Communication, no matter how long you have been in a relationship, or what counselor you talk to, will always be one of the most important aspects of your relationship to work on. Fighting and bickering many times stems from anger and resentment, and needs to be clearly communicated from one partner to another in order for there to be emotional healing between the two of you. Deciding to not speak to each other in order to avoid an argument is many times worse than actually fighting, because no communication at all leaves you both emotionally empty. Here are some steps that can help lessen your arguments and increase positive communication between you and your partner.
-- Listen First. React Later. --
Listen to every word that have to say, without interruption or response, until they are finished. In a perfect world, each partner listens to the other, responds positively, and decides he or she will work on whatever issue may have been brought up. But since this is not the case, someone needs to take that step, and that step needs to start with you. It will not be easy, but it is essential if you want your partner to listen to your needs, thoughts, and feelings as well.
-- Process Information --
Process the information that was communicated to you (probably through yelling, nasty words, and comments) and try to figure out what your significant other is trying to tell you. Anger is an ugly cover for deeper, usually hurt feelings, and the better you may be able to understand them, the easier it will be to create an environment for healing of those emotions.
-- Respond Calmly and Carefully --
I realize this is easier said than done, but if you are truly trying to avoid any more of an argument, you need to refuse to fuel the flames with any anger. Words in an argument are usually aimed to hurt, so if you can make it past this point, you will be doing excellent. Ask your partner, if you have not yet figured it out, what the deeper issue may be, or what else may be a bother that you may be able to help with.
-- Apologize for Anything You May Need To --
If there is anything you may need to apologize for, even if you do not want to or think you need to, do it anyway. Apologies and humility is the biggest weapon against anger and resentment. This is not the time for pride.
-- Discuss Counseling --
Counseling and couples therapy is very effective because it allows a third party to observe and input suggestions that are not in favor of one individual over another. However, the cost can be a factor in prohibiting couples from taking that route, even though the outcome of a healthy relationship outweighs the cost of the endeavor, along with the possibility of one party not wanting to participating because of an uneasiness of sharing with someone they do not trust. A great alternative for each of these factors is online counseling. It is less costly than paying someone by the hour, and takes away the uneasiness of speaking and sharing in front of someone you may not be comfortable with. I have more information you need to check out in the resources section.
- The more these exercises are practiced, the easier they will be, and the more your partner will notice. Remember, it takes two to tango.
- Putting your feelings aside for the good of the relationship will be difficult, but if the relationship is worth it to you, it is your best chance at success. When your partner realizes your efforts, your feelings will have their best chance at being taken care of.