Relationships can be difficult at times, and valid reasons for arguments certainly exist. If you find yourself picking fights with your boyfriend or husband over small, inconsequential things, though, it’s time to change your ways. Otherwise, you’ll both tire of the constant bickering and break it off. Try these ideas instead!
Put yourself in a timeout.
If you feel yourself starting an argument, bite your tongue and put yourself in a timeout. Count to 10, and if your blood is still boiling, remove yourself from the situation. A timeout doesn’t have to be a bad thing: You can take a bubble bath, go for a run, or veg out and watch TV. Do anything to take your mind off the confrontation.
Write it down.
If you are fuming and know you are going to blow up at your boyfriend or husband when he gets home, write down your feelings. Use a diary or any notebook to spill your guts. Try to be as clear as possible about what you are feeling. Pouring your feelings out on paper will help you release your emotions without causing a conflict.
Identify your triggers.
Read back through your diary, paying special attention to the circumstances that led to your anger. You’ll see patterns emerge. Do you always pick fights after your husband has to work late? You could be worried that he’s stepping out on you rather than working, or you could just be missing him.
Assume innocence rather than guilt.
If you are always assuming the worst about your partner, make a conscious effort to give him the benefit of the doubt. Assume that he’s innocent, loves you and has good intentions. Find out what’s really going on before you start believing that he’s guilty.
Pick your battles.
If your boyfriend slept with another woman, that’s worth fighting over. If he left his dirty socks on the floor, that’s not. Look at the big picture and pick your battles before beginning any argument or confrontation.
Communicate and compromise.
Nothing gets resolved when you are angry. Once you have cooled down with a timeout, talk to your partner about what’s bothering you and why. Avoid being accusatory. If you have a legitimate issue, compliment him first by letting him know what you like about him, then voice your complaint or problem. Be willing to compromise to come to an understanding. Open communication is the key to relationship success.
Seek counseling, if necessary.
If you can’t break the cycle of picking fights with your boyfriend or husband, don’t be afraid to get professional help — individually and as a couple. People with psychological disorders or lingering emotional problems sometimes start arguments to create excitement in their lives. Perhaps you need counseling and/or medication to find balance and satisfaction in your relationship.