“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 things hurtle toward a separation.
Be it at the dinner table, at a party, or in the comfort of their bedroom, some couples just can’t help snapping at each other. This can take many forms – personal attacks, passing snide remarks, screaming loudly enough to wake up the neighbors… And all of them reflect rather poorly on your life.
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 marriage, it is no way to conduct yourself. 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.
Causes Of Relationship Arguments
Your romantic partner is the one you’re closest to. You share different types of intimacies with them, live with them, think about them the most, and they are a part of your past, present, and future. Has the gravity of this connection dawned on you? This closeness is heartwarming… But it also gives you ample things to argue over.
Depending on the stage of your relationship (and its intensity), you will bicker with your partner. The argument may be short-lived over something trivial or it might escalate into a full-blown battle. But what do couples argue about? Here are the most common causes:
- Lack of effort: At some point in the relationship, each individual is bound to feel that they are giving more of themselves than their partner. The argument originates with, “You can’t even do this for me?” In a lot of cases, couples start keeping score too
- Daily hassles: Tidiness, hygiene, chores, taking care of the kids (if any), responsibility division and so on can be a point of contention for couples. These arguments are more common in long-term relationships or marriages
- Financial matters: If one partner is a spendthrift while the other is a saver, it doesn’t take much for a quarrel to begin. Such squabbles can be resolved with compromises and changes in habits from both ends
- Different approaches: Of course, two people can’t see eye to eye on everything. But when a couple’s ways of dealing with a situation are radically distinct, the differences become irreconcilable. Perhaps he finds most things funny, while she is extremely sensitive
- Sex: Sexual compatibility and satisfaction are vital for a relationship’s health. This is why couples argue over what goes on between the sheets. Maybe a partner is greedy in bed, or there is a lack of defined sexual boundaries
You can only begin to gauge the damage caused after a storm has passed. The same is true of constant arguing in a relationship. Let’s discover how.
How Does Constant Arguing In A Relationship Affect It?
Esther Perel, noted therapist, author and speaker, calls bickering “a low-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 are unleashed into the blood. Consequently, diseases causing inflammation are heightened.
According to the American Psychological Association, in 2019, the divorce rate in America was at 50% 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. If you thought that constant arguing and bickering are par for the course, these statistics should give you some serious food for thought.
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, relationship arguments cause pain, mental stress and physical illnesses. Here’s how you can salvage the situation and stop fighting so often.
Related Reading: 12 Hurtful Things You Or Your Partner Should Never Say To Each Other
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 smoothly… And you suddenly realize that you can’t stand each other after getting married. That’s when the differences creep in which slowly lead to arguments. These arguments result in big shouting matches and slamming doors.
While some fights are inevitable, what matters is that you take steps to avoid petty arguments in relationships. Your goal should be to try to resolve differences with your partner and handle arguments in a civil manner, with maturity and understanding. Here are a few suggestions:
1. How can I stop arguing with my partner? Recognize and avoid the patterns
Why do we argue so much? Be it marital relationships or other spheres of life, the answer to this question lies in patterns. Most of the time, we fight endlessly over past incidents we can’t let go of. Past problems or relationships are brought up in current fights, complicating matters. The focus is seldom on the problem at hand when you’re taking an awful trip down memory lane.
Another reason is when you avoid confrontation in the beginning and allow problems to fester and snowball into something bigger. This is an indicator of communication problems which are every relationship’s bane. And 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 trouble managing your anger, 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. If the second partner backs off before every conversation turns into an argument, the situation can be neutralized. Be mindful of the moment when things get out of hand. Take a few deep breaths and make the choice of walking away.
3. Stop being defensive and critical
Esther Perel says that 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.” In a 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. Responding, not reacting, is one of the oldest tricks in the world to stop constant arguing in a relationship.
4. Address the real feelings, not the surface arguments
Life coach Jay Cadet says that it is most frustrating to be fighting about the same things. When the husband says, ‘My wife always wants to fight’ and the wife retorts, ‘He purposely starts fights’, they are basically accusing each other. Trading accusations has never helped a relationship. How could blame-shifting be conducive to growth?
“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 every day. Always remember that fights in relationships have layers.
Related Reading: What To Do If You Think Your Husband Hates You?
5. It’s not what you say, but how you say it
What is the difference between a conversation, a discussion, and a fight? It’s the pitch. It’s all about HOW you make your point. 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 pacifying an angry or hurt partner.
When you have a disagreement with your partner, use the right tone so that he or she doesn’t immediately go on the defensive. Don’t breach healthy relationship boundaries, and try to not raise your voice too much or at least be aware when it happens. Talk slowly so the meaning of your words sinks in. You can’t stop arguing without communicating in a civil manner.
6. Learn the art of listening to stop fighting
Listening is an art. Various studies point out that human beings spend 70 to 80 % of their time communicating, out of which 45% is devoted to listening. Unfortunately, not many people know how to listen. They talk over others, interrupt them, or don’t register what is being said.
Constant arguing in a relationship is often the result of a person falling in love with their own voice. Try to understand where your partner is coming from (whether you agree with it or not). Do not jump in, match word for word, just to have the last say. Hear them out with an open mind and heart – be empathetic and patient even during the fights in relationships.
7. Follow the 30-minute rule
Brad Browning, breakup and divorce coach, 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’s how you prevent a fight from becoming more important than the relationship.
“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 after relationship arguments
So, you have had a fight. It may have gotten ugly. Constant arguing in a relationship might be a regular feature in your life; to avoid it from becoming destructive, 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 of you should reward yourselves.
Watch a movie, cuddle up together, or have a nice dinner where you can find a sense of humor to laugh over it. Or have sex! The old trick of never going to bed angry does hold true. Spending quality time together is a great way of diffusing any residual tension. Kiss and make up with your partner to stop arguing with them so frequently.
9. Stop issuing threats
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 a divorce’ or ‘I am going to shoot myself if you continue’ might be said in the heat of the moment. We all know the adage words are powerful. It’s time you stopped issuing these 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. Threats reflect emotional immaturity and insecurity on your end.
Related Reading: Dealing With A Cranky Husband – 13 Tips That Work
10. Seek a counselor’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 lesser are your chances of a reconciliation. All the above measures we suggested would come to naught if there is still 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. They might not be able to solve your problem, but they can certainly help you gain perspective and identify the real issues behind the fights in relationships. As we said before, fights are common; and in some cases, it even is healthy to have some differences.
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 relationship but fighting every day is not. Each time you fight and argue, there is 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 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 through a positive lens. 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 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 most definitely going to lead to the divorce courts.