Do you fight to open the lines of communication or do you fight to win? Here are things to remember the next time you have a showdown with your lover.
Animals do it, children do it, and married couples all over the world do it. They argue!
When rams fight, they buck their antlers against each other to determine who is the alpha male – and minus the antlers, humans are hardly different. For humans, fighting can be accomplished by yelling, talking, or pulling the silent treatment, and for long-term couples, these practices can be cathartic. But for new couples, or those who never imbibe in contending, arguing can be the most terrifying experience in a budding relationship.
What to keep in mind when you argue with your partner
For those who feel like that first fight spells out the end of the world, here are 8 things you need to remind yourself of when you’re mid-argument.
#1 Arguing doesn’t spell a breakup. Arguing with your mate doesn’t automatically spell a breakup in the near future. In fact, arguing can be healthy for a couple. Both parties in a mature relationship should always be of the mindset that what is bad is only bad in that moment. You love each other enough to work through whatever is going on, and that’s a comforting thought.
Having an argument should never result in you threatening to break up with your lover, unless you actually mean it. Empty threats are purposely hurtful, and while they may feel good in the moment, you want to be the type of person that respects your partner no matter what… Unless they cheat on you – then give ‘em hell!
#2 Watch your mouth! Words can leave scars. Arguing can really get your blood boiling! If you’re the type who feels their face swell with anger, whose hands begins to shake, or whose mind begins reeling and recounting horrible past instances to drag up with your partner, then you especially need to keep this in mind: what you say can stay with your partner for a lifetime. No matter how many times you apologize or reassure your partner that you didn’t mean what you said, they may never forget it.
It’s certainly easier said than done while you’re in the moment, but at least try to remember the feelings of the person on the receiving end of your harsh words. This is someone you love. Are you sure you want to throw hurtful words at them? [Read: 23 dos and don’ts of relationship arguments]
#3 It’s as normal as 10 fingers and 10 toes. One of the most difficult things to convince yourself of when fighting with your partner, especially if it’s one of your first fights, is that it’s completely normal to argue. While it may not seem like it in the moment, try to remind yourself that all couples fight, and, so long as it doesn’t escalate into a Rihanna and Chris Brown situation, it is perfectly healthy to do so!
Not only can healthy arguments *where you’re not throwing your partner under the bus or hurtfully attacking their flaws* lead to better communication between partners, it may even signal a stronger commitment to your partner, as opposed to couples who never argue at all.
Couples who argue want to resolve conflict and talk openly about important issues. Those who never argue may not feel as connected to their partner, and they may not feel the need to bother with similar issues, simply because the commitment isn’t there. In fact, lacking the drive to argue about things you truly believe in may signal apathy towards your relationship, which is one of the first signs of a deteriorating relationship. [Read: 12 real reasons couples drift apart over time]
#4 You’ve had worse. No matter how bad this argument may seem in the moment, you’ve likely had louder, angrier, longer fights in the past. This too shall pass! Try to view your current trial as an opportunity to make your relationship stronger and strengthen your communication skills. [Read: How to deal with arguments in your relationship]
#5 Taking 5 can make all the difference. Whether you choose the silent treatment, yelling, or the sarcastic remark method, arguing can be absolutely exhausting. The good news? Taking just 5 minutes away from your partner can diffuse everything.
Researchers have discovered that taking a short break from your argument and going somewhere quiet and relaxing, such as the guest room or into your car, can completely change your mood – and your will to argue. So the next time you’re in a frustrating back and forth with your lover, take 5. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery!
#6 Taking the first step: Somebody has to do it! Alright, so your girlfriend might be more wrong than she’s ever been on the matter at hand, or adversely, your boyfriend may simply not be listening to you or forming any reasonable rebuttal to your argument – but this has got to end sometime. As Dr. Phil likes to say: “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
#7 You need to own it. One of the hardest things to do, especially during or after a heated argument, is to apologize when you are wrong. If you have any responsibility in why you and your mate are fighting, own it. You may find that by taking that first step to admit you were wrong, and sincerely apologizing for it, your partner will quickly follow suit. In the calmest voice you can muster, say you’re sorry and try to come up with a way to ensure that you both do what it takes to avoid another blowup.
Don’t be a douche – put your big boy pants on, and admit when you’re wrong. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple apology to reduce an argument into steamy, hot, passionate…
#8 Make up sex a.k.a. the best sex in the world. This may be the absolute ultimate reason to make up – the sex! Some people get so turned on in the heat of an argument that yelling quickly turns to ripping each other’s clothes off! The fundamental bodily reaction to sex and anger are very similar, right down to breathing and blood pressure. It’s no wonder some people get so turned during a heated argument!
Blood pressure aside, being intimate with your partner and sharing in close sexual contact after being upset with one another can be extremely relieving. Being mad at your partner or having your partner be upset with you can be one of the worst feelings. Therefore, it’s only natural to want to shag them silly once you’re through exchanging nasty words!
But remember, make up sex should not be the solution to whatever it is you’re arguing about. Sure, it can greatly diffuse the situation, but keep in mind that it’s still important that you work on whatever it was that you were arguing about in the first place. [Read: The secrets to making make up sex even sexier]
Arguing sucks, but with the right frame of mind you can use your lover’s quarrel to your advantage by bettering your communication, strengthening your bond, admitting when you’re wrong, and then wrapping it up in the fabulously fantastic bow we like to call make-up sex.
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