How to discuss relationship problems without fighting

Disagreement with your spouse is inevitable. No matter how much you and your spouse are socially, educationally, culturally, and economically similar, you are still two people from two different families and with two different worlds, since you are of two different sexes. It is important to note that one or all of these factors may cause you to occasionally encounter issues in your life that are against your will, and as a result, you will disagree with your spouse about them. Sometimes these differences are minor and transient, but sometimes they become severe and long-lasting. In this article, we will expound on how to discuss relationship problems without fighting. In this respect, we try to provide you with a variety of differences between couples and the best solutions to resolve them. Spare a few moments of your time and understand how to discuss relationship problems without fighting.

According to John Gottman, an American psychologist, and expert in the field of couples and marriage, the way couples deal with differences is divided into four different categories.

Moody couples

Moody couples easily get into arguments, but at the end of the day, they reconcile with each other. This group of couples have fiery arguments and argue with each other time and again. According to Gottman, although capricious spouses openly quarrel with each other, they argue intelligently and delicately, express their love and affection for each other, and reconcile lovingly. Their fiery arguments seem to be just a small part of their warm and romantic relationship. That is, their arguments are ultimately replaced with reconciliation, laughter, and love, and you should mind that such factors can lead to a fulfilling relationship. Therefore, these couples, regardless of the intensity of their arguments, can find a solution to their differences. Moody couples believe in equality, independence, and individuality in their relationship. They talk honestly about their negative and positive feelings, and their married life is usually full of excitement and passion. Gottman’s research shows that these couples’ frequent arguments are balanced by the positive interactions they have with each other, such as loving caresses, smiling, praising each other, and laughing. So moody couples are likely to stay together for years.

Validating couples

Couples who understand and support their partner’s point of view tend to argue more politely. In this case, they can solve their problems together. That is to say, such couples often come to an agreement and always try to solve their problems in a way that is satisfactory to both parties. The mutual respect that these couples have for each other limits the intensity of their argument. Validating couples put emphasis on communication and compromise, so even if they get into a heated argument, they still approve of each other and value each other. They also affirm each other through empathy and understanding. Their calmness, interest, and self-control are evident even when discussing controversial topics. More than that, validating couples try to convince each other and find a common ground in the end. When arguing with each other, they will let their partner know that they value his/her views and that his/her feelings and emotions are perfectly reasonable. When disagreements arise, validating couples understand that their feelings for each other will remain strong.

Conflict-avoiding couples

Some couples avoid arguments in their relationship, and they do not seem willing to quarrel at any cost. Couples who avoid quarreling tend to argue very gently and cautiously when they have a disagreement because they think it’s useless to show their anger and rage towards each other. The couple admits that they disagree with each other and rarely reconcile; As a result, their arguments come to a standstill. According to Gottman, conflict-avoiding couples arguably believe that their common values and points of view are far greater and stronger than their differences, and therefore consider differences to be insignificant or easily accepted by the two parties. These couples adopt an avoidant style in their married life. That is, instead of arguing with each other, they try to solve the problem on their own or hope that the problem will resolve itself over time.

Hostile couples

Hostile couples often quarrel fiercely, and their arguments are biting, full of insults, humiliation, and irony. Hostile couples can’t maintain a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative in their arguments, and the negative points in their relationship are clearly more than the positive ones. Humiliation, irony, defensiveness, and withdrawal are the hallmarks of their heated arguments. More than that, their relationship is unhealthy since they don’t listen to each other and, more importantly, they may have difficulty saving their relationship from falling apart. Some hot-tempered couples try to take their differences seriously, but this method is often ineffective. Others distance themselves from each other, constantly criticize each other, and whenever they have no control over their anger, they attack and criticize their partner and become defensive. These couples behave wrongly to each other and, therefore, have the worst relationship with their partner compared to the above-mentioned groups. (To know more see  how to communicate effectively in a relationship.)

In what follows we will shed light on how to discuss relationship problems without fighting.

Know your feelings

One of the most important elements of discussing relationship problems without fighting is focusing on your own feelings and asking yourself why you have such feelings. You may think you know your feelings well, but this is not always the case. Sometimes you get angry or hateful, but you don’t know why. Sometimes you think that your spouse refuses to do what s/he “should” do, but, most of the time, you don’t know exactly what you really want from your spouse or whether your request makes any sense at all.

