Welcome to real life where relationships are sometimes hard and the struggle to come out of fighting with your boyfriend unscathed is near impossible. It doesn’t have to be a huge blow out to cause damage to a relationship, little tiffs or disagreements can chip away at the strongest of partnerships.
Why do you think that is? One would imagine a more ferocious fight would leave the most battle scars. The answer is that the same three elements discussed in this article will crop up whenever you are fighting with your boyfriend. Those elements include using accusatory language like always or never, making an argument a competition, and not leaving the past in the past.
Avoid using the twins – Always and Never. We’ve all said it during the heat of an argument, “You never make time for me.” or, “I’m always the first one to reach out; you never take the initiative.” It could be during smaller more innocuous statements such as, “You always leave crumbs on the counter,” or, “You never empty the dishwasher.”
Always and Never. Those are some fighting words because they aren’t true and will automatically put your boyfriend into a defensive position. The truth is you are frustrated with your boyfriend’s behaviors and lack of interest in things you deem important, such as an emptied dishwasher. You may see his lack of follow through as being disrespectful to you. In general, you are feeling underwhelmed by his performance and need to be heard before fighting with your boyfriend leads to the end of your relationship.
Instead of using Always and Never, try to address the truth of the issue. He isn’t doing something that you would like, and it’s best to get right to the heart of it. Let’s go back to, “You never make time for me.” Be honest and say how you feel. It hurts you that you haven’t spent much time with your boyfriend, and you would like him to be more involved in making time for each other.
Instead of “You never empty the dishwasher,” try to get across why it’s important to you and why it’s in his best interest to do it. You could explain that it really helps you out when you get help in the kitchen. You can let him know his help is very appreciated when he has emptied it. Men can be like puppies—tell them to sit, give them a treat, tell them they are a good boy, and they are bound to do the behavior again.
This is Not a Competition:
Not as toxic as the twins, yet turning an argument into a competition can also be a huge relationship killer. Fighting with your boyfriend doesn’t necessitate the need for a winner and a loser. A fight can be a way to open up a conversation about what’s going on under the anger, hostility, and resentment,
The goal of a conflict is to come to a resolution. It is not to tout your supreme debating skills or go toe to toe with your partner over every minutia. A fight is generally an indication that there is a problem in need of resolving, and there are two opposing views on the matter. Take a moment and realize fighting with your boyfriend is counter-intuitive and that, instead of both being hurt and angry losers, you can both win. Try to take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I fighting to be right or am I working on resolving the issue?”
Leave the Past – in the Past!
We’ve all done it. We’re in a fight, things are looking dark, the conversation turns, and you’re now fighting about how he “never empties the dishwasher,” even though he said he would. This is the number one reason for relationship breakups and breakdowns. If you find yourself fighting with your boyfriend and catch yourself slipping to a past event – STOP.
First of all, two fights in one are worse than dealing with the initial issue. Ask yourself why you are going back to the secondary problem – was it left unresolved, was it resolved but you are experiencing residual pain, or does the past incident seem to bolster your current argument?
If the issue was left unresolved, take note of it and table it until the appropriate moment—in the middle of a fight about his parents is not the right time.
If it was resolved but it is still painful, again, make note of it and resolve to deal with these residual emotions with either an open, honest conversation with your partner or possibly call or see a counselor.
If you feel the past incident could bolster your argument, for instance, you’re fighting with your boyfriend over his friends, you remember the last fight you had about his friends and decide to bring that back up.
The past is the past, it can not be changed, you can not go back in time and change what was said or done, so yes do the hardest thing, let it go or keep it until the timing is right.
Fighting with our partners is always difficult emotionally and can leave lasting impressions on us; however, we can learn to fight in more truthful and constructive manners that could build up and not tear down a relationship.