A fight can give a purpose of expressing your deep feelings to build a more unified life together. When you are able to resolve a fight with your partner, you will achieve a stronger and healthier relationship/marriage. Therefore, a fight in itself is actually not a bad thing, but it is how you resolve the fight that will determine whether it is good or bad for your relationship/marriage.
HOW A FIGHT HAPPENS
Fights between couples often happen because you have differences with your partner, and therefore a fight can give a purpose of expressing your deep feelings to build a more unified life together. However, many believe that a fight can in fact destroy the relationship/marriage, and therefore, some try to avoid it, thinking that it will help to keep the peace in the relationship/marriage.
We forget that avoiding a fight will hinder a deeper understanding of each other, which will make your relationship/marriage shallow or unable to grow stronger and healthier.
Some common contributing factors to a fight include:
1. Emotional shortage. Some people are unable to emotionally respond to others. They may not be emotionally educated or modelled by their parents in their upbringing. The emotional shortage can be a significant problem because a relationship/marriage is an emotional relationship.
2. Differences in values, beliefs and views, especially if it’s a core one, which some often do not want to compromise.
3. Goal differences. You might have different goals or have changed goals along the way of your relationship, which may be far from the goals you have at the beginning of your relationship.
4. Changing situations. The situation of your life can sometimes change involuntarily. Some people cannot cope with these life changes, which often wears down the relationship/marriage., e.g. mental illness, physical illness, losing a job, disabled child, etc.
5. The “content” versus the “process”. Sometimes we try hard to explain what it is that created the fight in the first place and get caught up in it, rather than exploring what and how we say or do can make each other feel. The core issue of a fight is in the message that the other person receives from what you say and do to each other, rather than the content of the fight itself.
HOW TO RESOLVE A FIGHT
Resolving a fight in a relationship/marriage is possible providing both parties want to sit down and discuss it together. Remember, it takes two to tango. Attending and resolving a fight gives a purpose of expressing deep feelings to build a more unified life together and to achieve a healthier relationship/marriage.
A fight can give a purpose of expressing your deep feelings to build a more unified life together, providing both parties:
- Focus on the goal of resolving, rather than the faults or the problems. This is an essential factor to help you to be more open to listen and understand each other, and it will help you to approach it in a positive way.
- Stay only on one problem at a time and do not bring other issues that do not belong to the issue you are trying to resolve.
- Speak straight to the point. This will require openness, vulnerability and transparency. In doing so, it will give you more chance to understand each other precisely. Trying to talk around the bush won’t help you or your partner resolve the real issue.
- Identify your own contributing factor in this fight. This will challenge your pride, but as a result, it will help you and your partner to be less critical of each other, thus enabling you to resolve your fight better.
- Use the “I” statement rather than “you” statement. Using the “I” statement helps the other person not to feel attacked or accused or cause them to react, but instead to be more inclined to respond. E.g. “I feel frustrated because…..”, instead of “You are always doing …, you make me frustrated…..”
- Avoid the word “why”, “never” or “always”, as these words will trigger the other person to be defensive. Instead, you can replace it with, “Can you please help me to understand what makes you do that or think that way…..”, or using the word “often” or “most of the time”.
- Agree to disagree – sometimes you cannot resolve a fight, and you need to agree to disagree and learn to accept it and move on for the sake of your relationship/marriage.
8. Accept that sometimes, we cannot change some situations or your partner, which means you are the one who needs to change yourself. This is with the hope that it may help your partner to change too, particularly when you have tried the same approach for a while and yet not seeing any change.
SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS:
1. The tone of voice – your tone of voice will make a huge difference in resolving a fight, e.g. an angry voice won’t help resolve a fight, particularly when you say that you are not angry.
3. The non-verbal component – your body language will send messages, and sometimes it will speak louder than your words; therefore, your body language needs to be congruent with your words.
4. Do not explain for too long, because there is only so much the other person can retain what you are saying, so try to say the key issues only. Sometimes elaborating your point too much will create more misunderstanding.
5. There are times when people cannot resolve their fight alone. Do not wait until the fight in your relationship grows deeper. Seeking professional help through an experienced Marriage/Relationship Counsellor/Psychotherapist will help you get a better result before it’s too late.
Are you struggling to resolve a fight in your relationship or marriage? Or are you unable to see a good outcome to a fight in your relationship/marriage? What is your deepest fear in resolving a fight? Please use this column to ask any questions you have regarding your struggle or feel free to contact us. We are happy to hear from you.