How Couples Can Argue Better

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How Couples Can Argue Better
Why Disagreement Don’t Always Need to Be Fights

We all know at least one couple who make us sick. Usually, they’ve been together since Michael J. Fox was a child actor and act like they are still on their honeymoon. They holds hands, make the goo-goo eyes at each other and act so sweet to each other that it makes the rest of us reach for the insulin.

But we’ll tell you a secret about them that you may not know. From time to time, they’ll argue. All couples have disagreements, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’re all individuals, and we all have our own opinions and every so often, we’ll disagree on something. It’s a mathematical inevitability. However, not all disagreements have to turn into fights. If you know how to argue in the right manner, there is no reason why disagreements can’t be positive things for your relationship in the long run.

But how do you do it? Well, first, you have to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy communication. Most people proceed from false assumptions on this front, so let’s get a few things straight. Here’s a list of all the bad assumptions we hear from our clients about their perceptions on communication:

 

  • Agreement = good communication and disagreement = bad communication.
     
  • My partner would agree if he/she would JUST listen to me.
     
  • Yelling, or raising my voice, will make my partner listen better, which will then help them understand and agree with me.
     
  • Name calling or use of threats is the ONLY WAY to make my partner take notice of me and listen, which will then help them understand and agree with me.
     
  • It is better to not talk about difficult things with my partner so we won’t disagree and cause conflict.
     
  • The concerns or problems I have will just go away on their own.

Any of these sound familiar?

If they do, read on. It’s time to unlearn what you know and start approaching communication from a different perspective.

Let’s start here:

 

  • First, before you jump right into a discussion, we recommend that you check in with your partner to see if it’s a good time to talk. For example, if your partner just finished a 12 hour shift at work, it’s probably not the best time for a serious chat. Just because something is eating at you does not mean your partner is up for discussing it at that very minute. That doesn’t mean you should wait until your partner takes a day off from work to talk. Just let your partner settle in a bit and let them know you have something you want to talk about.

 

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Drs. Chuck And Jo-Ann Bird

Counselor/Therapist

Drs. Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird

Relationship Counselors

Board Certified Clinical Sexologists

Location: Brandon, FL
Credentials: LMHC, NCC, PhD
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