“I hate romance books and films. Along with showing how to bag a great boyfriend or girlfriend, how to impress their family and how to build a strong relationship, wish there was a manual on how to stop arguing once you get your dream man or woman,” says Harshi Dakoju, 35-year-old events professional, describing her state of mind after the Nth argument with her beau. It’s not that they do not love each other. They can’t seem to agree on anything!
Let’s face it, the perfect romance does not exist. Happily ever after is just a myth as after the incredibly dreamy courtship comes the harsh reality of everyday living. Differences of opinion crop up, each side sticks to their perspective and soon comes a point when a couple asks themselves – ‘Is this the man/woman I fell in love with?’
At this stage, finding ways to stop arguing with your boyfriend every day or not to let arguments with your girlfriend escalate becomes the single biggest relationship goals. That’s definitely not a desirable place to be in. Life coach Delna Anand says, “Conflict in a relationship is inevitable but how you deal with that conflict is important. This will determine how your relationship will shape up.” In this article, she gives us expert tips to stop arguing in a relationship.
Take the case of Lara Sharma, a 36-year-old management executive, who says she has accepted that arguments with her husband of five years are a part and parcel of life. “Of course, we are not going to the courts just because we can’t come to on an agreement over most things or we haven’t learnt how to stop arguing and having small fights. But now I have learnt to live with them. What was earlier a friendly banter has now turned into a situation where every conversation turns into an argument.”
Needless to say, situations like what women like Harshi and Lara find themselves in, are far from perfect. The inability to diffuse an argument with your spouse or partner can truly take its toll on a relationship. Nobody wants a life where their relationship is defined by pointless arguments, picking fights, indulging in shouting matches and snapping constantly.
All you need to do is to know how to stop arguing and find a way to maintain harmony… if you want to stay in the marriage or relationship!
How To Stop Arguing in a Relationship – 11 Tips That Really Work
Big fights always start with small ones. In the initial rosy days of a marriage or a relationship, it’s a natural tendency to overlook minor differences or not pay attention to small arguments. But as time passes, it is these very issues that lead to constant arguing in a relationship. Before you know it, you’re looking for ways to avoid arguments with your wife or husband. If not handled well and in time, it can lead to splitsville.
“But how?” asks Harshi. “I have tried everything – ignoring him, giving it back, trying to be patient, explaining things… but when there is a trigger, I tend to lose my cool. I can’t seem to understand how to stop arguing and reach a middle ground with my guy who is otherwise quite nice.”
Well, she is not the only one. If all the deep breathing, keeping calm exercises and yoga is not helping your peace of mind or your relationship, here are some easy, practical and useful tricks that life coach Delna Anand gives that answers the all-important question – how to stop arguing with the man/woman you love?
1. Quit and take time off to stop arguing in a relationship
When it gets too hot, just quit. “During a fight, our thoughts become clouded and irrational. Sometimes, when you realize it’s getting out of hand, just stop. Don’t say a word. Move away from the ‘battle zone’,” advises Delna.
This should not be seen a sign of ‘defeat’, it’s just backing off for a bit to cool down and this is when silence works. Even a simple line like ‘this is getting too heated, let’s talk later’ will work. Promise to yourself and your partner that you will revisit the issue but at a time when both of you are more cool.
Creating a little distance is a great way to counter the flaring tempers, and in it lies the answer to stop arguing with your boyfriend every day or stop yourself from saying nasty things to your girlfriend or deal with whatever conflict resolution issues you’re dealing with in your relationship.
2. Create mental boundaries to stop the cycle of arguments
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to end an argument over text or in person, boundaries are your best ally. Setting boundaries to the extent you are not going to participate in a fight is a good way to stop arguing with your boyfriend or girlfriend, for a long time. For instance, during a fight, if your partner makes it personal or attacks your character or family, perhaps that’s the line you would not accept him to cross.
One way to avoid this is to set healthy boundaries. Perhaps during a calm moment both of you can create a list of dos and don’ts. Come to an agreement that you will never make personal remarks or insult each other. Ensure that both of you have a say in this list, only then will it be equal.
3. To stop silly arguments in a relationship, don’t treat every battle like a war
As they say, you have to learn to pick your battles. That’s especially true if you’re struggling to stop arguing in a relationship. Learn to judge a situation for what it is. If you are really keen on learning how to stop arguing, first stop arguing over small things. Every difference of opinion or thought need not be treated like an attack on your relationship.
By simply choosing to not let these small differences get to you or making a consciou effort to not turn everything into a tussle for one-upmanship, you can stop silly arguments in a relationship. Learning not to sweat the small stuff is also the key to addressing the bigger issues in a healthier manner.
The way to do it is to focus on the issue on hand – say, if you are having a fight about a small matter, ensure that you only talk about that particular matter and not drag in past issues or previous unresolved arguments. Also, do not threaten to leave every now and then.
Relate Reading: How To Tell Your Partner You Need Space When You’re Upset
4. How to end an argument over text or in person? Stop saying ‘but’
It is strange but the elimination of one or two words can play a role in teaching you how to stop arguing. Try and avoid the use of the word ‘but’. When you say something to the effect of “I understand your anger but… ‘ it kind of defeats the purpose.
