Unfortunately, it is usually the people who are closest to us that trigger us emotionally. There are several reasons why relationships fail – these include trust issues, unmet desires and expectations and compatibility issues. If you and your partner are both consistently fighting then that can lead to a toxic relationship.
Handling a conflict with understanding and letting go of troublesome emotions is key. You need to understand your emotions as well as your partner’s emotions and don’t let the key issue or issues go left unanswered. Every one of us brings a lot to the table that contributes to the degree of conflict we experience with a partner.
If you’re in a relationship where you find yourself fighting more than having fun with your significant other – you have two main solutions – either brake up or take steps to resolve the problem(s).
So stop the arguments by doing these:
1. Avoid a confrontation.
Though it can be normal and natural to become defensive when a fight breaks out. It can be critical to take a step back and take criticism from your partner without taking it so personally. You may feel attacked, wronged, or blamed for something you didn’t do but engaging in a fight only adds fuel to the fire.
Every one of us brings a lot to the table that contributes to the degree of conflict we experience with a partner. Evaluating the situation objectively can be the best course and solution instead of a fight. See if you did or said something that caused them to initiate a fight. If you did, then just apologize, fix the issue or ask them how you can make it right. Even being empathetic in this case would help – where you are receptive to what the other person has to say and internalize it. Furthermore, if clarification on the matter is needed then just ask.
2. Clear your mind by disengaging.
In the heat of the moment, it’s very hard to not be reactive. Our thoughts and emotions can become cloudy in a fight and continuing an argument in this mindset causes more fighting to the point where people say things that they do not mean.
When we are being triggered by someone in an intense way, this is usually a clue that something deeper is being surfaced. The wrong word or a simple look from our life partner can tap into old, undesirable feelings we have about ourselves that make us angry, ashamed, or on the defensive. We then react in ways that don’t always fit the situation, and in fact, often escalate it.
It is best to regain a perspective on the problem by stepping away for awhile especially when the argument gets heated. Allow a cool down of your mind by taking a walk or spending some time alone. You can then usually approach the conflict with a more rational state of mind, a better perspective and a cool head once you have had that time to be alone and reconfigure your thoughts. This way you approach the problem with a renewed attitude and is able to respond with more awareness and sensitivity to the other person. Both partners can then have a more effective conversation about the real issues in a less intense atmosphere where both feel more of themselves.
3. Feel your emotions
You can still be aware and in your feelings even if you are calm and have dropped an argument with your partner on your end. Sometimes we need to be mindful during and after an argument where we explore our emotions to understand where they may come from and what they may mean since emotions offer us clues into who we are.
It is hard to recognize our emotions and express them in a helpful way when we are in the middle of a fight. We need to be mindful and accept our emotions while being wise to best choose our actions so they align with who we choose to be.
It can be easy to just ruminate in our feeling of being angry, furious and mistreated. But understanding your partner should be key along with acceptance. We may want to wallow in our feelings of misery but this all comes from an unconscious desire of familiarity.
4. Face problems face-to-face
In our modern-day digital world, it can be easy to text someone and think it gives us an opportunity to have some modicum of control over the situation. But our words can get muddied since not everyone will read texts and tones the same way and your relationship partner can read your texts and take them out of context which paves a path for an argument.
When people have a fight face-to-face, they can pick up on body language and vocal tone a lot clearer and more easily. If the discussion is especially complex or intense then text messages are the worst medium to have these long drawn out battles where it is difficult to type and hard to understand the person not only with typos but how they are saying their words to convey their story. Thus, it is usually best to discuss any issues in a relationship in person.
5. Boundaries are needed
Sometimes argumentum ad hominems find their way into a fight where we attack the person’s character instead of the problem itself. This is when you know the fighting is or has become out of hand. Cursing and yelling over each other while avoiding the real problem is becoming more of a common place in relationships and it needs to stop before the fights turn into a war.
Before a fight or after a fight is settled – sit down with your partner and discuss some boundaries when you fight. For example, no personal attacks need to be thrown at either person and everyone should speak in a calm and concise manner to get their point across.
Doing this behaviour helps a lot since ad hominems take you away from the issue(s) at heart that need attention and have you focus on hurting your life partner. This creates an unsafe and toxic environment as well as prolonged feelings of hurt and pain.
6. Don’t filter your “inner voice”
During an argument, we see our partner through the filter of our “critical inner voice” and this can make us very reactive in a given moment. This “voice” represents a pattern of negative thoughts and distorted ideas we developed about ourselves and others based on hurtful experiences from our early lives. As we grow up, we may expect relationships to mirror those of our past and project our “voices” onto others, especially those closest to us.
So often, when we’re especially triggered and heated, we are filtering our partner’s words and behavior through our inner critic. For example, when they say, “You haven’t been around lately,” we may hear, “You’re not doing enough. You’re so lazy.” We distort our partner’s point of view to fit with an old image of ourselves, and we react accordingly. That is why to really break a destructive, argumentative cycle, we have to challenge our critical inner voice.