Writing memoirs is an effective way to communicate your feelings, thoughts, and expectations so that you will be able to communicate your feelings and thoughts to your partner. This process sometimes causes important problems to emerge, but bear in mind that counseling and psychotherapy can be helpful in this case. (To read more see how to communicate better with your spouse.)

Improve your listening skills

When it comes to learning how to discuss relationship problems without fighting, listening is no less important than expressing your feelings. If you want to reach a solution, it is important to understand your spouse’s point of view, as well. In fact, as soon as you let your spouse know that you’re listening to them and understand them, it will help to find an effective solution.

In addition, listening skills help you bridge the gap between yourself and your spouse and understand why you disagree. Unfortunately, active listening is a skill that not everyone is aware of. Many people think that they are listening, when in fact they are thinking of preparing an answer, they are thinking to themselves how wrong the other party is or they are doing something other than trying to understand their spouse’s point of view. (To read more see non-judgmental listening.)

Practice expressing your feelings and thoughts clearly and decisively

Expressing your needs and feelings is an important aspect of getting over relationship problems. As you know, speaking the wrong language may ignite the anger of your spouse. The important thing to remember is to express your thoughts clearly to your spouse, without making them feel defensive.

Preserve your personal boundaries

One of the things that couples, unfortunately, do not take into account when arguing is the boundaries and privacy of their spouse. They easily disrespect their spouse and trample on the other party’s self-confidence. Not only is this morally wrong, but it may also have irreparable consequences for your married life.

In doing so, your spouse will no longer have value and credibility in front of you, and you will easily allow yourself to insult them in any other arguments. This will definitely be remembered by your spouse and will affect their affection for you.

Look for a solution

Once you and your spouse learn to understand and respect each other’s views, it is time to find a solution to your argument that is to the liking of both parties. When both sides understand each other’s views, they can come up with a simple and clear answer. If a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge from the other party’s point of view is the cause of the argument, a simple apology works wonders and an open and honest discussion can bring the spouses closer together.

In some cases, however, you need to try harder. If the argument is about a major issue and the two parties are unable to reach an agreement, there are two ways:

Sometimes the two sides agree that they disagree and find a way to compromise. But, sometimes a spouse who has a stronger belief in the correctness of his/her opinions, manages to take control of the situation. As such, the other party knows that next time s/he must submit to their spouse’s views.

In any case, the important point is that the two parties reach an understanding and try to solve their problem while respecting each other. (To read more see how to be your best self in a relationship.)

Distance yourself from each other

If you are after understanding how to discuss relationship problems without fighting, it is sometimes best to distance yourself from each other. Of course, when you have problems with your family members, defining new boundaries and accepting the limitations of your spouse can bring peace and tranquility back into your relationship. If your friendships are tainted by constant arguments and your friends don’t support you, ending this friendship can relieve you of the constant frustration and anxiety. In fact, only you can realize for sure if there is any hope of saving or improving your relationship. (To know more see how to gain self-respect in a relationship.)

Seek professional help

One of the most important things you can do to solve relationship problems without fighting is to get help from a psychologist or a couples therapist. Someone who only specializes in working with couples and solving marriage problems. You can talk to your psychologist or couples therapist about your problem easily and without worries. The therapist will thoroughly examine the issue without any bias or judgment and will offer you the best solution.

Be sure not to involve your family in your arguments or problems. In doing so, you may give a bad impression about your spouse to your family.

The Bottom Line

During your life together with your spouse, you may sometimes have disagreements with each other. These differences are perfectly normal on the one hand, but on the other hand, if they are constantly repeated and not controlled, they may cause more serious problems in your life. Couples are generally divided into 4 groups. Couples who get into arguments but can easily get over it. Couples who talk to each other without breaking the boundaries. Couples who rarely argue with each other, and finally couples who argue very intensely and far from respect. The first three groups can solve their problems more easily, but the last group must develop effective communication skills. Couples need to write down all their thoughts and feelings about their spouse and get to know them. Don’t forget that you should learn how to communicate effectively with your spouse. And seek solutions by talking to them. Husbands and wives are not allowed to disrespect each other. In cases where these strategies have not been successful, you must seek help from a couples therapist. Under no circumstances should couples share their private issues and differences with their families.

Read More

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