“Using too many ‘buts’ shows you are not willing to be flexible despite being amenable to giving the other person a chance,” says Delna. It also shows a certain kind of blame game. Instead of blaming be empathetic and that may help you to stop arguing with your wife or husband. If your partner has felt hurt by your words and actions, offer a sincere apology for making them feel so. Even if you think you haven’t done anything wrong, it doesn’t hurt to apologize to someone you’ve hurt, especially when you love them so dearly.
Remind yourself that you’re apologizing for the way to made your partner feel and not necessarily for your actions. If need be, offer an explanation about your intent but do it in a manner that doesn’t invalidate your partner’s feelings. That’s where discard the word ‘but’ can work wonders.
5. Be a good listener to stop arguing with your SO
This is a tough one. Arguments often turn ugly because both of you are not willing to listen to each other. However, talking over each other or engaging is shouting matches isn’t going to help you diffuse an argument with your spouse or partner. So, steer clear of that pattern. One quick fix way is to keep your calm and wait for your chance to speak. Don’t make it an ego battle.
Do not interject if your partner is letting his or her steam out. Let them vent. Don’t zone out and keep looking at them with a blank expression. Be present in the moment and actively listen until they finish and then have your say. This also gives you enough time to respond to the other person’s argument. Do not give into the temptation of cutting your partner’s sentences to make your point.
Related Reading: 21 Uncommon Romantic Gestures For Her
6. Focus on your feelings and express it
This can be seen in extension of point 4. Another line to remove from your vocabulary, is ‘You make me feel…’ To avoid arguments with wife or husband or partner, place the focus on yourself and express how you feel without falling into the pattern of blame-shifting.
One simple ways of achieve it is to use ‘I’ statement. For instance, instead of saying ‘You never understand me’, try saying ‘I feel misunderstood.’ Instead of ‘You never allow me….’, try saying ‘this is what I want to do…’ You may feel it means the same but small gestures like these make a difference when you are wondering how to stop arguing with your partner.
7. Want to avoid arguments with wife? Agree to disagree
Unmet expectations and differing opinions are the major causes of arguments between a couple. However, it is essential to remember that no two people are alike. While it’s great to have a partner who is in perfect alignment with your thoughts and feelings, all the time it is not possible.
So what can you do when you can’t see eye-to-eye on certain matters and yet want to avoid arguments with your wife or partner? Learn to disagree. Accept that there will be matters where your perspective will differ, and may even be polar opposites.
Instead of throwing away your relationship and allowing those matters to percolate to other issues, agree to disagree on them and try not to change your partner to your point of view. This way you learn to cultivate harmony in your relationship.
8. To diffuse an argument with your spouse focue on your mental health
Your own mental condition plays a role in how you handle fights. If you are sleepy, have not had enough rest, are always stressed out and feeling ill, even a small trigger is enough to make you erupt. Likewise, if you’re carrying emotional baggage from the past, those unresolved feelings can subconsciously come into play, resulting in you overeacting to a situation.
The same is true for your partner as well. That’s why to diffuse an argument with your spouse or partner, you need to have the self-awareness about what’s triggering your responses and find the right way to manage these triggers. That requires you to take care of your health, physical and mental.
It might not prevent arguments but will certainly help you control your responses during a heated situation and may help a bad situation from getting worse. Practising yoga, meditation or even going for walks regularly will help you stay in a state of mind when you don’t get irritated so easily.
9. Have a life outside of your relationship
A bad relationship that is full of fights and arguments can spill over to other facets of your life too such as your career and friendships. But if you can’t stop arguing with your spouse, try not to linger too much on them when you are not with them.
Develop a life and hobbies outside of your relationship and focus your energies on it. Nurture and grow it so much that the petty fights that may be happening at home with your partner do not bother you too much. Of course, it all depends on the extent of the problem in your relationship.
Related Reading: 9 Ways To Resolve Conflicts In Blended Families
10. Spend time apart often to break the cycle of relationship arguments
It’s true, familiarity breeds contempt. So, perhaps, the smart key on how to stop arguing in a relationship may lie in cultivating a healthy amount of space in the relationship. If you inherently love your partner but are perturbed by the constant bickering, then try and take a break every now and then.
Go on a holiday without them. Cultivate more friendships that are not just common to both of you. More importantly, have a room or space in your home to where you can retire when you need some peace and time off. Don’t use this as an excuse to run away from the problem but rather to take a break and get perspective.
11. How to end an argument over text or in person? Say sorry
How to end an argument over text or in person? The answer may lie in a single word, which is perhaps the hardest to say but also the most effective. Using the word ‘sorry’ does not indicate that you have been defeated or on a losing ground. If you shed a bit of ego, perhaps you will be able to look at a situation more objectively. An earnest apology is the most effective way to cross the hurdle of ego that may be preventing you from seeing things the way they are.
Also, it gives the other person no ground to continue heaping angry words on you. We are not saying you accept everything that comes your way. But just a line like ‘I am sorry you are not seeing my point of view, what I mean is…. “ might be more effective than simply putting your views forward.
If you are at fault, admit it and express genuine regret. If your partner is at fault, give him/her a chance to say sorry. An apology can resolve a lot of issues so can a bit of forgiveness.
Arguments are a part and parcel of life. There can be no relationship without fights. But the question is what happens after the fight and to what extent it damages your relationship. Are you willing to go the extra mile to save your relationship? More importantly is it worth it? The answers to these questions will determine how successful your relationship is likely to be.