Couple’s discussions do not have to be harmful, as long as we know how to handle them properly and express our feelings in a natural and constructive way.
As this isn’t always easy, throughout this article we’ll look at 12 keys that will help us to manage lovers’ discussions in the most mutually satisfying way possible.
Disputes in love relationships
When we fall in love and are lucky enough to be reciprocated, our mind is plunged into a state of absolute well-being and happiness that can hardly be tarnished by other external factors.
At the beginning of the relationship, any external concern becomes light and passing, since the feeling of well-being produced by the falling in love works as a counterbalance to all those headaches.
But unfortunately, the phase of falling in love does not last a lifetime , and as time passes the romantic euphoria diminishes. As a consequence, any event, either alien to the relationship or proper to it, can be a stressor that ends up affecting our intimate relationship.
The conflicts inherent in living and relationships, economic problems and even the ups and downs of work are likely to end up in a couple’s argument that we cannot always (or do not know how to) handle. However, not only are discussions between couples inevitable, but they are also absolutely necessary if we know how to manage them correctly.
Contrary to what many people think, occasional arguments within a couple are commonplace and normal. And as long as they are not excessively frequent, nor violent, discussions the appearance of discrepancies is natural when two people share any area of their life in a very intense way.
It is necessary to clarify that, when we talk about discussion, we mean a debate, an exchange of opinions that in no case includes either disrespect, aggression or violence.
In a couple that never discusses, it is very probable that one of the two of them is repressing his/her ideas or opinions , either for fear of creating conflicts and not knowing how to solve them correctly, or because of pressure from the other person.
In either case, this situation is impossible to maintain in time without, any day, one of the two parties not being able to hold out any longer. In this way, any small conflict, which could have been solved in time and without further consequences, is magnified and accompanied by other conflicts that have been restrained.
12 tips for managing partner discussions
To be able to solve problems it is necessary to address them , even if this means being forced to have a discussion, sometimes uncomfortable, with our partner.
With the intention of facilitating this moment, we will review a list of techniques or advice to manage a couple’s discussion in a satisfactory way. With these suggestions we will not avoid the discussion, but we will avoid the mistakes that we all tend to make and that cause great discomfort.
These are the guidelines for conducting a discussion in an orderly manner, trying not to let our feelings get the better of us and ending it as successfully as possible.
1. Knowing how to identify and express our own emotions
Our reactions and responses in an argument are not the same if it is driven by anger as if it is driven by sadness or frustration. Being able to identify what we feel and what its cause is is fundamental to know how to handle it and find a solution to that problem that generates this negative feeling.
2. Recognize if there is a real underlying reason
In many of the couple’s discussions that are heated because of a specific problem, such as performing some household task, they are a symptom of a larger underlying conflict.
This real discord or controversy feeds the little problems. Therefore it is necessary to know what is the real origin of our anger ; so that we can solve it at its root and avoid intense disputes due to unimportant conflicts.
3. Promoting dialogue, not avoiding it
As commented at the beginning of the article, it is necessary to assimilate that avoiding dialogue with the intention of avoiding a possible fight; as well as ignoring the conflictive situation or always giving the reason to the couple only are avoidance techniques that feed more and more frustration .
This will only help us to accumulate negative feelings that will eventually come out, sooner or later. The crux of the matter is to dialogue and exchange opinions as calmly as possible in order to have a constructive and calm conversation.
4. Formulate positive responses and from the person
There are many different ways of saying things and in discussions we tend to use an accusing tone which is neither helpful nor conciliatory.
Even though we are convinced that we are right, changing the tone and the accusatory expressions for others formulated in the first person and in positive, expressing our emotions will help us to make the other person capable of putting himself in our place.
5. Never disrespect
This is perhaps one of the most difficult points. Couple’s arguments tend to have a much more intense emotional component , so at certain times we may be tempted to let ourselves be carried away by anger, saying things we don’t really mean and even disrespecting the partner.
We should never underestimate the value of our words, since an argument in which anger moves our expressions can cause damage, both to the other person and to the couple, often irreparable.
In the same way, the use of reproaches or recriminations towards the other person, will never favour the development of a satisfactory dialogue.
6. Knowing how to choose the right moment
In most cases it is more advisable to postpone a discussion than to carry it out in an environment or place that is not suitable. We should find a moment of intimacy , in which both people feel comfortable to express their feelings without any hindrance, and without other people being present.
Similarly, it is essential to have enough time to talk. Rushing is never convenient in an argument, since one of us will most likely end up cutting it off abruptly and then it will be much more complicated to take it up again.
7. Do not make any decisions at the time
Making decisions “in the heat of the moment” and driven by our feelings is never a good idea. When we let these negative emotions make the decisions for us, we can make decisions that we really don’t want and then have to redeem or regret.
Therefore, it is better to end the discussion and reflect, once the mood has calmed down, if any kind of decision has to be made regarding the relationship or dynamics of the couple .
8. Forgetting about pride
Just as it is necessary to recognize our emotions, it is also necessary to assume that we are not always right. If we are the ones who have made a mistake, we should swallow our pride and apologize. We will probably be relieved afterwards and our partner will appreciate our efforts.
9. Do not bring up past problems
A very common mistake in couple’s discussions is to bring up problems from the past. It is essential to focus on the current topic or situation, leaving past conflicts where they are, or in case they generate a lot of concern in the person, to leave them for another time, since this will only reinforce the current tension .
10. Perform a “time out”
When we see that the discussion is getting too intense, the best decision is to have a “time out” where both of you temporarily walk away from the discussion. This small temporary distance will favour the development of another perspective on the problem and will relax the mood .
11. Knowing when to stop
Knowing when the discussion is not evolving and has stalled is essential so that you are not constantly repeating the same discussion patterns. At this point it is best to stop for a moment, a “time out” can be useful, and pose possible alternatives to the discussion or situation being held.
12. Resolving conflicts
After a discussion it is necessary to be able to reach an agreed agreement with possible solutions for the problematic situation. There is no point in arguing for hours in order not to come to any conclusion, since it is also quite possible that the conflict will recur.
Therefore, getting a satisfactory deal for both of you is one of the goals to set in a couple’s discussion.