Every now and then an argument breaks out between couples. Nothing special here, we all fight and argue with our most beloved spouses all the time. Some more than other, and others almost never. But unfortunately these fights can become really nasty as I’ve noticed from experience, and from other couples. Emotions are high, people are tired, hungry and things get said that cannot be unsaid. If happening regularly these fights can be the beginning of a big fat red light starting to flash indicating serious troubles for you and your partners relationship..
The fights we had (mostly the first/second year with my wife) were ugly but necessary. We had to go through it to shape ourselves to become a couple that moves to the same rhythm together.
Still every now and then we will have one of those really dumb insignificant fights that is completely unnecessary. I like to call them unproductive arguments. An argument should always be productive, even if people are hurt or angry, the end result should always be a lesson learned or knowledge gained. This is a productive argument. With unproductive arguments the damage is still done and it hurts just as much. Ugly words are said and you end up not speaking until morning. But there is a time when you should have a moment or an awakening (normally right in the middle of this fight) when you should yell “STOP” and take a check point.
This moment normally happen when you start noticing any of the following factors that indicate that you are no longer having a productive argument:
- The argument is being dominated by references back to what you said in response to what she said in response to what you said. You both have completely forgotten or aren’t even arguing about the original issue anymore.
- You forgot about all the conflict handlers and its gloves-off baby! See this post that helped us tremendously in handling conflict and defusing arguments.
- Neither of you are listening anymore. You don’t really care or listen to what the other party is saying. You’re silently yet hastily going through a response to something he/she said just now in your head while appearing to listen. Totally unproductive.
The reason these fights happen are normally due to an underlying issue, agenda, insecurity or other occurrence. The trick is to identify this as quickly as possible and address it. This is a key factor in having a productive argument. In trying to find the true root cause chances are it will make either one of you upset even more, but seeing as you both are already fighting, arguing and angry you might as well go all the way and rip the entire scab off as it’s only now only hanging on by a little peace. You won’t regret it.