Whether you feel an issue simmering below the surface of your otherwise happy relationship or emotions erupt into a fierce argument that takes both you and your partner by surprise, you’ll come to the point in your relationship that it’s time to take a stand and fight for your perspective.
The first fight in a new relationship is an important milestone that is one indicator that this relationship is going to the next level. Fighting fairly is just one way that you show your partner that you are committed to resolving issues and that you aren’t just going to leave at the first sign of a disagreement.
Choose Your Battles Wisely—You don’t have to let every irritation and annoyance become the catalyst for an emotional battle. This doesn’t mean that you need to be a doormat, by all means stand up for yourself and what’s important to you. But think twice about whether it really matters if the forks are put away just the way you like or if that emotional energy is better spent in other ways.
Be Respectful—Don’t get so caught up in the heat of the moment that you forget your good sense and go for the jugular. This is a disagreement or an argument, hopefully not a death match. At the end of the argument, you still want to be a couple so be respectful and avoid mean traps such as name calling, over generalizations and stay focused on the topic at hand.
Stick to the Facts—While fighting is a very emotional experience, you can take some of the emotion out of the situation by sticking to the facts and only making claims that can be supported by hard evidence. This helps the argument remain on topic so that you can work to a productive end and helps you avoid saying hurtful things that you may regret when all is said and done.
Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry—It can be so tempting to take to a sympathetic friend or social media when your partner has made you mad. You want your friends to tell you that you’re right and your partner is wrong, end of story. Well, that’s not the end of the story. That’s the beginning of fight that gets way out of control. If you feel the need to go to a third-party to air your grievances, go to a professional counselor, mediator or therapist. Their professionalism and unbiased perspective will help you more than a meddling family member or friend.
Work Towards a Solution—Each argument or disagreement starts with each partner standing on different sides of an issue. The point of the argument is to come up with a solution. Stay focused on the issue at hand. Don’t bring up past issues or make unrelated attacks. Think very carefully before you speak in anger. Are you saying this to further your point or are you saying this just to hurt your partner? By staying focused on the issue at hand you will find a solution quicker and limit the needlessly hurtful things that you say.
In the end, it’s up to you to work with your partner to come up with a fighting style that is respectful and productive to your unique relationship. Don’t let the passion that brings you together be the passion that tears you apart.