Even strong, happy couples argue and disagree about things. No relationship is perfect. But, it’s how couples deal with those disagreements that can make a difference.
Unsurprisingly, people don’t get into relationships looking forward to disagreements, but they’re bound to happen. Whether big or small, knowing how to handle disagreements with your partner can make for a much more secure partnership.
If you’re not sure how to do that, don’t worry! Following are some tried and true methods of how happy couples deal with disagreements.
By putting some of these ideas into practice, you can turn your future arguments into tools for strengthening your relationship.
Let’s take a look at five productive ways couples deal with disagreements.
1. They Take Responsibility for Their Actions
One of the biggest pitfalls of most arguments is one person pointing blame at the other. In some cases, one person will be at fault. But, that doesn’t mean the other person is perfect.
Happy couples take responsibility for their actions.
If you always tell your partner that they are the problem, and don’t accept any responsibility for your part, you’ll constantly hit an emotional brick wall.
Work with your partner and communicate as to what you both could have done better. When couples deal with conflict by taking personal responsibility, the outcome tends to be a more united one.
2. They Get to the Bottom of the Disagreement
When you do have a disagreement with each other, it’s important to focus on squashing the disagreement itself, instead of each other.
It’s far too easy to let a simple argument snowball into something much worse. This tends to happen in the heat of the moment when partners are triggered by each other.
When this happens, you may start thinking about other upsetting things your partner has done. Although irrelevant to the current situation, you may resort to saying things out of anger or spite.
Rather, focus on the argument at hand. Work together to “fight” the argument, instead of fighting each other.
3. They’re Open and Honest
It doesn’t take a relationship expert to know that communication is a key component for happy couples. This isn’t just a silly statement that people throw around. It’s actually a huge part of what makes a relationship work.
Open and honest communication is especially effective when you’re having a disagreement. Understand that your partner can’t read your mind. They may not know exactly why you’re upset or frustrated.
Try to get to a point where you’re comfortable being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts and feelings during a disagreement. If you both do that, it’s likely the argument will be resolved quickly and you can move on.
4. They Make Sacrifices
Not every disagreement needs to come out with a clear “winner.” Instead, focus on compromise and sacrifices.
Disagreements usually start because one person wants something from their partner. It may be wanting or demanding the other person to either start or stop a behavior.
Instead of expecting a complete change in your partner, meet them halfway with a compromise.
Don’t be afraid to make sacrifices. It’s not always easy to back down from what you want. But, when you think about the bigger picture, you’ll usually see that making a small sacrifice can allow for a stronger relationship in the long run.
5. They Expect Disagreements
Yes, happy couples expect that they’ll argue about certain things. If you purposely try to avoid arguments in your relationship, you could be creating a ticking time bomb.
By avoiding disagreements, you let negative emotions build inside you. Eventually, they’ll have to come out. That results in even bigger arguments often much more damaging to the relationship.
Instead, expect that you’ll have disagreements from time to time. Use the other tips listed here to work through them productively.
As you can see, the way happy couples deal with disagreements isn’t anything too complex. Really, the challenge is putting actionable steps to work for you.
But, by using some of the suggestions here, you can start to turn your disagreements into something that can strengthen your relationship instead of trying to tear it apart.
If you’d like support in living your best relationship, please visit my Couples Counseling page to schedule your free consult call today.