No relationship can be said to be perfect. As long as there are two different persons with different attitudes, behaviour and even background, there is bound to be at least, once a in a while, little misunderstandings. So, we are here to help outline possible ways of managing these misunderstandings and fights so that you can enjoy your relationship. Follow the steps below.

1. Relax.

Most times when you’re triggered, especiqlly in the middle of a misunderstanding, you may begin to experience increased arousal, as if you are heating and boiling up. This is whenvsome devilish inner voices will begin to tell you to destroy things like lashing out at your partner or even hitting your partner.

Do not be propelled by your impulses to respond. Your Response should be by calming yourself down, maybe by taking a series of deep breaths or counting back from 10.

You can get a hold of these moments and learn to pause. For example, you can choose between intimating and violating, between addressing your partner from a loving stance and talking calmly or from an angry, punitive point of view and yelling. Whatever your technique for getting back to yourself with the higher functions of your brain online, perhaps taking a walk or listening to music, find a way to get centered in yourself before you respond. Think about what your goals are for your relationship and make your actions ones that will move you toward those goals. And at the end, you wont have to regret.

2. Don’t lash back at your partner.

Due to long time together, and haven known each other so well, partners often know what to say to each other to trigger the other person. Resist making these statements or taking the bait set by your partner. Stay being who you want to be regardless of how your partner is acting. You can take responsibility for your own behavior and not hand over your personal power to your mate, i.e. “she/he made me act like that.” When you do this, you can feel good about yourself, because you did not end up saying a lot of hurtful things to your partner, which may have caused lasting damage to the relationship. Qnd worse still, heart break.

Do not forget to remember that if your ultimate goal is to be close to your partner, then being “right” and “winning the argument” is not a success. Never!

Often, it is more important to be close than to be right. In other words, you can choose in the moment to prioritize staying emotionally vulnerable and open to your partner over winning the argument.

3. Respond warmly with love.

Always try, no matter how difficult it to listen to your partner’s feelings, irrational as they may seem to you in that moment. Then, say something warm and understanding. Stress that it doesn’t really matter who’s right.

Laying down your arms does not mean giving up your power, or taking the easy way out. It is actually incredibly hard to do and takes a lot of personal strength, but it is worth it. It means taking a more vulnerable stance that won’t be perceived as threatening and will have a softening effect on your partner. Put a hand on your partner, look them in the eye and say something from your heart, like “I care more about being close to you than having this fight.” Sometimes, a small act of affection is all it takes to disarm your partner. Looking your partner in the eye, taking his/her hand and clearly communicating your goal of being close to him/her is an act of vulnerability that is hard to disregard. Taking this action will often melt your partner's heart and allow him/her to be more vulnerable and open with you.

4. Empathize.

You can put yourself in your partner’s shoes and empathize with what he/she is feeling. For example, if your partner is jealous, because you stayed out late with friends instead of doing something with him/her, you could say something like, “It seems like this makes you feel insecure. I’m really sorry about that. It is not my intention to hurt you or be untrustworthy. Spending time with my friends doesn’t mean I feel rejecting toward you, or that I don’t care about you. But I can understand how it looked that way from your perspective.”

5. Communicate how you feel.

“Name it to tame it” is a technique by which you label your feelings and actually calm them down. The first step is to tune in to what you are actually feeling in the moment. You can then acknowledge or share with your partner what is going on for you and how you saw the situation. You can take the risk of being honest and open about your feelings. For instance, you could tell your partner, “I felt hurt and put off by your jealousy. It makes me feel bad that you don’t seem to believe how much I care for you, and that makes me feel distrusted and pushed away. My goal is to be close to you, but I don’t want to give up my other friends; they are really important to me”

The more you communicate in this way with your partner, honestly and directly, yet with compassion, the closer and stronger your relationship will become. Each of you will be less likely to build a case against the other and to hold grudges that are just waiting to resurface during your next conflict. You will be relating as two equal individuals, with respect and caring. And perhaps you will even live longer and certainly with a lot more satisfaction from your relationship.

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