After posting Vishnu’s interview the other day and reading all the comments, I thought to myself, “Wow, the people who read my blog must think that I think I have the perfect marriage.” And while I love Vishnu, I’ll be the first to admit that our marriage is not perfect. It’s not always lovey dovey over here. We argue and get on each other’s nerves every now and then. It happens. And guess what…it’s normal! However, the thing I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is how to argue in a respectful way that allows me to get my point across while allowing Vishnu to do the same.
Allow me to share an example of how we used to argue. A couple of years ago when I lived in Tucson, Vishnu came to visit. One day, I came home from work and immediately went into the kitchen to make dinner because I had invited a friend over to eat. That’s when it started. I was stressed out because there were dishes to be washed and food to be made. Vishnu tried to help by washing the dishes. Well, let’s just say he was doing it all wrong (he really was but that’s a different story for a different day!), so I put down what I was doing and rewashed everything. We started arguing about that. Then while making dinner, I kept looking over Vishnu’s shoulder as he made the salad. We started arguing again. One thing led to another, and pretty soon we were yelling at each other about random things. Not good…not good at all.
Things have changed since then. While we’ve only been married a little over six months, I think we’ve learned some major lessons over the course of our entire relationship about the best ways to argue. And note, I’m not talking about how not to argue because let’s be honest, arguments are healthy when executed properly.
So although I’m not a marriage/relationship expert by any means, I do find that when I keep the following things in mind while arguing, it’s a lot less painful.
While it may be the last thing on your mind, always remember that you are with this person for a very important reason. You love them. And it may not seem like it at the time, but you love them a lot.
If you’re upset about something, say so! If your significant other asks you what’s wrong, tell him/her! By keeping your feelings bottled up, you’re only going to make things worse. Trust me on this one! It’s ok to take time to process your thoughts before speaking, but once you’ve done so, speak! Relationships grow when people communicate…both the good and the bad.
“Always” or “Never”
In the heat of an argument, it’s so easy to say, “You always do xyz” or “You never do xyz.” Let me tell you, there is no better way to put someone on the defense than by using these two words. Also, these words imply that someone behaves in a certain way 100% of the time, and we know that’s just not possible. Just don’t go there!
Don’t bring up the past. Nothing can be done to change it. Focus on the present issue. While it may feel good to validate your current point with past examples, you’re only asking for trouble. And remember, no one is perfect, therefore it’s likely you have also done things in the past that weren’t so great. This one will come back to bite you in the ass!
This one is important, especially when trying to move forward. Laughter is comforting and can really turn an argument into a learning experience. And really, who doesn’t like to laugh!?
Now when Vishnu and I argue, we try to stick to the issue on hand, respect the other’s opinions, and hash it out right then and there. This doesn’t always work, but hey, at least we’re trying!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, marriage is a challenge. And although I try to keep these things in mind when upset, it’s not easy by any means. But remember, perfection is not the goal. The goal is to grow, learn, and love together.
19 thoughts on “The Best Ways to Argue”
Haha iI saw that picture a few weeks ago and thought it was too adorable! Great tips and I think they can apply to any kind of relationship. Although arguments aren’t always the most pleasant, it’s a lot better in the long-term to say what you need to rather than bottle up your emotions with hopes that the other person will get a clue….it’s just building up resentment and that can’t be a good thing! Easier said than done, but I am def giong to keep these tips in mind during my next argument :)!
I love this post!! It goes back to the interview you did with your hubby and how he talked about communication. You can’t have a healthy relationship without it! My hubs and I have been marred for almost 1 1/2 years now and we’ve been together for 7 – it took us a while to really understand each other. But we always talk! We never go to bed arguing, or fighting, and no one ever sleeps on the couch. No relationship is ever perfect, but if I had to choose, I wouldn’t pick anyone else to argue with 😉 Hope you and Vishnu have a great weekend! <3
Is it bad that my first thought when I read this title is “the best way to argue is to WIN!”? 😉
What a great post! I think a little argument (or shall we say disagreement) is healthy in every relationship, romantic or not!
haha, that picture cracks me up!! That is perfect, it’s how I feel sometimes when I am arguing with my boyfriend. Thanks for the tips, I’ll have to show Ed 🙂
Such a good post topic! Lately I really feel like my boyfriend and I have matured in our argument styles. I’m really emotional and get worked up pretty easily, but I’ve really been working on keeping a level head and we’ve both been working on seeing where the other person is coming from. So much better!
Just married and already so wise! You are right, if you’re going to argue, there are good ways to do it and bad ways to do it. John and I have learned a lot about that over the past 7 1/2 years. But we have also learned about what drives the other person crazy. LOL. We definitely try, but sometimes we don’t play nice. I will have to keep this post in mind, next time we have a “skirmish.” 😉
that is one cute picture there. I think in any relationship, communicating is such a big thing because i have noticed that problems arise because we just assume things, keep it to ourselves and argue based on our assumptions. Loved your tips about putting the past away because it just agrravates the situation even more. Relationship/marriage is a huge challenge but any time i argue with my boyfriend- i get upset but realize i love that man! lets solve this rather than not talking 🙁 and once we sort out issues, it feels so much better 🙂 🙂
Heh, that cartoon at the end made me giggle because I’m clearly the cranky old man in our relationship 🙂 I think you’re so right about communication. Takes a while to get it right but it’s so much better than being angry and not talking!
So funny…Ali and I still get in fights about the dishes. You’d think we’ve learned something in the past 12 years but this apparently is not the case.
Glad that you and Vishnu have. 🙂
Oh we haven’t figured it out by any means. We’re still working on it…and prob will for the rest of our lives! Haha!
Fighting fair has been the hardest thing for me to learn with Tom. I have to admit in the past I’ve been very bad at it. But I think when you’re able to argue with someone without it getting out of hand, that’s a sign you’ve found the right person 🙂
So true! Although Vishnu and I argue every now and then, I take great pride in the fact that we are able to resolve our issues quickly.
Those are such great tips!! It’s a good reminder that no relationship is “perfect” but that you can work through things 🙂
Great post P. I love that picture of the old man. So sweet. My husband and I still fight dirty, I think he’s a lot more mature than I am and I’m trying to get better on how to fight. It just seems like everything annoys me… the way he empties the dishwasher, and I just don’t know how to keep things in perspective. Definitely something I need to work on. Good tips.
SUCH a great post!! I used to “argue dirty” with Cory when I was 19 or 20, and it got us no where! Now we’re MUCH better fighters 🙂
Vishnu and I (mostly me) were really bad during the first few years of our relationship. We’re MUCH better now too! Thank goodness!
Hi Parita! Delurking here… Your blog is cute and I particularly loved this post! My best friend is soon to be married and I am going to share this with her.. And that picture at the end is super cute! =)
Hi there! First of all, thank you for reading! And also please tell your friend I said congratulations! Such an exciting time. Also tell her it only gets better from there! 🙂