Every couple goes through conflicts, and every couple argues. It’s how you handle those conflicts together that makes the difference.
You can either let your disagreements define you and break you down as a couple, or you can use them to learn more about your relationship. As a you learn about your relationship, you can eventually cut back on the conflict.
When you learn how to be more constructive in your relationship, you can start to create more love. Once you’re able to do that, you’re less likely to tear yourself, your partner, and your relationship down.
Let’s look at eight easy ways you can start cutting back on conflict right away so you can build more love with your partner.
1. Talk Before You Get Angry
Most of us know our own “warning signs” when it comes to anger. You might be irritated or hurt by something your partner does, but if you let it continue to build, that can lead to anger.
Instead of allowing yourself to get to that point, talk to you partner. Listen to your partner’s view and ask your partner to listen to your view without thinking about a response. Sit with your partner’s view and allow your partner to do the same. Avoid defending your view or pointing out how the other’s view is faulty. Work out whatever issue might be causing you distress before it becomes a bigger deal than it needs to be. Really listening to and really hearing each other can help you to avoid an argument and get to the root of an issue before it even starts.
2. Speak Softly
Many conflicts become worse simply because we use the wrong tone of voice. Yelling, or even talking loudly/aggressively/condescendingly can cause bigger issues when you’re unhappy with your partner.
Make a commitment to speak in a soft and gentle voice when you’re dealing with an issue. Some people go so far as to even whisper how they’re feeling. The style you choose is up to you and choosing to speak softly can make a big difference.
3. Understand You Don’t Have to Agree
Many conflicts in relationships occur because partners simply can’t come to an agreement on an issue. That causes arguments to get dragged out for days, weeks, months, and even years!
John Gottman says that couples will have “perpetual problems” that do not have an immediate solution. The problem is not the issue. The “solution” to the issue/problem is to keep talking about it continuing the dialogue adding information as you both shift and change.
Sometimes, it’s best to “agree to disagree.” You’re two different people, and it’s important to recognize you won’t always have the same opinions. While some things are worth fighting for, other times, it’s best to drop it.
4. Choose to Compromise
Compromise and negotiation aren’t always easy in a relationship. Most of the time, we want there to be a “winner” when it comes to a conflict resolution. That isn’t always the case. If you’re not willing to let a problem go, but it’s clear you’re not getting anywhere by arguing, decide whether it is more important for you to win or for your relationship to win. If the relationship wins, the choice is to compromise.
Your compromise may not give you everything you want, but it won’t give your partner everything they wanted either. Instead, it’s a good way to meet in the middle so you can both feel content. As you start to realize that the results of the compromise are probably better than you assumed, you’ll be willing to do it more often.
5. Address Underlying Issues
One of the best ways to cut back on conflict is to address any underlying issues you might have as a couple.
Are there things you’ve pushed under the rug for years? Are there arguments you keep having over and over? If so, it could be a sign of something deeper.
If you’re holding a grudge or you have resentment toward your partner, you’ll never fully be able to move forward in your relationship. Create more love by being open and honest about your issues. The more aware you are of those issues and the more willing you are to share and to listen, the easier it will be to resolve them and grow together.
6. Avoid the “Silent Treatment”
Many couples will avoid talking to each other for a period of time as punishment when they’re in the middle of a conflict. Almost nothing is more destructive than this.
Staying silent when emotions/tensions are high is dangerous. It allows your emotions to get even stronger and your anger to build. You may eventually say or do something you will later regret.
So, even when you don’t want to talk to your partner, it’s important to do it. When you talk to each other, even if feelings are hurt or you’re upset, you’re fostering more trust, strength, and love.
7. Forgive Every Time
Forgiveness is difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt by your partner in the past. Still, forgiveness is a key component in cutting back on conflict and prioritizing your relationship. It also shows your partner that you love them enough to move past the hard times.
You should expect them to do the same for you if you’re both committed to a more loving relationship.
Keep in mind that forgiveness is more than just saying the words. You must be able to let go of the way they hurt you in your heart in order to fully heal.
8. Take Care of Yourself
One of the best ways to cut back on conflict is actually to take better care of yourself. Develop stronger sleep habits, eat better, and exercise. When you’re not taking care of your own mental, emotional, and physical health, it’s much easier to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious.
Unfortunately, the stress often comes out negatively in your relationship.
When you’re feeling your best, inside and out, you can bring more to your relationship, and work harder on creating more love with your partner.
Relationships will always take work and dedication, and conflicts will arise. And by using some of these tips, you can cut back on conflict. When you do, your relationship can become stronger and more loving than ever