At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. LAO-TZU
You clicked on this for a reason. Is it because you and your spouse struggle with conflict? Do simple discussions often end in arguing? You are not alone. It is one of the most common reason couples come for counselling.
Couples don’t plan on arguing and I don’t know about you but whenever I have argued with anyone, I have never felt good about myself afterward. I much prefer to communicate in a more peaceful manner than the fighting and squabbling that come with arguing.
Here are some ideas to consider when you want to avoid arguing with your partner!
Before you do anything sit down and decide with your partner what kind of relationship you want. We are talking about values here. This following document will provide some questions to help you with that!
When you feel your emotions rising, anger, anxiety and fear, take a step back. Buy yourself some time. Take a deep breath, allow some silence. Practice mindful breathing and when you need it during those uncomfortable moments it will be that much easier.
Next, practice acceptance. Assess and accept you and your partner’s feelings. Seek clarification. Validate with your partner that you want to understand their feelings and perspective.
Keep practicing staying in the moment, notice your thoughts but keep returning to this moment with your partner.
Robyn Walser and Darrah Westrup in their book The Mindful Couple offer the following:
- You can still feel upset when you and your partner have a disagreement, but how you act during this time is incredibly important.
- Listen with understanding. Hear what your partner is saying, rather than preparing what you plan to say when he or she stops talking.
- Take several deep breaths, paying attention to each breath fully, before answering any comment that may seem provoking.
- Practice mediation on a regular basis.
- Practice being aware of every word that comes out of your mouth; make the words intentionally consistent with your values.
- Practice a moment of patience before reacting; choose your response instead of letting your response choose for you.
- When you enter into a conversation, imagine that you’re a large, still body of water, a calm lake. Engage from this position of calmness, noticing that even if it’s touched by wind or rain, the lake remains still below the surface.
Now you have some alternative ways to avoid arguing with your partner. But remember, we are human. If arguing shows up from time to time, accept this as part of your humanity and let it go.
Now you have some ideas about what to do next!
If you and your partner would like to focus on your relationship call me, Colleen Ginter, for an appointment at 807-630-8435.