It goes without saying that constant fighting can destroy a relationship. Besides the anger and the resentment, constant fighting means you’re slowly chipping away at the relationship. In the end, of course, it will simply crumble. If you love who you’re with, you’ll need to figure out how to save your relationship. Seek counseling or talk to relationship experts. You can also find ways to curb the fighting on your own:
Step away from the argument
When you’re in a heated argument with a spouse, it’s very easy for the argument to spiral out of control. It can escalate to hitting each other, throwing things or calling it quits. These are hurtful decisions made in the moment of anger. Before your fighting spirals out of control, step away. Say you need some time to think and walk away. It’s okay to just pick up your keys and take a long walk. Let yourself calm down. Go over your points, and go over your partner’s points. Now’s your chance to be more objective. When you’re calmer, and when your partner is calmer, agree to sit down and discuss your points.
Once you’ve reached the point where you’re shouting or lashing back just to hurt, you have basically crossed the line where a rational discussion is no longer possible. If you explode, you have reached your tipping point and your ability to problem solve drops. Pause in the middle of an argument, take a deep breath and count to 10.
Talk about how you will argue
This takes practice. However, if you and your partner talk about the best ways to argue without exploding, hurting each other or causing permanent damage, it can be a big help. Think of yourselves as a team that needs to tackle the issue of fighting. The next time you argue, your agreement on “how to argue” will be in the back of your minds, and you will instinctively start steering your fight towards a discussion. When you’re both calm, you can then address how you acted in the argument to see if both sides “argued” better and more rationally. If you truly care for each other, the goal here is to learn to argue effectively so that you can make your points without ending the relationship.
Compliment your partner
Yes, in the midst of an argument, if you are going to criticize, say something your partner is doing well before you make the critique. “I appreciate that you do this. In fact I really like that you do this. However…” If your partner feels like they are only being criticized, then resentment builds up because they don’t feel like they’re doing anything right. And they’re less likely to listen. List the things they’re doing right.
“That’s a good point.”
It’s very rare that one person is entirely right and that the other person is entirely wrong. If your partner has made some good points in the argument, admit it. This doesn’t mean caving or giving in. It means you acknowledge that your partner has some good points too. Verbally articulating your partner’s good points will make your partner more likely to listen to your points.