Okay, so you and your significant other are not seeing eye to eye. Maybe he always leaves his socks lying on the floor or you forget to take your hair out of the shower drain. Maybe he wants to go to the beach for vacation but you would rather head to the mountains. No matter how serious or minuscule your disagreement, every one is significant. Even the smallest argument can bring down a couple if not approached and resolved correctly.
Think before you speak
While your natural reaction will be to immediately respond to the situation with whatever first pops into your head, resist the temptation! Words said cannot be unsaid. Rather than suffering the consequences of hurtful retorts that you do not intend, pause. Breathe and think before any words come out of your mouth. For on-going situations that you want to address, ponder what you plan to talk about before actually sitting down. Write down the points you want to confront your significant other about so that you do not get off track. Be aware of your tone and calmly bring the subject to attention.
Some things are just not worth it
While you should always have open communication with your loved ones, some things you will just have to let go. Life is not perfect and will not always go your way. When you are getting fed up with some small issue, check your attitude and try to adjust your perspective. Focus on the positives of your relationship and situation rather than dwelling on the negative ones. Some examples of things to let slide include:
– not immediately answering phone calls or texts
– needing alone time
– little annoying habits
– who does more chores around the house
– not spending every moment together
Compromise when necessary
Yes, some issues are small and require more personal work than mutual resolution. But other do require serious discussion or else the same problem will persist or more serious problems will arise. If you determine that you need to discuss a certain issue with your significant other, be open to compromise. All healthy relationships require a little bit of compromise, whether that be your compromise to let an issue go or a mutual compromise to make a change. Healthy compromise takes place when two individuals talk about an issue, put forth their respective opinions on the issue, and reach a common conclusion that both parties can live with. Compromise may require you to step away from your preferences, but should never require you to sacrifice your personal morals, beliefs, and values.
Check in with yourself
After living with the issue or the compromise to the issue, identify if you are still holding onto any residual anger or frustration. Honestly approach your feelings and determine whether those feelings are a result of personal selfishness or of authentic wrongdoing. There is a difference between struggling to come to terms with a change and that change being a bad one. Try to adjust your attitude, particular in regard to how you think about the issue with which you are struggling. Coach yourself to not think poorly or fatalistically about the reality of the situation, rather looking at the positives and celebrating any healthy growth you see in yourself and your significant other.
If you are still struggling with the conclusion of a certain disagreement after some time, talk to your spouse about it. Maybe the compromise you originally decided on was not a fair one and needs to be reworked. You might find that he is feeling similarly unhappy with the conclusion. Determine what aspects did and didn’t work, and only make changes to those that require it. It may take four or five trys until you discover a conclusion that you both can agree and live with, so don’t become discouraged if your first couple attempts feel like failure! Relationships are beautiful, but require intentional effort and determination in order to survive and thrive.
This too shall pass
Even if you are extremely frustrated with your significant other amidst the conflict, tension will lessen over time. After several days, hours, or even minutes, you may realize how petty your disagreement really is. Constantly refer back to the foundation of love, respect, and affection you and your significant other have built up over time. Tap into those memories as a source of encouragement. Your love can carry you through the hard times as long as you maintain a healthy approach to conflict and know when to let things slide.