Not every disagreement requires a full-blown discussion. Try these things instead ..
Words can hurt, and the wrong words can seriously damage a relationship.
Honest, open communication is important in any relationship but sometimes we’re just not capable of it. When we’re upset, we revert to familiar patterns of bad behavior, often founded on old unresolved issues, and we can’t see our way out of it. We’re likely not even aware that we’re doing it.
We might be from different planets, or at least had different upbringings, so we often do not communicate in the same manner or on the same level. Inevitably, problems arise and are often made worse by attempting to talk them through. So don’t. Not just now.
1. Bite your tongue and swallow your words.
If it’s complaining, sarcastic, critical or otherwise hurtful — don’t say it.
Do you really benefit from making that smart remark intended to get a leg up — show who’s better? Does one of you seem to have a need to always be right? Does one of you need to have the last word — even in your head? Is massaging your ego more important than being in a loving relationship?
It takes two to argue; be the one to turn away from a fight. Come back when you’ve both cooled off. Also, do not disrespect your partner to, or in front of, others. Negative energy breeds negative energy.
2. Do something nice for yourself.
Always take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating properly, exercising, breathing fresh air and enjoying regular relaxation.
Every now and again do something special. Go fishing, spend time with friends or enjoy a day at the spa. Drive out to the country by yourself, read a trashy novel, go to a game, take yourself out for a nice meal, engage in a hobby.
If you feel good about yourself you’ll have more positive attention for your partner and renewed energy to deal with whatever gets tossed at you.
3. Focus on what is going well in your life and your relationship.
Perhaps keep a gratitude journal. List anything, no matter how small.
Maybe she has a good sense of color — decorating the home with flair. Maybe he’s a playful father. Maybe she loves to walk the dog daily. Maybe he is always on time for work. Maybe her nails always look fabulous. Maybe he’s kind to the waiter and tips well.
When you focus on what’s going well, it expands — bringing to you more of what you like.
So, stop paying attention to what’s not going well and instead, pay attention to those little things that you can appreciate. Get yourself in a good feeling place before you have a difficult conversation with each other — if you still need to.
4. Do something nice for your partner — without being asked.
Do a chore or errand that’s not usually your responsibility — not just once, but daily. Don’t keep score.
And do it without expectation of acknowledgement, appreciation or reciprocity.
5. Sleep naked.
I know some days it could be way too difficult to be that vulnerable. Sometimes situations call for difficult measures. At least make physical contact — even if it’s side-by-side or back-to-back. Start wherever you’re most comfortable but start — and make it a nightly habit.
Skin-to-skin body contact releases important chemicals in the body that have to do with feelings of love, safety and bonding. This is a way to rebuild intimacy and trust. This is not an invitation to engage in sex.
Make an agreement to that effect so that one or the other of you isn’t left wondering. Do not expect, force, nor feel obliged, to have sex. And if it happens (and is mutually satisfying), even better! But if this is a sore point in your relationship (as it often is), it's best to agree to abstain until you both willingly agree to engage again.
Once you’ve rebuilt a certain level of trust and compassion in your relationship and you still need to speak about an issue, do it when neither of you is upset. Perhaps deal with serious issues with an unbiased third person (like a relationship coach or therapist).
Only say what needs to be said without blaming, shaming, claiming the victim position or dredging up old stuff as ammunition.
It’s not useful to be arguing against each other for your right to be right. You’re supposed to be on the same side fighting together for the survival of your relationship.
Contact Maraya for free feedback and tips on your on-line dating profile.