7. Don’t let problems fester
Approaching a conflict with your partner can be a very wise thing since couples who allow problems to intensify often break up sooner than those who approach conflict quickly (University of California Berkeley and Northwestern University). Not talking about problems and letting your feelings swell will grow unwanted resentment and bitterness which could dissolve the relationship.
This is very damaging, especially when the other partner doesn’t even have a clue. It is best to come clean about your feelings and issues so that they can be worked out. This ensures that there is nothing weighing on you throughout the course of your relationship.
8. Some time apart is wise
Many things can trickle into your relationships with people, and stress is no exception. It can very well be things outside of your relationship that is causing the stress in your life or it could very well be the relationship itself.
Think about taking time apart from each other for a while. This could mean just a weekend alone or with friends or family or maybe a week or two away from your house just to decompress.
In time, couples need space. This could be for various reasons completely individual to the couple and is not necessarily a sign the relationship is in trouble.
Nonetheless, time away provides you with a different outlook on your relationship. If you return believing the relationship is at an end, discuss it with your partner.
9. Be vulnerable
Sometimes when we get into a fight and express maladaptive responses that don’t get us anywhere. But if we can tap into our raw emotions and express that in our wants and needs then we show much more vulnerability to our partner. We will be communicating that we are laid bare and want to be loved and seen for who we truly are. Then, our partner has to opportunity to really get to know us better. You will be saying that you care more about the relationship than winning the argument.
This can be very scary and challenging due to the vulnerability it requires. We will have to let our guard down especially in moments of conflict and be very mindful of ourselves, our emotions, our thoughts and our actions. We will be better able to interpret and interrupt destructive cycles which in turn allows us to be closer to our partner. By using these tools of self-reflection, we truly take control over our half of the dynamic and create a safe, welcoming environment for our partner to do the same.
10. Therapy as a last resort
Sometimes if the fighting is too much and/or too difficult to handle then couples therapy may be a solution.
Therapy gives you an opportunity for a third party to peer into your relationship and give their unbiased opinion on the matter. The therapist can even identify problem areas that each partner in the relationship may have over-looked. Couples who choose to receive therapy can learn to relate to and understand each other better, and themselves.
A therapist will provide practical solutions towards peace and a healthier relationship. He or she can offer techniques to help both partners work through disagreements and arguments. Couples therapy can be a wonderful outlet to express your thoughts without being attacked.
But, therapy does go both ways – while a therapist aims to provide constructive feedback – you are the one ultimately responsible for saving your relationship.
Start enjoying your time together
Solving a relationship conflict can be difficult. But finding solutions to this conflict in a healthy and productive way is extremely important. Every couple goes through rough patches and that is normal but constantly fighting is not. When you stop fighting with your relationship partner and just enjoy the relationship more, then that relationship can progress into something far better.
THE DARK SIDE OF RELATIONSHIPS:
This is where you find out that no matter how hard you try and what you do, you will never “fix” your relationship because it can’t be “fixed” in the first place. Why? Because the woman (or man) you partnered with has no romantic interest in you and just wants to use you for your time, money and resources.
Answer this: How can you fix something that is not broken?
You might see the relationship one way while your “partner” is seeing no relationship at all.
Don’t get trapped by the musings of someone who doesn’t want you except for the transactional relationship they believe you are good for. Not only will you lose time as well as up to half of your resources but you will also be mentally scarred and less trusting because of the experience. Save yourself from pulling the hairs out of your head by knowing if you are in a transactional relationship or not.
How do you know you are in a transactional relationship?
A transactional relationship is a relationship where both (or all) parties are in it for themselves, and where partners do things for each other with the expectation of reciprocation. This kind of reciprocation is enforced by either both or at least one of the relationship partners.
The fact is, almost all relationships start here. People tend to date a person because of what they get out of it. As with Briffaults law, a woman will not enter a relationship unless she sees some value in that relationship.
Briffault’s law maintains that “the female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.”
We all date because we get something out of the interaction – that can be as simple as feeling good to as insidious as taking all of the person’s money, assets, and resources. Most people move past the interaction phase of a relationship and develop great concern for a partner’s well-being – this concern (as what we would call love) generally grows as the relationship progresses. But some relationships never get past the transactional stage because one or both partners don’t want to.
If you have been in a relationship for months or even a year and you have never met your partner’s friends or family and are always one-on-one when going out to dates and special events then there is a high chance that you are in a transactional relationship. If you are always (or almost always) paying for everything then you may be in a transactional relationship.
If fights always come up when it is their birthday, Christmas, Boxing day, Easter or any other special time then you might be in a merely transactional relationship. Why? Because they are reserving those special days and times for someone else. So, they will make excuses with you. They will tell you they have family arrangements, or the gathering is family only or they have to go to work or they are just sick.
How can you find out if you are being used?
- Stop paying for everything. Does anything change in your relationship? Ask for more of a 50/50 commitment and gauge how they react.
- Stop buying expensive gifts and taking expensive trips and see how they react? Do they initiate a fight? Do they no longer want to be in a relationship? Do they speak to you?
- Ask to meet a friend or family member of theirs. Do they decline or complain? Do they make excuses that they are sick or busy with work when it is time to meet?
