Every couple fights. It’s inevitable. Even so, having a healthy fight now and then is good because it is also a way of communicating with your partner. Since communication is one of the essentials in building a healthy relationship, we have to learn how to fight in a healthy way and express ourselves better.
Being in a long term relationship doesn’t mean that you understand or have practiced healthy fights. Don’t worry, it’s something you can always learn—as long as you’re committed to building a better relationship with your partner.
How to fight with your partner
Normal discussions can lead to disagreements, which lead to arguments or conflicts. Some couples have it a lot, some don’t. It doesn’t mean that couples who fight less are better than those who fight more. It’s not a matter of how often you fight; what matters is how to do it fairly so you don’t harm the relationship.
Here are the things you need to do:
1. Stay calm and let go of your ego.
Don’t start with the conviction that your side is the right side. Empathize with your partner. Always assume the best—and not the worst—intention from them. This will help to open your mind to different perspectives, and immediately de-escalate the tension. You are a team and not enemies, so both of you have to win.
2. Seek to understand yourself and your partner.
Discuss and take notes about your opinion, thoughts, fear, trauma. Talk about your communication style as well as your judgment and perception of things. Acknowledge your partner’s point of view. Tell them that you hear them, that you feel what they feel. This will help you further resolve the conflict and improve further arguments.
3. Listen to each other
To have effective communication, both parties have to communicate equally. Do not dominate the conversation just because you feel you have a lot of things to say. Pay attention to what they convey, both verbal and nonverbal. If necessary, ask and clarify what they mean so that both of you are on the same page.
4. Be assertive instead of passive-aggressive.
Tell your partner how you feel, what you think is wrong, or what hurts you. Give them the options on how to do things better. Don’t give them a vague statement on what you want or need, or worse: ask them to figure it out themselves. In short: ask, don’t nag.
5. Take a time out when needed.
When you feel overwhelmed with emotions, it’s okay to take some time off. It doesn’t mean that you can avoid talking with your partner; come back when you’re calm and continue the conversation in a positive tone.
6. Stay on topic.
When you fight about something, focus and solve one thing at a time. Don’t touch anything unrelated just because it still bugs you; save it for another discussion.
7. Get to the bottom of it.
If you or your partner don’t feel satisfied, it means it’s not finished yet. Try to identify correctly what you feel or what you need, and compromise on what’s best for both of you. Compromise is the key. You meet in the middle with what satisfies both of you.
8. Learn how to apologize better.
Acknowledge what you did wrong and how it impacted your partner. Express your regret and discuss your future plan so that this won’t happen again. Above all, be sincere with your apology.
9. Set rules for arguing.
Whether it’s to finish everything before you go to sleep or don’t solve problems with make-up sex, make agreements with your partner on how you both want to do it. This will help you have a better discussion the next time you fight about something.
Do you have other tips on how to fight with your partner healthily? Drop your tips on comment below!