Are you tired of going back and forth with the silent treatment, not being understood, walking around frustrated with your partner and nothing seems to be getting better? How about arguments that get so heated that rather than keeping it real, one of you begins to accuse, criticize, or start a yelling match. Instead of listening now your partner starts to interrupt, belittle, ignore or even shut down. Now, both of you have gone into protection mode with little or no regard for the other and you need to take a time out – stop the arguing!
If you are looking for some solid advice on how to stop all the arguing, then this article is for you! It is not uncommon to say or do something that we regret later when we are in the heat of an argument. In fact, the last thing we want to do is listen to our partner when we are angry or disappointed with them.
No one ever said marriage is easy, but what we can share with you is that after 26 years of marriage we find our marriage to be one of the most rewarding experiences we have ever encountered. Did it happen overnight? NO! Is our marriage perfect? NO! Do we still disagree? YES! Do we know how to bounce back from arguing? Absolutely! It took years but we finally figured it out marriage required constant time and effort before we could see true growth! We did our work and you can too.
If you hear of a relationship where the partners say they never have any arguments they are lying. A relationship without honest communication is not much of a relationship to begin with!
Seeing Things Through Our Own Experiences
One of the first things you must come to terms within your relationship is that as humans; we are ALWAYS going to see things through our own experiences first, that is a fact! The way we were raised is embedded within us and your partner was not raised in the same home. You both have two different sets of values, morals, and belief systems. No matter how long you have been together or how well you know each other you are never going to agree with everything so stop trying!
Marriage is about compromising and for you to start both of you must remove your need to be right! Consider this: When you were five years old do you remember throwing tantrums when things did not go your way? What about when you were 10 years old? As an adult? Are those tantrums the same or have you changed how you – get your way today? To get peace in your marriage all it takes is simply shifting the way you view yourself and then giving up something that may be selfishness.
Time Out | Stop all the Arguing
Growing up you might not have heard that argues, compromising, and forgiveness go together with relationships and marriage. While that is true, arguments are essential parts of every relationship, no matter how much you love each other. However, with arguing comes forgiveness and it does not mean telling your partner that you forgive them, while on the inside, still feeling bitter, sad, and holding on to the resentment. To forgive wholeheartedly in a marriage, you must let go of the past emotionally and physically, giving your partner a chance to redeem themselves for a fresh new start.
While you might not be able to avoid arguing, you need to understand that sometimes, that is precisely what the situation calls for. Some things might be too big to forgive, but the first decision you need to make is whether you are willing to work through your feelings and wholeheartedly save your marriage or relationship. Bringing back the romance and spark that once made you fall in love with your partner is essential, despite the arguments and disagreements that you may have.
Learning to let go, forgive, and move on will help save your marriage. It can also help you heal the wounds inflicted by your partner, making sure that there is less space for hurt, lies, or resentment in your relationship.
Holding on to Petty
Holding on to old hurt, betrayal, disappointment, petty annoyances, anger, and discontent is normal. While you should never invalidate yourself and are allowed to feel what you feel, there comes a time when you need to hold yourself back, spit out the anger that is manifesting within, and learn to move on. You need to realize that the pain is taking up too much time and energy that could be used elsewhere. Nursing your hurt and letting it grow inside is never a good decision. Eventually, there will come a point where it turns into hate or extreme bitterness.
Always arguing or engaging in trading insults can have a negative effect on you physically, emotionally, and mentally. The hurt and resentment inside can gain momentum and start to interfere in your daily life. You will find yourself constantly on edge, irritated, and might take your anger out on your colleagues, friends, children, or other family members. Not only will this damage your relationship with the people around you, but you may also fail to control your temper and do something uncalled for.
Allowing things to fester in our minds is never advisable. Holding on to petty issues can make you feel anxious. You may start to have panic attacks that interfere with your day-to-day life. You might also start to lose out on sleep and develop insomnia. Not only will this damage your mental health even more, but you will also start to feel the effects on your physical health. When the mind is not healthy, the body cannot be expected to remain healthy. A loss in appetite, weight gain, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking, and health deterioration are all side effects of stress and resentment.
