“What’s a relationship without some fights and arguments?” goes a familiar refrain. It is almost a given that any marriage or long-term relationship will have its share of bickering and ranting. But it’s when there is constant arguing in a relationship that it hurtles towards a separation.
Be it at the dinner table or at a party or in the comfort of their bedroom, some couples can’t just spend a day without sniping at each other.
These can take many forms – yelling, shouting matches, passing sarcastic remarks, screaming loud enough to wake up their neighbours… and all of them reflect rather poorly on your life.
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Constant arguing in a relationship robs it of all peace. Even if it’s a regular feature and you are probably used to this kind of a marriage, it is no way to conduct oneself. Read on to find out why some bonds seem to be forever on the edge and how to stop arguing with your spouse every now and then.
How Does Constant Arguing In A Relationship Effect It
Esther Perel, noted therapist, author and speaker calls bickering “a lot intensity chronic warfare” . And warfare affects your personality. When you are in a state of constant arguing in a relationship, you not only affect your mind but also your body.
In a study conducted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, it was proved that couples who fight bitterly are more likely to suffer from leaky guts where bacteria is unleashed into the blood and diseases-causing inflammation are heightened.
According to the American Psychological Association, in 2019, the divorce rate in America was upto 50 per cent with one divorce being reported every 13 seconds!
Interestingly, it was found that constant arguing in a relationship was the second most cited reason (about 56 %) for divorce among couples. It was second to only lack of commitment which accounted for 73% .
This goes to show that relationships where the husband and wife are suffering from a case of verbal diarrhea and where the house resembles a WWF vocal wrestling pit, do not last long.
Moreover, it causes pain, mental stress and physical illnesses. Here’s how you can salvage the situation.
How Can You Stop Arguing Constantly In A Relationship?
Generally, it is said that fights begin to occur on the third or fourth date. But of course, it is impossible to say with certainty. Sometimes, the entire dating period goes off smoothly and then suddenly you realise you can’t stand each other’s sight after marriage.
That’s when the differences creep in which slowly lead to arguments which then result in big slanging matches and slamming doors.
While some fights are inevitable what matters is that you take steps to avoid petty arguments in relationships.
Instead, your goal should be to try to resolve differences with your partner and handle arguments in relationships in a civil manner, with maturity and understanding. Here are a few suggestions.
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1. Recognise and avoid the patterns of arguments
Why do we argue so much? Be it marital relationships or other spheres of live, the answer to this question lies in patterns.
Most of the times we fight endlessly when we try to bring up the past which you can’t let go of. Past problems or relationships are brought up in current fights complicating matters.
Another reason is when you avoid confrontation in the beginning allowing them to fester and snowball into something bigger.
Most importantly a fight turns downright nasty when couples compete to be heard. When discussions turn into Fox News debates, it ceases to be civil.
2. Walk away before it becomes too problematic
When the heat gets too much, walk away. If both of you have a temper problem, make a pact at the beginning of the marriage.
One of you will walk away during an argument. It’s a useful technique to immediately stop arguing with your spouse.
A fight is usually started by one partner and it escalates when the other responds in kind. Before every conversation turns into an argument, if the second partner backs off, it can end before things turn ugly. Be aware of the moment it’s getting out of hand and take a few deep breaths.
3. Stop being defensive and critical
Esther Perel says criticism is one of the biggest relationship killers. “Constant criticism produces the opposite of what we seek in a relationship which is love and respect,” she says.
In critical mode, you are reacting, not reflecting. And then your assumptions are negative. Perel adds that criticism sits on a mountain of unmet needs and desires.
“When you say, you didn’t do something, it means ‘I wish you did it’. So say what you want to be done,” she says.
It might not always work but at least you can make your point without another argument. Simply put,
respond, not react is one of the oldest tricks in the world to stop constant arguing in a relationship.”
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4. Address the real feelings, not the surface arguments
Life coach Jay Cadet says it is most frustrating to be fighting about the same things. When the husband says, ‘My wife always wants to fight’ or the wife retorts, ‘He purposely starts fights’, they are basically accusing each other. Trading accusations turns a person to be defensive and argumentative.
“If you argue that your partner is not doing the dishes, it’s not the dishes that are a problem but perhaps the fact that you are getting enough support from him. So focus on addressing the feelings behind an issue,” Cadet suggests. This habit might help you stop arguing with your SO everyday.
