Managing conflict is part of being in a relationship. Sometimes people who love each other argue for reasons like poor communication, differing priorities, lack of trust or their own personal stresses. In an article titled "7 Keys to a Healthy and Happy Relationship," Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D. explains that couples can argue without fighting. Arguing is a healthy, non-combative way to disagree and share opposing viewpoints. However, if arguing becomes frequent and aggressive, a couple may want to consider the viability of the relationship or seek professional counseling.
"Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist between two emotional human beings who bring their own past experiences, history, and expectations into it," says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in his PsychCentral article "9 Steps to Better Communication Today." People also bring their own styles of communication and don't always explain their thoughts and feelings in a way their partners can understand. Some people are better listeners than others. Grohol explains that communicating is a skill, and learning to communicate in a way that works for your partner is important if you want to avoid arguments. He recommends slowing down, being honest, recognizing nonverbal cues and focusing on the present.
When two people have different priorities, or when priorities suddenly change, couples can find themselves arguing more often. For example, when a person starts a new job or when a couple has a baby, gets a pet, buys a house or discovers a hobby tension can brew. Change is not always easy to endure. Another example of differing priorities is when one person cares more about a certain chore or activity. For instance, a clean house or a landscaped yard might priorities for one person while spending time with the children and taking vacations might be more important to the other. Negotiating and compromising can help couples find common ground.
Lack of Trust
Trust issues are typically caused by a particular incident or a pattern of dishonest behavior by one person. Once trust is broken, a relationship can struggle no matter how much two people love each other. Certain people are also more prone to holding a grudge, which can prevent the healing process. As explained by Walter E. Jacobson, M.D. in his Huffington Post article "How to Heal Relationships: What's Love and Communication Got to Do With It? Part One," "Oftentimes, when we feel wronged, we become insistent about confronting our partner, getting in their face, demanding that they feel guilty and shamed, demanding that they own their transgression, demanding an apology." This approach can exacerbate fighting. To reach resolution, try calm, sincere, balanced conversation once high emotions have subsided.
Stress can manifest itself in conflict with a partner. When a person is anxious because of difficulties in their own lives, she can take out her emotions on her partner. A sick family member, a problem at work, a physical ailment or an argument with a friend can all lead to bickering with a partner. Try to relieve tension through activities like yoga, cardiovascular exercise, art or deep breathing. Stress management strategies can help eliminate arguments with your loved one.
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