Couples fight. It’s natural. We are all human. Fights and arguments are supposed to help address any problems in your relationships. Unfortunately, a fight that is handled incorrectly may result in a breakup. Rachel Zar, LMFT, a marriage, and family therapist who specializes in the relationship and sex therapy, give some advice as to what NOT to do in a fight.
Try not to insult one another.
Do not throw insults at each other. This can only escalate negative feelings of resentment and anger. Zar says, “In any long-term relationship, you’ll inevitably come to know the words that are most hurtful to your loved one.” Do not say words out of anger because you won’t be able to take back what you said after you’ve calmed down.
Don’t bring up the past.
One of the most common mistakes made in relationships, according to Zar is when couples bring up the past in fights. What was supposed to be a small misunderstanding may suddenly turn into a bigger fight. Zar advises, “When you stay focused on the here and now, conflict can lead to resolution instead of dissolution. Frame your complaint as “My current concern is…” or “Right now I’m feeling..” which will invite your partner to listen with curiosity.”
Public vs. Private
You may have the urge to call your friends and vent about the problems you have with your partner. While this might give you validation from your friends and may feel temporarily good, this may ultimately cost you. Zar notes that “tattling transforms your private issue into a public one, which may make your partner feel attacked.” She advises couples that if you need to vent, pick ONE trusted confidant or friend to vent to after the argument has died down.
Violence isn’t acceptable and it isn’t the answer.
Never resort to violence. Not even as a last resort. Always make sure that you have an open mind when you hit a bump in the road regarding your relationship. Remember it’s you and them against the problem not you vs. them.
Don’t walk out mid-argument.
Even when you are in a fight, it is important to make sure that you do not hurt, damage, and abandon your partner. “Unless you’re physically unsafe, taking off or threatening to end a relationship during a fight is not a good idea — it will leave your partner feeling abandoned and damage trust, especially if it happens repeatedly,” Zar says.
She advises that if you are seriously considering breaking up with a person, make sure that you are making the decision when you are level-headed and not clouded by judgment or anger. This way, you will know that you are making the right decision and you will “help your partner to take your concerns seriously rather than brush them off as arising from temporary anger,” Zar says.
Zar, R. (2020, October 1). What Not To Do in a Fight. Prevention,42-43.