All too often a person will write in about the fact that "we are always fighting" or that "we argue a lot".
What follows is some information and some tools for having a happier more satisfying more peaceful life.
[quote=EvilEvilKitten] Stop arguing; yes this will be difficult but you MUST not argue. [/quote]
Do you argue a lot? Yes? No? What are the intensities of these confrontations?
Why do you argue?
* Is it to get your point across?
* That you or your partner want to be right about a problem or issue?
* That whatever the solution it is to be my way or else?
* That you want to be "heard"?
Arguing is certainly better than fighting, however, there are some rules to follow.
1. No personal attacks, maintain civility
2. State your case once and do not keep repeating your position or the main concerns.
3. Ask your partner to tell you what s/he heard you say. Do not be surprised if it is not
what you stated. People have a unique ability to either hear what they want, or, to interpret
and "translate" incorrectly as you are speaking. If this should happen, clarify what was said
4. Give your partner time to think about what was presented
5. It is fine to disagree, however, learn what the other person believes is important
6. This brings us to the how to of problem solving--negotiating
a. give the other person as much of what they want as you can without giving up the core of what you want
b. do not be a "right fighter", meaning "I" am right, "you" are wrong
Find common ground in which you both get the most of what you want and then can embrace your plan and go forward
Fighting is rarely if ever a good thing to do. It is also immature behavior IMHO. Arguing is generally less verbally combative and usually comes about because one or the other person wants to make a point or convince the other person to move to their side of the disagreement. Whatever the problem, do not let your frustrations escalate into physical contact! Do this and you lose. Do this and you demonstrate that you know of no other way to get your point across. Do this and you show blatent disregard for your partner. Do this and you lose all credibility.
Make certain you debate issues, not topics. As an example: if you are arguing about always doing what he wants to do yet the real heart of the matter is that he never listens to you and your wants and needs, then you are not going about this in the correct way. Stick to the issues.
A relationship is all about balance and meeting each other's needs. Each person is going to have preferences or not; desires, as well as hard and fast wants that are important or possibly deal breakers. It is important therefore that the two people work together for the common good and this means negotiating and perhaps doing a bit of compromising.
As has been said: state your case, once and then drop it. Discuss the matter, learn what each of you find important and why, then work out a plan that both of you can embrace and live with. If you fight then there has to be a winner and a loser. Do either of you want your partner to be a loser? Think about what this means and the ramifications, particularly if one of you must always be "right".
All this takes practice so do not expect that it will be easy. Learning new behaviors and replacing the old ways often is--although it is worth it in the long run.
7. Focus on only one issue at a time
8. Be a good listener. Do not interrupt; take turns speaking
a. You cannot hear the other person if you are speaking over them
b. Listen and learn, then comment
c. Give each other equal time
9. Do not bitch, moan, or always complain. Offer solutions
10. "Wear" each other's position for half an hour, then comment
Instead of stating "you are", "you do", "you keep", "you make", "you never"--
turn these accusatory and negative statements into positives--
Use "I am" in front of your statements about feelings
Do not yell. If you yell your words will often become lost in the intensity of how you say what you mean.
It is one thing to say what you mean and quite another to say what you do not mean. Keep to the point. Be specific, and, do not generalize actions or behaviors. Be positive. Find good things to say or compliment each other on instead of always talking down to or about the negative behaviors or attitudes.
Agree upon a time limit for discussions. (It used to be said by therapists to "never go to bed mad". Truth be told, I used to agree; now, I believe it is OK to go to bed mad because a good night's sleep can give a person a fresh perspective on things in the morning. Just hug and kiss each other before nodding off.) If the two of you are dating, then never leave the other without a hug, a kiss, a kind word.
Commit with each other to end all arguments and debates peacefully. Do not allow them to become open ended or ongoing, except for overnight.
When you negotiate a settlement to a dispute, agree to make modifications and fine tune things if necessary as time passes.
Lastly, wake up each day and ask yourself "what can I do to make his/her day better?" Then, do it.