Top 5 Tips On Avoiding Unnecessary Fights With Your Partner

We’ve all been there. You come home from a long day at work or your partner comes home to you; you’ve had a tough day dealing with kids or school or work or family or one of the millions of everyday issues we face on a daily basis. You are looking forward to seeing your partner because you love them, but you are not in the mood for a fight and even the smallest thing can set you off. You’re tired and irritable from the day you’ve had, you are on edge, and you feel as though you could snap at any moment. You see your partner, they make a comment without thinking, you take it the wrong way and a fight is on the horizon.

Maybe you’re in a great mood and had a fantastic day, but your partner had a tough day at home or at work, dealing with whatever was on their plate for the day. You don’t know what kind of day they had. As you’re reunited after a long day, you immediately make a comment about dinner or the laundry or something completely harmless but feels so personal and attacking to them. A fight is about to break out.

All of a sudden you find yourself in the midst of an argument that serves no purpose. You may have been rubbed the wrong way simply because something else that happened during the day set you off and now your partner is here to take the brunt of your frustrations. Or your partner had a tough day, and you made a comment with a completely different intention than was perceived and they go into defensive mode, sparking a spirited bout that didn’t need to occur at all.

Fights that result from you or your partner being in a bad mood are absolutely unnecessary and often just cause discomfort and upset. Sometimes it may give you a rush of endorphins momentarily while you’re arguing, but after some time it becomes apparent that the argument is about nothing important. The fight could’ve been completely avoided if the situation had unfolded differently.

There are five important tips to keep in mind when looking to avoid unnecessary fights with your partner: 

1. State Your Intention (If You Have One)

When you came home to your partner, you’ve had a long day and are ready to eat dinner and relax for the rest of the night. However, dinner is not made, and you find out that your partner had a tough day as well and hadn’t had the time to get around to making or ordering something before you got home. You are frustrated and you ask them why they didn’t take care of dinner, knowing you’d be home soon.

They immediately lash back and you two are in the middle of it. You didn’t mean to upset or insult them. You’re just tired and want to eat and spend quality time with your partner. You can still turn things around and stop the fight before it escalates and becomes unnecessarily drawn out.

Make it clear to your partner that you didn’t mean to upset them with your comment. Communication in situations like this is key, in that they don’t know what you’re thinking, and you don’t know what they’re thinking unless you tell one another.

When your partner snaps at you, make your intention for making the comment clear. Let them know you’ve had a long day and that you didn’t mean to cause an argument and agree to make a dinner plan that’s something easy and manageable for the both of you.

Letting them know your intention allows both of you to slow down and think before either you or your partner adds more fuel to the fire.

2. Stop Yourself for a Moment

When the conversation starts to get heated, stop yourself at the moment. Just stop and take a pause. Take a deep breath, breathe slowly, and allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.

Putting a pause in the conversation allows room for thinking and rationality. You and your partner both know you’ve each had a stressful day and just want to end the day on a good note with one another. You both know that arguing about dinner will not be conducive to achieving this goal, because arguments like this tend to snowball when they’re not nipped in the bud at the very start.

There are educational proof and research that reveal the power of stopping, pausing, and breathing in the midst of a conflict. It will help ease the tensions in the room and will offer both you and your partner a quick moment of peace and calm, in which you can both think more clearly.

When you pause, this also lets your partner know that you’re not invested in arguing and that you want a quick and painless resolution.

3. Step Away from the Situation

Before the small argument turns into a blowout, step away from the situation. This can look like taking a deep breath and walking into a different room for a moment. Explaining your move to your partner is very important as well, so they don’t think you’re simply blowing off the conversation. If you need space in order to gain clarity at the moment, stepping away is a good skill to utilize.

Stepping away allows your partner to have space as well. Creating space in the conversation will give each of you the time to be alone for a short moment. This moment of time and space supports a more peaceful and calm conversation because once you’ve had a moment to step away from the situation, you’re in a different mindset.

Taking a moment away from the conversation creates an environment where calm and clarity can be found and further nurtured in the conversation once it’s returned.

Let your partner know you need a moment to yourself, step away, gather your thoughts, and remind yourself that the issue at hand is a small one and isn’t worth arguing over.

Your energy is not worth being wasted on something as small as dinner, and you and your partner can come to a peaceful resolution when you reconvene after stepping away.

4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Sometimes it is helpful to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective. You don’t know what kind of day they’ve had because the conversation never got to that point, but you can assume from their immediate reaction that their day may not have gone so smoothly.

With this in mind, you can try to view the conversation through their eyes. You know you’ve had a long day yourself, so it’s not hard to imagine how they may be feeling as well. Think about the comment you made about dinner and ask yourself how you’d feel if they’d asked you the same thing right when you walked through the door.

This gives you the opportunity to view the conversation from both sides. An apology may be in order; if you truly are in the mindset that you don’t want to argue, you’ll need to deliver that apology calmly and sincerely.

You know that if you were them, you’d most likely want to hear an apology for the comment, even though you didn’t have a bad intention. Just let your partner know that your intention was not a negative one, and you didn’t mean to upset them and cause distress.

This will often resolve the conflict more smoothly, and by putting yourself in their shoes, you are more able to understand how they’re most likely feeling at that moment.

5. Remind Your Partner You Love Them

Reminding your partner that you love them is an excellent way to gain perspective.

Instead of letting your partner’s snapping get under your skin, remain calm, and simply remind your partner that you love them and you weren’t intending to cause a fight.

Sometimes taking a calm approach is the best course of action. When you give off the impression that you are cool, calm, and collected, you will be more likely to actually feel that way, and you’ll exude the peace you are trying to convey.

Reassure your partner that they didn’t do anything wrong, tell them you had a long day, and comfort them when they tell you theirs was tiring as well. Tell them you love them, remind them that the small issue at hand is not something worth getting into a big blowout over, and let the calm wash over the two of you.

This reassurance will help calm your partner down and will remind them of the big picture. It’ll remind you of the big picture as well.

Small fights are never fun and with these tips in mind, they can be more easily and painlessly avoided. Stating your intention, stopping yourself at the moment, stepping away from the moment, putting yourself in their shoes, and reminding your partner you love them are all strategies that help can extinguish a fight before it begins. You and your partner love each other and are partners for a reason; don’t let the small stuff get in the way of that.

Image of a couple holding hands
CaptioPhoto by Tobe Mokolo on Unsplash 
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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