The Key to Arguing in a Relationship

Do you avoid having tough conversations in your relationship?

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Total Votes : 26

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

Relationships are hard and forever will be because you are not always going to get along with your partner. But what makes them even more complicated is the fact that most people do not like conflict. And this is what makes communication so difficult and can lead to problems in your relationship.

According to a couple’s therapist, Saul Stern, the best way to handle conflict is not by running away from it. Doing so causes hurt and bitterness to build up inside of you.

“It’s critically important that couples feel comfortable bringing up the difficulties that occur between them, which are inevitable.” There will always be tension in the air that can lead to passive-aggressiveness and an uneasy, non-authentic connection (it can be prevalent among friendships). You need to address them head-on but do so when you are not riled up.

When angry, we get over-emotional and will say things in the heat of the moment which we will regret saying, such as personal attacks. And regardless of how sorry you would feel afterwards, the damage would already have been done, potentially further pushing away your partner.

“If expressed in a negative way, as in an attack on a person’s character, on their personality — what comes from that is rejection.”

So, when you and your significant other are hashing out a dispute, and you start to get worked up, agree to take a break and reconvene when your emotions are under control. “What needs to happen first is to be calm in the body,” Stern says, which, according to him takes about 20 minutes to do so.

It’s like the old practice of the unsent letter: When angry at someone, you write up a message in the heat of the moment to unload your emotions. But, instead of sending it, leave it open and sleep on it that night. Then the next morning, you should feel better, thus making you appreciate not sending it.

However, even if you keep your quarrels civilized, it may not be effective if you both aren’t genuinely expressing how you feel, and your counterpart isn’t listening. For starters, avoid blaming your partner and share how you feel. But even that is easier said than done.

“Unfortunately, too many of us have not had enough practice at being able to articulate our own feelings or even feeling entitled to feel how we feel,” he says.

And in doing so, try to make each other properly understood, meaning, listening instead of hearing. According to Stern, you may miss out on your partner’s message because you are busy trying to come up with a retort.

“If they are sincerely trying to understand each other, they feel acceptance is mutual and ‘this person really does have my best interest at heart,'” Stern says.

Veronica and Abraham Pena are an excellent example of how to handle this situation both incorrectly and correctly.

They had problems early on in their 11-year marriage which caused them to almost divorce. But they worked through their issues with a therapist.

“We never yelled at each other or those kind of crazy arguments people have. We had no communication at all,” Veronica said. “When things got tough, he would leave us.”

She admits that she had a hard time expressing how she felt, as did Abraham. It wasn’t until they sat down in couples therapy and opened up to each other that they learned more about each other and stopped assuming.

“In the beginning, we had to go back and forth a couple of times to make sure I knew what he was saying, and he knew what I was saying,” Veronica says. “It shows we’re on the same team,” Abraham says.

Veronica learned why Abraham would do what he did, such as walk out when a dispute began, and in turn, he learned just how low his questionable actions made his wife feel.

It’s not an easy process, but one that should be repeated daily. Included in it is making sure you make your spouse feels appreciated. “It only lasts when couples are consistent about it. It becomes a habit, and like any goal, couples can work on this,” Stern says. You can read more about this story on CNN.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Do you avoid having tough conversations in your relationship?

20% Avoid at all costs
80% Talk about it
19% Avoid at all costs
81% Talk about it
23% Avoid at all costs
77% Talk about it

Avoid at all costs

Talk about it

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