5. It’s not what you say but how you say
What is the difference between a conversation, discussion and a fight? It’s the pitch. It’s all about HOW you say WHAT you say.
The same point screamed out loud can have a different impact when it’s said in a calm tone. And that’s one of the keys to diffuse a tense situation.
When you have a disagreement with your partner use the right tone so that he or she doesn’t immediately go on the defensive.
Try not to raise your voice too much or at least be aware when it happens. Talk slowly so that the impact of your words sinks in.
6. Learn the art of listening
Listening is an art. Various studies point out that human beings spend 70 to 80 % of our time in some of communication out of which 45 % devoted to listening. Unfortunately, not many people know how to listen which leads to them talking over each other and fighting.
Constant arguing in a relationship is often the result of a couple falling in love with their own voice. Try to understand where they are coming from (whether you agree with it or not).
Do not jump in, match word for word, just to have the last say for that indicates you were fighting over nothing.
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7. Follow the 30-minute rule
Brad Browning, breakup and divorce coach in his tutorial on saving marriages on his site Marriageguy.com, suggests a useful tip that he calls the 30-minute rule. Closely related to the above step, this involves taking 30 minutes off BEFORE you enter a discussion that is likely to be heated.
“It gives you a better perspective and you may even drop the idea of an argument,” says Browning.
If you disagree or have problems, fights are inevitable but taking time off can help you cool down and let the emotions settle which helps you have a rational discussion and not an emotional outburst.”
8. Make efforts to make up
So you have had a fight. It may have turned bad. Constant arguing in a relationship might be regular feature in your life. But to avoid it from becoming destructive, what can be done is to ensure that the making up plan is more intense than the fight.
If your loud and nasty argument has somehow ended in a resolution, both you should reward yourself.
Watch a movie, cuddle up together or have a nice dinner where you can find the sense of humour to laugh over it. Or have sex! The old trick of never go to bed angry does hold true.
9. Stop issuing threats to harm or leave
When there is constant arguing in a relationship, there are also constant threats – of leaving the partner or causing harm to oneself. Words like ‘I will file for divorce’ or ‘I am going to shoot myself if you continue’ might be said in the heat of the moment but can be dangerous.
Try hard not to issue such empty threats. They leave a deep subconscious impact on your partner’s mind and they can react negatively.
Another risk is that if you are always being so dramatic, your partner might just stop taking you seriously. Either way, it is your loss so stop doing it.
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10. Seek a counsellor’s help
It is not easy to handle arguments in a relationship with calmness and understanding. All fights are based on anger and the angrier you get, the less chances of a reconciliation.
All the above measures we suggested would come to naught if still there is constant arguing in a relationship.
If nothing works and you are keen to save your marriage, then it’s best to seek a counselor’s help. He or she might not be able to solve your problem but can certainly help you gain perspective and identify the real issues behind the petty arguments in relationships. And that can be a good starting point towards a resolution.
As we said before, fights are common and in some cases, it even is healthy to have some differences. But the key is to see how you handle the situation and avoid it from getting out of hand.
A marriage or a long-term relationship requires hard work and constant nurturing. Learning how to avoid constant arguing in a relationship is extremely important to keep it alive and healthy.
Fights are normal in any relationships but fighting everyday is not. Each time you fight and argue there is a certain negativity that is created. You might know how to make up after that, but over time, the negative will overtake the positive aspects of your marriage. Arguments and disagreements are a part and parcel of a marriage but you need to be connected and in sync at the core.
Constant fighting in a relationship means that the relationship is alive and active. That’s looking at it in a positive note. The key here is what issues do you fight about, what is the tone adopted during the fight and how do you resolve a conflict. If your constant fights are insulting, demeaning and rude, then there is obviously something majorly wrong.
They say if you are arguing about four or five times, it is not that bad. There will always be conversations where you will disagree or have a difference of opinion about your partner. This might even lead to a bit of bickering. But if you are fighting too much over petty issues and they snowball into something major, it means the real problem lies elsewhere.
Couples who fight may stay together only if they respect each other at the core. If the constant fights get personal, threatening and if there is even a hint of physical abuse, then it is mostly definitely going to lead to the divorce courts.