3. and don't forget to read JUST ASK SUSAN's world renown hubs

      lake erie time 2:26 pm and yes summer is 'finally' here we long suffering Canadians know .....

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      I am a passionate talker and she is not. So I suppose I end up filling the blanks. I agree with not saying a word and calmly walking away but I do feel sometimes passionate words means we do care and walking away or being quiet may become apathy. A bit of falling out makes getting back together all the more fun- within limits of course.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      9 years ago from Sweden

      A very good hub and great tips on something we all encounter more or less. My husband and I use the silent method if possible and after 25 years we know each other and can most of the time stop before it become an argument.

      It is so easy to say something hurtful that the other person will carry around in his memory for a long time. And as you say, spoken words can´t be taken back.


    • TCDesign profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California

      I can't do the avoid thing because then it just eats at me. I am one of those people that has to talk it out. My husband and I are good about communicating with each other and can tell when the other is we try to disfuse annoyance before it gets to be anger.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Cardisa, Pistols would be another option lol :)

      SubRon, The thing is don't let it fester, get it out into the open once you have had time to both think about it.

      You can almost see the girls claws about to pop out any second in the picture :)

      glasvissage, I find I cannot think very carefully when I am angered but once I calm down I can.

      barbergirl, I think if my husband started repeating everything that I said while I was upset or angry it would get me to the point where I would pick up something heavy and throw it at him. But hey different things work for different people, so that is good if this works for you guys.

      Gordon, True this can work for many situations.

      RH, When Al and I were first together I used to want to argue and I would get so upset because he would just ignore me. It was so frustrating because he would not fight back. It was him who implemented this way of handling arguments and after he explained it to me it made so much sense.

      mckbirdbks, Thanks for reading and for your comments.

      Pamela, Thanks so much, I too like the answer from BenjaminB :)

      Truckstop Sally, I started doing the letter writing when I was growing up and would get so angry with my step-mother.

      Ruby, There are other ways that people deal with these situations, this is just the way that we find works for us.

      Chatkath, No it is not the easiest and many times I just bite my tongue.

      Seeker, Glad you enjoyed reading this and thank you for answering my questions in the forums.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      9 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Great hub! I agree with other hubbers, if at all possible don't say things in anger, you end up regretting it. Much better to say nothing, walk away, have a cold shower etc. This is not giving in or loosing. you're simply picking a better time to get your point across and it will probably succeed much better than when said in anger.

      A really interesting hub, enjoyed reading it.

    • Chatkath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      The silent solution is probably the best but NOT the easiest, it is so hard to shut up and then you always wish that you had! I think it takes good communication and knowing where to draw the line....Fair fighting so to speak :-)

      Never easy!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great advice, now if we can do it? Thank's

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      9 years ago

      Good advice! I agree that jotting things down gives you a chance to "vent" and release some steam. I do this when I am upset with my kiddos.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the pistols at 20 paces comment. I agree with your hub and getting away to take time to calm down is a good thing to do. Often when you are calmer you get a little different perspective. Great hub.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      9 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Dear wife,

      I have been quiet now for twenty-five years. It has been suggested that writing a letter may help....I am now on page thirty-seven. I guess I waited too long...

      The Quiet Man

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Awesome awesome! I totally agree - I think the main thing is - don't try to sort things out when one of you is angry. It is best to cool off and discuss things rationally. Talk - don't fight. Nothing gets solved:). It is hard to learn towalk away when you want to scream - but practice makes perfect!

      Thanks for a wonderful reminder:)

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Good advice for a great many different situations in life, Susan - take deep breaths and count to ten, I suppose. I'm glad it seems to work for you. Laterally, however, if my ex and I hadn't argued, we would never have spoken to one another :)

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      9 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      My husband and I are fighters... I can't say we like it, but we both have tempers. I try to walk away if I am really angry and he tries to pull me back. Because of that, we have had several issues, and while we have worked them out, there was a time when we had to go to couple's counseling.

      The funny thing is, there suggestion was to pass around a ball or something that could symbolize it is your turn to speak. While that works, the other advice they gave was to always repeat what the other person said. It was to clarify that you were understanding each other. I can say, it usually resulted in a lot of laughing. So, we use those techniques, but it is more or less because we both think it is so ridiculous that it stops the argument in its tracks and gets us laughing to the point of not really knowing what we were fighting about.

      Thanks for sharing your suggestions. I guess for us... we just go with the flow!

    • glassvisage profile image


      9 years ago from Northern California

      At first, when I saw the title of this Hub, I immediately thought, "That is so wrong!" However, after reading your Hub, I see what you mean and have to agree. I usually feel that I should be very open and honest, but you can still be open and honest while thinking carefully about how you want to word how you feel.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 

      9 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      You are a Libra too, huh? Yes, I often find myself in the middle and trying to see both sides, except when it's just her and me (I'm speaking about the past here, as there is no her and me.) Then I go quiet and usually just don't say anything, but it does fester...forever....

      About the pistols, Cardisa, "Yikes" is right.

      Really good hub, Susan.

      Oh, and that girl in the pic looks like she wants to kill him!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      9 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Susan,

      We have not argued in a while, but I'd like to think that if we had a disagreement that we would handle it calmly and rationally.

      Good hub, some of the answers you got are really dangerous especially the one about two pistols....yikes!


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