There is no one who has a complete mastery of matters love till date.
The rich and the poor; the old and the young; the educated and the uneducated; believers and the non-believers, all are still struggling to understand this phenomenon called love. And, it is most likely that no one will ever find a fit-all solution to relationship or marital problems.
And as someone once said, disagreements must take place in relationships; none is immune to fall-outs as long as the human personality is as diverse as the number of people on planet earth.
Now that it is a proven reality – that you must argue in relationships –, what should you do to ensure that your fall-out is solved amicably; without one losing an eye, a relationship or dignity?
Well, let me issue a disclaimer that I am not professionally qualified to give relationship advice, though I have come to learn one or two things about matters conflict resolution over the course of my years in and outside the dating scene.
Now, the following are things you should never do, whatsoever, when wrangling with your partner:
-Demean him or her-
You may be angry. You, probably, have a right to be mad. But, the right that you do not have is to lower the dignity of another person, especially of one whom you claim to love. When you crush his or her self-confidence; his or her self-esteem, believe you me, he or she will never – again –, look at you the same way he or she used to.
It is quite tedious using the pronouns he or she to refer to male and female persons respectively. For the sake of this article, allow me use “she”. I have no sexist intentions in mind, though.
When you use words such as “good for nothing” “broke”, “dirty”, “uneducated”, “fool”, “childish”, among others, you are effectively preparing a recipe for failure in the relationship. Why? Because there is another man somewhere who sees her as a “gem”; a “clean” woman with elements of unmatched wisdom.
At the end of your argument, where you’ve name-called her, she would text that “caring” man: “Where are you? I need to talk to you”. That is how she would be gone, and never to return, at least emotionally.
-Make comparisons to an ex-
There is a reason why things did not work between you and Mary or Grace. There is every right reason why you are currently in a relationship with Joyce. You are with Joyce because your affair with Mary was irretrievable, meaning “she wasn’t all that perfect to fit in your plans”.
Armed with that knowledge and experience, you should know better – that comparing Joyce to Mary during an argument –, would not only break her heart, but make her constantly think that you haven’t moved on from Mary.
“Mary was calm during arguments, and she would not rudely interrupt me while speaking.”
Yes, that was Mary. It is now Joyce’s turn. Let her vent out, even as you gradually teach her how to hold peaceful and constructive arguments. Women learn fast, so do men.
At the end of the day, no woman or man would want to go to bed feeling lesser of a spouse to their current partner than how they were in their previous relationship(s).
-Quickly say: ‘Let’s end this relationship’-
I am guilty of this. Every time I fell out with my ex-partner, and I saw signs of not winning the argument, I would say: “This relationship is irredeemable; we are constantly quarreling. Let us just end this thing up before it worsens,” I would tell her.
Of course, a few women, who I had dated in the past, would shed tears, and tell me: “I love you so much. Please, don’t leave me. I won’t be able to live without you.” I would feel happy, when being begged, and, consequently, take advantage of that to tell them: “Don’t repeat what you did. This is the last time, we’re arguing over that. If it happens again, I swear, I would ditch you”. And yes, I would emerge the victor in the argument; and, of course, with an inflated ego.
I tried this “let’s end this relationship” threat with my immediate ex-lover, who was 2 years older than me. And you know what I got in return? Being told: “yes”, and, thereafter, blocked on mobile phone.
The truth is: I wasn’t ready to lose her. But, I lost her. Why? I was extremely used to issuing threats, which, of course, I did not mean; they never boomeranged on me at any given time. Instead, the women would latch at my love and plead for “forgiveness”. This one [my immediate ex], knew her value. She left.
The long and short of this is: if you are not ready to lose her, remove that “let’s end this relationship” threat from your mind, completely!
-Refer to past disagreements when solving current problem(s)-
There is power in the phrase “forgive and forget”. In other words it means let bygones be bygones.
Why shouldn’t you bring up premises of past arguments to a current disagreement? Because you would lose track of the issues which resulted in your current fight, and when that is done, no constructive solution of the current problem would be arrived at.
Picture this: You are arguing over why your partner came home late (11pm), despite promising she would arrive home by 4pm.
During your argument, as she tries to justify her lateness, you tell her something like: “I have always suspected you are cheating on me; you remember, when we were dating, you used to stay awake till late in the night while flirting with other men on phone?” Red flag!
She would immediately go on her defense, trying to convince you why she has never cheated on you; and that your suspicions during your dating times were founded on your fears that she was unfaithful because she had just busted you flirting with other women a few days to your gripe.
Now, the argument swiftly drifts from her lateness… to who is or was unfaithful. At the end of the day, if you wanted to tell her that you do not approve of her lateness, you would end up justifying why you are faithful. A big miss in the chase for making her better understand what you like and dislike.
-Resort to violence-
She can be a pain in the neck, that I know. He can be a hard-headed drunkard, that I understand.
Regardless his personality, regardless her flaws, violence is a big no! No relationship ever recovers after taking the violence route.
It either ends in one dead, or one jailed. In some cases, it results in children being left parentless.
When arguing, and you feel a strong urge to win the fight through violence, quickly leave that scene. Never return till you are sure you’ll hold a sober conversation.
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