According to a study conducted at John Hopkins University, engaging in fewer disagreements and forgiving your partner has been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart attack, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and better sleep. Letting go of minor faults and annoyances allow you to be mindful of the present while utilizing all your emotions and energy to ensure a good future.
Pause & Reflect
Despite what your friends tell you, only you can decide when your relationship is suffering due to the countless arguing. Until you see the effects yourself, you will continue arguing or tolerating toxic behavior. Whenever you feel yourself getting upset at something petty, pause and reflect! Reevaluate your entire relationship by thinking about all the good times, memories, and laughter you shared. Now, ask yourself if you are willing to let it all go down the drain over a disagreement.
Remember the cause of the conflict while keeping in mind the bond you share with your partner. Forcing yourself to suppress your feelings and forgive your partner will not make any difference to your marriage. In fact, it may worsen the situation if you are not able to wholeheartedly let go.
While some disagreements are easier to get past (such as arguing over money) and can be solved by mutually agreeing on a solution, more significant issues like infidelity, lying, and deceit are the ones that take longer to figure out. Because of their sensitive nature, you must take time out to understand yourself and figure how you want to handle the situation. Instead of hurling accusations and insults at your partner, start by sitting down with them and simply talking about your frustrations. Remember not to raise your voice or get angry because you have not heard their side of the story.
Recognize Your Need for Adult Time Out (ATO)
Are your fists clenched? Is your face red? Are you breathing fast? Are the tears streaming down your face? Do you feel like screaming or throwing something? Are you afraid of your partner’s intensity? Do you feel emotionally closed off? Learn to recognize the signs that things have become too intense for you to have a productive conversation with your partner.
You will find a lot of techniques on the internet that teach you how to argue less and forgive your partner. However, the key is to find a technique that works for you and slowly allow it to heal whatever anger you might have within. Remember, everything will fall apart without patience and consistency. We recommend the Adult Time Out (ATO) technique.
An ATO provides couples with an opportunity to cool down, identify their feelings and needs, and begin to think productively about how to approach the disagreement in a different manner. Arguments are a perfectly natural part of any relationship. It is how you argue and fight that needs to change right?
Tell your partner you need an ATO for yourself by saying something like “I’m just too angry to talk right now; I need to take an ATO”. “Please give me an hour to calm down and gather my thoughts.”
- Remember to call the adult time-out for yourself.
- Suggest a time when you think you will be ready to resume the conversation and be precise i.e., 1-hour, 30 minutes…it cannot go until the next day.
During Adult Time Out Focus on What is Important
While you are on the ATO, relax and calm down. Take some deep breaths. Go for a jog or a walk. Take a bath. Write in your journal. Read, pray, or listen to some relaxing music. Do something that will help you relax and recover from the argument.
- Try to identify what you were thinking and feeling that became so difficult to discuss.
- Think about “I” messages you could use to tell your partner what you were thinking or feeling, and what you need from him/her.
- Try to spend some quiet time considering your partner’s point of view and what they are feeling.
- Remember the two of you are a team, and the only way your relationship will “win” is if you work toward a solution that both individuals can feel good about
Now that you have taken some time out it is time to get some results! Here are 5 tips to help you communicate more effectively and stop the arguing.
1. Communicate – But Be Gentle
Whoever told you that communication is vital was not fooling around. While it might be the hardest thing to do, given the circumstances, talking to your partner is essential. You can let negative emotions fester inside and choose to push your partner away, but eventually, you will find that the distance between you two is so much that there is no way to fix it. In fact, when either of you explodes, it will lead to a bigger and uglier argument.
Once you manage to open up to your partner and tell them what is bothering you, you must remember to be gentle. While your feelings are 100% valid, you must remember that communication does not equal blame games or accusations. Express yourself and be willing to hear your partner out too – this is key. The benefit of the doubt is crucial when it comes to relationships. If you dive into the communication with a perceived notion, you might not be able or willing to understand your partner’s side of the story.
