All couples fight at one point or another in their relationship. Fighting does not doom your relationship – or kill the intimacy you feel for one another. However, keeping the flames of passion alive in your relationship depends upon how you fight.
Below are 3 secret tips for fighting that will keep the flames of romance burning bright in your relationship, regardless of why you are fighting.
1. Stay on one issue at a time and avoid going off on a tangent. Couples start fighting about one issue and then rapidly escalate the fight by bringing up a different set of issues from the past. These past issues are usually introduced by the following words: “And another thing …” or “Since you are bringing this up, how about the time you …” Sound familiar? Doing this only escalates the tension between the two of you and is totally unproductive. If you are fighting about one particular issue – stick to that specific issue. While arguing, if you remember other issues you would like to discuss, set up a date and time to discuss them with your partner sometime in the future. Otherwise, a fight about one issue will end up in a litany of past grievances with no resolution in sight – a sure fire way to kill romance, intimacy – and your relationship.
2. Do not interrupt each other. This is really simple and easy to understand but people have a hard time doing it. Do not interrupt your partner when they are speaking. If you need clarification about your partner’s point, ask them for it when they are done speaking by saying: “Can you please help me understand what you meant when you said …” This will let your partner know that you were not only listening to them but – perhaps more importantly, you were trying to understand what they were saying. Conflicts of any kind can never be resolved if people do not feel understood. Couples do not have to agree with each other but they do have to attempt to understand each other’s differences. Listening carefully while not interrupting will help develop this understanding.
3. Be respectful – so no name calling. Just because your partner has a different opinion, or feels differently about something than you do, that does not make them “stupid” an “idiot” or “ridiculous”. If you find yourself getting over-emotional during an argument, take a time out from the fight and re-visit it when cooler heads prevail. Besides being disrespectful, name calling during a fight is unproductive and creates ill-will between you and your partner. Once respect goes out the window, the relationship itself is usually not far behind.
A final thought on fighting with your significant other. When you are at a crossroads with your partner on an issue, ask yourself this question: “Is it more important that I “win” this fight? Or that I keep my relationship strong and happy?” In other words, are you willing to risk the love and intimacy in your relationship over the issue you are fighting about? Is it really worth it? Usually the answer is a resounding no.
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann