Couple fights are difficult to resolve because most of the time, our own ego takes precedence despite how much we care for our partner. Proper resolutions aren’t easy to achieve and most of the time, the tension is only temporarily buried and lies dormant until the next fight is triggered. What we really want in fights is for our views to be heard, but this alone won’t resolve the issue. Being able to listen, understand and empathise will help both parties reach a compromise.
Fights can be productive when both parties are not solely focused on their own interests but are open to hearing their partner’s side of the issue. When compromise is achieved, a deeper level of trust is built. Here’s how to turn those spiteful fights into productive discussions that foster open communication, trust and love.
1. Don’t mix up thoughts and feelings
A lot of fights start because of misinterpretations. One of you may be upset because you think the other party isn’t doing enough or is being unreasonable. It’s important to not mix up your thoughts and feelings here. Yes – you have every right to be upset, but ask yourself if your feelings are a result of an opinion that might not be true, or an actual fact. Avoid jumping to conclusions based on your thoughts – clarify any assumptions with your partner. Being honest about your feelings and rational about your thoughts will set the tone for honest communication.
2. Be aware and in control of your emotions
Everyone processes emotions differently. The way we interpret situations and respond to them is influenced by our upbringing and all the experiences we’ve had over the years. It’s important to recognise whatever biases or stereotypes you may possess based on past circumstances, so that you won’t unknowingly resort to these during a fight. Be aware of what you are feeling and why you are doing so. This way, you can better control and process your emotions.
3. Listen and understand before responding
Fights get heated when we say the first things that come to our minds without giving it thought. Things we say on impulse are often spiteful and not what we actually mean so whenever you’re in a fight, do take some time to listen and empathise with what your partner is saying before responding. This will help you respond genuinely and contribute to a constructive argument. A good way is to avoid the temptation to “shoot from the hip” when it comes to responses; dwell on the information for a few seconds before deciding on an appropriate reply or action.
4. Address problems head-on
When things get rocky, don’t let the tension build up before releasing all that anger in one big fight. Always aim to clear any misunderstandings as soon as possible by scheduling discussions. Ask your partner to sit down and talk it out properly. Setting time limits for your discussions will help to establish expectations and make discussions more focused. Lastly, don’t force yourself to resolve all disputes within one discussion. Sometimes, deep-rooted issues require multiple sessions and that’s okay. Patience is the key to achieving happiness in a relationship.
As a couple, it’s perfectly normal to have little tiffs every now and then. What’s important is that you don’t avoid fights but instead, face them head on with an open mind and an empathetic heart. Ultimately, it’s all about respecting both yourself and your partner, and being honest and respectful of one another's feelings.