Links in this article may earn us a little money if you order stuff. More here.
Are You Wondering How To Stop Fighting In A Relationship? Here Are Our Tips.
Are you here because you’re worried about constant fighting in your relationship? Wondering if it’s normal to fight every day and/or if arguing early in a relationship is a bad sign? You’re not alone. When this arguing becomes full-on fighting and this lasts for ages – it’s often time to address why the fighting persists and have a good look at the overall health of your relationship.
Believe it or not – some arguing in a relationship is usually normal… even for healthy, functioning relationships. We’re all human and disagreements do happen. Sometimes we’re left wondering how to stop fighting with our partners – be it a boyfriend, girlfriend, or long time spouse.
Speaking from experience in a healthy relationship – small bickering still happens to us, too. It’s usually brought on by stress and other life things. So, we wanted to share our experience not only about how we stop fighting (when we are already in a fight)- but also steps you can take to minimize and avoid fighting in the first place!
While some arguing/fighting in a relationship is nothing out of the ordinary, if you fight with your partner constantly, there may be deeper issues at play. Furthermore, it is not normal behavior for your partner to be abusive during a fight. In this circumstance, it is important to recognize the situation for what it is and, if necessary, to contact relevant authorities and/or a trusted person if your life.
One of the clearest ways to get out of an argument (or to avoid one in the first place) is to not be misunderstood about what you are saying and what you mean, too. So, communicating clearly – without shouting – is very important. You and your partner should be able to talk in a productive, civil manner that is constructive.
Another thing to remember when speaking is to use statements that begin with “I” and not “you”. This is because using “you” statements will end up putting the person on the defensive right away. Sometimes, your partner will clam up – making it harder for them to talk and/or listen to what you have to say.
Also, when it comes to what you say, please speak honestly and openly. There is no point in talking if you are unable to address the exact issue or articulate the exact way you feel. If you try to sugar coat things and “soften the blow” then that might mean that your true feelings or real issues don’t come out. Obviously, don’t intentionally hurt the person when you speak but you should be close enough to be able to vent what is on your mind. Also, invite your partner to do the same.
Be A Good Listener
Another important part of communicating – that is often more important than speaking – is listening. One of the fastest ways to get out of a fight is simply to listen to what the person has to say, in full, and to understand/validate their thoughts.
Validating means to demonstrate for the other person that they are being heard and that you understand what they are saying. You don’t have to agree with them – but you do need to hear them say what they need to say. Responding with statements that show that you are hearing them also helps with validation.
Being a good listener is so important because, for starters, if one person is talking and one is listening, there is less of a chance for people talking over one another! Talking over one another is terrible for communication. It’s frustrating each party because they want to be heard… and it usually ends up in a shouting match!
Focus On The Present
If you find that you are fighting with your partner often, you might try to live in/focus on the present more. We find that often times arguments are the result of things that happened in the past. Whether these things were 10 minutes ago or two years ago, the unsettled past has a tendency to bring up raw emotion and cause friction.
On this note, it is vitally important to not let things fester. If something bothers you, try to address it sooner rather than later. The longer things go on the longer they will eat you up from the inside and affect your relationship (and life) in other ways.
So, tying these points together: If the past is behind you and you have addressed things once before, try your best to leave them there – in the past. Both the present moment (and the future) with your partner are not the past – and focusing on moving forward together can help you navigate tough times and avoid arguments about old issues.
Give Them Space
Giving your partner space is a good way to stop fighting and also to avoid a potential fight in the first place. If you already find yourself in an argument, then taking a quick break can really help you both to calm down and gain much-needed perspective. Just take 15 or 30 minutes – that should be enough time to cool down.
Taking a break is also important if you are fighting and at the point where you are just shouting. This behavior is no longer constructive arguing and will only do more damage if continued.
When you do take a break, be sure to also give one another space. Having your own space can help you to regain control of the present (in your mind) and allow you to focus on the issue at hand. Not giving your partner space can be intimidating and only prolong the feelings of friction between you two.
Avoid Being Petty
With arguments, things can get very bad if insults and attacks are included. These are not points of constructive arguing and often just hurt the person and do more damage. On that note, swearing is also overzealous and unnecessary – especially if you love that person.
Another note on “not being petty” is that if you have to fight, try your best to do it in person. We know this one sounds cringy but fighting over text, email, phone, etc is terrible because messages can get misunderstood, it takes longer, and often result in no positive outcome.
Finally, on the point of not being petty – it can sometimes be a good idea to set boundaries for your fights. What is off-limits? Swearing? Shouting? When is it too much that you are no longer discussing things with the intent of moving forward? These can be discussed when you have cooler heads so you can get through arguments faster – or cut them off when they are too heated.
Let Them Be Themselves
Something to consider as an argument starter is that you are not allowing your partner to be themselves (or you feel as though you are smothered yourself). Smothering your partner to be a certain way or act a certain way or be a certain person might make them feel like they need to defy or revolt against you.
Even though you are a couple, remembering that it is important to keep your individual identity. This is different from your identity as a couple which we mention in our guide on how to not lose yourself in a relationship.
While it’s perfectly normal to form an identity as a pair and make friends together, like and dislike things together, it is also important to still maintain your sense of self.
Focus On Positives
Another way to stop fighting (or avoid arguing in the first place) is to focus on the positives. For the time being, positives might be hard to come by but they are there. Mainly, think about the things that brought you two together – there’s a good chance those memories and qualities are filled with positives.
Happy emotions have the tendency to trounce the bad ones pretty quickly. If you can replace the points of argument – especially if the argument is over something silly – then you might cool down faster and also be able to talk constructively (and even lovingly) with your partner again.
Read Next: Great Ideas For Your Couples Bucketlist
Evaluate Your Relationship
If you are really fighting – or an argument is simmering – having a quick think about your relationship might be enough to stop it from blowing up. Take a second to really think – when you are cooled down – if this is a relationship worth being in.
A good way to do this is to think about life without that person. Bruce always gets really sad thinking about not having Lisa so he’s confident they are great for one another and small spats are just small spats.
If the feeling of not having them is unbearable then there’s a good chance you are in a good relationship – and be sure to check to see if that feeling is mutual. If you think about it and not being with that person feels like a much-needed escape – or respite from your current life -, then maybe that is actually a toxic relationship for you to be in.
There is no shame in acknowledging that you might need some external help to get through some rough patches. Often times, registered, accredited relationship coaches or therapists can provide you with much needed tools to be able to manage when life gets tough on your own.
There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t have the tools – being self-reflective and critical is a skill some people are naturally good at or acquire in life for a variety of reasons. Some don’t. No big deal!
Seeking advice from a professional is a great way to take control of the situation and move forward together – just so long as you are both willing to take that step.
And there you have it – our more personal guide on how to stop fighting in a relationship. In the end, we are no experts about all relationships – but we are knowledgeable and critical enough to offer some things to think about. Fighting sucks – but it’s important to realize that it can’t always be avoided. However, if your relationship doesn’t feel like a caring one anymore, don’t normalize those feelings. Be clear about your feelings and act accordingly.
As always, Stay Curious,
Pin it for later!