Things to watch out for:
- Beware of partners that never seem to be where they promise to be. These partners are translating an inability to be in a genuine and committed relationship
- Pay attention to the seemingly insignificant lies. The little ‘white lies’ may seen unworthy of alarm but you would be missing the bigger picture.
- Ascertain your prospective partner’s behavior in former relationships. Was there cheating? Some people have a history of affairs. Was there stealing? etc etc etc
- Consider your partner’s family of origin. Were they raised to be fair and honest? Some people adapt negative behaviours that they learnt from one or both parents. Such as lying to solve a problem. A common example is when one parent coaxes a child to promise to keep a secret from the other.
- Relationship partners who routinely lie to or deceive others outside of their romantic relationships are inclined to do the same within their intimate relationships. Do not believe that you will necessarily be treated differently.
- Your partner’s unwillingness to take responsibility for their behaviour can be seen as a red flag that they will not be able to accept their contribution to relational difficulties and might justify any type of negative behavior, including cheating and deceit.
- Look back and see if your partner makes promises they never intended to keep. Or maybe they did intend to follow through, but they never seem to. If your partner does this, then that can be a red flag of issues present or to come.
Try a stress test:
If you truly want to know if a woman is really into you then go on vacation and “lose” all your luggage. Yes, I said it, “lose” your luggage to see where your relationship stands.
When people get confronted with a stressful situation then their true character shows. You get to see who they really are and what they really think about you. When your partner’s emotions become cloudy and irrational due to all her belongings getting lost then the real her will stare at you through the cracks.
During this stressful situation she can easily get triggered in a very intense way and she will most likely not be receptive to being calm. Any words to calm her down will not be accepted and she will distort your words and enter a destructive and argumentative cycle with you due to the situation. When this happens, if she was deceiving you then she will return to the familiar feelings she already had for you which were not of love but negative. It was about how much, how often and how long she can use you. She will find comfort and solace in these familiar feelings and won’t be able to stop them from coming out. Thus, you will see her true character.
This may or may not happen with this stress test since you may actually have a good woman on your hands. She can be calm during the situation. She can exhibit qualities of a good woman and she truly may want to be with you. Hopefully this will be the answer you seek.
But if her true feelings about you come out then it is because of the stress and when people are stressed, they really tell you how it is and what they truly think about you. She won’t be able to contain herself and keep up her act. Her anger will reach intense moments and the truth will set her free.
Now when I say “lose” your luggage, I didn’t mean actual lose it. Just put it aside for the time being so that you know who you are dealing with. For many men and women, this simple act or test will save you months of trouble, arguments, money and time.
HERE IS A STORY (I found this on Quora):
My last boyfriend told me about the incident that had broken up his relationship with the woman he was seeing before me.
For about 6 months, he had been having a somewhat long-distance relationship with a very beautiful woman who lived in a town about 30 miles from where he lived. He liked her quite a lot, but he was aware that the fact that he was fairly well-heeled represented a feature she found particularly attractive about him. He was, in short, expected to shower her with lovely things at every opportunity. She appeared to adore him, though, and was always very sweet towards him. They agreed to be exclusive and were considering taking the relationship to the ‘next level’ sometime soon.
One Saturday, the couple had arranged to go out on the town for the kind of enjoyable evening that was their pattern. He was just leaving his house and pick her up, when she started messaging him, telling him that she was unwell. She assured him that she wasn’t badly ill: just ‘starting a cold’. She didn’t fancy going out: she wanted to go to bed, and thought he’d best stay away.
I don’t know what made him decide to go to her flat without messaging her first: to be honest, that would have annoyed me (and I told him so): women often don’t like to be seen by their beaux when they are looking rough. However I believed him when he told me that he had absolutely no suspicion of her whatsoever (as a rather proud man, he had no reason, on telling me his tale, in showing himself to be such a mug). He just decided, on the spur of the moment, to go over and give her lots of tender loving care-and his speciality hot toddy.
He arrived on her doorstep with a bottle of whiskey, some lemons and honey, some paracetamol and some orange juice. He rang on her doorbell, and was astounded to hear a bright, cheerful voice shout “just a minute, baby!”
The door was flung open, and there was his girlfriend, looking gorgeous in makeup and a lovely outfit with a huge smile on her face. When she saw him, her eyes boggled and her bright smile froze in place. She nevertheless invited him in with a kiss.
They then had a brief conversation where her affect subtly changed and she proceeded to speak with the hoarse voice and brave little smile that befitted a person starting a cold.
“Oh, lovely for you to have come, dear. You really shouldn’t have worried about me. Thanks for dropping off the supplies: I’ll use them to make my own hot toddy. You better go now, because I really just need to get to bed.”
The guy hung his head in shame as he told me the story. He’s actually one of the most searingly-intelligent men I’ve ever known, but I don’t think there’s any relevance of intelligence in matters of the heart. Poor guy, he still believed her as he left, giving her a kiss and a hug, got in his car and readied himself to drive home. Then his phone pinged.
The message was from his ‘girlfriend’. It read:
“OMG!!!! You’ll NEVER guess who just turned up here!!!! It’s OK! He’s gone now!!!”