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Fighting For Love

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Something’s happened that hasn’t happened before. It’s put an end to all the late night talks, the giggling and feeling young. Even though you may feel like it is, all is not lost. Sunny Rodricks brings you tips on rekindling the spark after your first fight

You’ve just had a major tiff with your partner. Your world has come crashing down and it seems like this is end of your happy relationship. It’s a shame because it was just beginning to blossom... Your first fight can feel like it is the end of the world. Well, it’s not the end; however, it does have strong and lasting effects on your relationship. How you manage it can set the course for the rest of the relationship. Here are a few tips on dealing with your first major fight, to help you move on and build something special.

Don’t go for the “loaded gun”
The very first thing that couples do after their first big fight is think and re-think about breakups and call their exes. The “loaded gun” element is when you threaten your significant other with a breakup or do things you don’t mean. This is a big ‘no’ after your first fight. Calling up a former partner for reconciliation will lead to hurt and  sometimes this cannot be healed. It takes away from the issue at hand, and will leave a sour feeling with your partner.

Express for the relationship’s sake
Happy couples argue. Period! It’s a misconception that happy coupes rarely fight or don’t argue at all. Fights are an inevitable part of any relationship; the way in which you deal with it defines your relationship. Always express what you feel and why you feel that way. And, be ready to accept that you may be wrong. But, while expressing your feelings, don’t force them on your partner. “When you didn’t introduce me to your friends, I felt left out.” Using this template is a great way to express how you feel or have felt.

Refrain from name-calling
Name-calling doesn’t, hasn’t and will never achieve anything. What you are doing is lashing out. And that helps neither party. It’s one of the worst things you can do when you are in a relationship. Happy and mature couples rarely get into knock-down, drag-out fights or name-calling. They opt for healthy discussions and fair fights. If you respect the relationship, control the language you use and ensure that name-calling, foul language, accusations and personal attacks stay out of the argument. A fair fight is addressing the issue at hand.

Don’t go public
Make it a point never to fight or argue in the presence of others, on social media, over text or on a phone call. If the fight is affecting you or your partner emotionally, discuss it in a healthy manner, face-to-face, in order to avoid miscommunication. Also, when you argue and fight in front of others, there’s a tendency that the person might take advantage of the situation, making every effort to keep you apart. Your mutual understanding and the quality of communication will make you stronger as a couple.

Set ground rules for future arguments
Yes, identify behaviours that you are not okay with — for example, name-calling — and explain it to your partner, and encourage them to do the same. If you can’t handle yelling or shouting, make it clear at the beginning of your relationship. The ground rules could be specific — for example, “We will not interrupt each other when one is giving his or her perspective.” — or generic, looking at the bigger picture — perhaps, “It’s not about being right. It’s about getting to common ground and resolving the problem.”

Remember that you are happy ‘together’
Always remember you are a team and have cherished every moment that you’ve been together. From late night parties to funny poses for the camera and cooking food for one another, you have been there and done it all. One small blip (and it is small in the scheme of things) doesn’t erase the innumerable moments of joy and happiness. Once you forgive each other, leave all the words, emotions and tears in the past, because you’re now moving on to a happier future.

So, you’ve just come out of your first major fight and everything seems to be on track now. What should your next step be? Remember the game ‘Never have I ever...’? Use something similar so that you don’t get into trouble and sour your beautiful and happy relationship. Promise never to:

  • Complain: Don’t use phrases like, “you always” or “you never” when arguing or fighting, because it puts the other person on the defensive, and it’s rarely accurate.
  • Use sarcasm: Avoid saying, “Oh, that’s just great!” or “That’s ridiculous!” to your partner during a disagreement, as it is a passive-aggressive way of making a point, and it doesn’t address the issue clearly.
  • Be intolerant: Never tell your partner to “calm down” during an argument, as it essentially means, ‘I can’t tolerate you feeling upset.’ Instead ask (sincerely!) what he/she is angry about.
  • Hide from the issue: Don’t say things like, “Let’s just drop it,” or “I don’t want to argue anymore.” It will seem like you are running from situations and don’t want to solve the problem.
  • Have unrealistic expectations: Avoid saying, “I wish you made more money,” or “I wish you would understand my situation.” This only reflects that you have high expectations from your partner, but don’t want them to have the same kind of expectations from you.
  • Use blackmail or abuse: Never ever hint at a breakup just to get your way. Besides coming off as commitment-phobic, it is a form of abuse.
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