- Make sure to keep a positive body language when you communicate.
- Face your partner, make eye contact, and monitor your expressions so that you do not come off as angry, upset, or plain bored.
- Think before you speak and try not to be irrational.
- Keep hurtful comments to yourself,
- Do not interrupt, lash out, or leave the room.
If you still find yourself having trouble communicating, it is best to seek professional help to save your relationship. A competent marriage or relationship coach will act as a mediator and will not take sides. They can shed light on both your issues from an outsider’s perspective in a confidential safe environment.
2. Validate Your Partner’s Words to Avoid Misunderstandings
It is easy to misunderstand what your partner is saying or where they are coming from. Misinterpreting words may lead to more feelings of anger or hurt, making the situation worse, and leaving your partner confused by your reaction.
Validating can help you better understand what your partner is saying. When they tell you how they feel, repeat your interpretation to them and see if you got it right. Once your partner acknowledges and approves your interpretation, you can both move on and figure out how to address the problem. Not only will this remove any doubts or confusion, it will also help your partner know that you are paying attention to them. They will feel heard and validated.
3. Resist Your Urge to Win
Remember, you are trying to move on from the arguments and minimize damage control. Your confrontations do not require you to be competitive. You are not looking to win an argument or prove a point. Instead, keep reminding yourself that you need to listen and communicate with your partner while being as open and patient as possible.
You might end up winning an argument but losing your relationship. Ask yourself if that is worth it. You and your partner are a team, it will always be you against the world. Even if you are right and you find your partner in the wrong, do not take satisfaction in tearing them down. Instead, reassess your priorities and try explaining things to them using a different approach.
4. Practice Patience
Emotions are tricky but remembering to be patient with your partner can take you a long way. There will be times when you will have to practice self-control and let go of minor hurts just to save your relationship in the long run.
You need to take time out to understand yourself and to find the root of your unhappiness. Sometimes, we end up holding on to the anger for so long that the bitterness inside stays and starts to rot, and when it gets too much, we explode. Our emotions take control of us, and we lose sight of our relationship.
Being patient with yourself means allowing yourself understanding that you are only human, and not giving up hope. There will be times when you get triggered by your past and may not feel like communicating with your partner. Instead of giving in to those timely desires, be patient with yourself, and force yourself to take little steps to meet your partner halfway, for example, going to dinner with them if you want to limit interaction during the day.
You also need to be patient with your partner. Rebuilding a relationship requires lots of unlearning and relearning. Your partner is not perfect, they are bound to mess up and annoy you. Whatever the situation, if you have decided to work on your relationship, make sure to reduce conflict and not bring up past hurt in future arguments. This will allow you and your partner to grow together and save your marriage or relationship.
5. Do Not Forget to Acknowledge and Appreciate Your Partner
Yes, things can get stressful. In a marriage, you will experience a lot of hurt, pain, anger, and compromise. However, by only focusing on the negative and constantly nagging, you will worsen the situation and increase the distance between you two.
Studies show that couples who say positive things to their partners have a longer-lasting marriage. Think about it, if your best friend constantly criticized you, would you ever be able to hold a decent conversation with them? Instead, you would try to avoid them as much as possible, eventually having a fall out with them. So, why is your partner different?
Make it a rule that each time you criticize your partner, follow it up with saying some nice things to them as well. It might feel challenging at first but remember not to let your anger consume you. Establish a balance between the good and bad and give due praise when needed. Make it a practice to compliment your partner at least once per day, notice positive things about their personality, hype them up when they feel down, and remind them that despite the circumstances, you both will get through it and that you love them.
This will not only increase trust and bonding between you and your partner but will also result in less tension between you two. The more laughter and memories you rebuild, the more likely it is for your previous hurt to get pushed back.
There’s Nothing Wrong with Some Extra Help
Stop listening to everyone else, there is nothing wrong with seeking confidential help to save your marriage or relationship. If you find yourself stuck in the same rut with your partner, despite following the above steps, do not lose hope. All of us need a little extra help sometimes. Having a mediator or third person can vastly help diffuse the situation.