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How to Stop Fighting in a Relationship & 16 Steps to Really Talk

Relationships aren’t always filled with bliss, as there will be struggles no matter what. So it’s vital to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship.

how to stop fighting in a relationship

Arguing is an inevitable part of every relationship. You will not always get along. You will clash. There will be tensions running high. You will disagree. The thing is, all of that can happen without fighting. But all said and done, it is possible to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship.

If anything, this is an important life skill to learn if you ever want to stay with someone for the long haul. We often see so many fights and misunderstandings that end a relationship without proper communication.

While no relationship will ever be perfect, you need to learn to manage conflict and arguments. If you don’t, not only will your relationship fail, but no relationship of yours will ever last.

So, if you’re looking to stop fighting in a relationship, that’s fine. But instead, the goal should be to change how you fight. If you stop disagreeing altogether, you lose your connection and communication.

[Read: Why fighting is important in a relationship… if you do it right]

Why you should stop fighting in a relationship

We know you came looking for this feature because you want to stop fighting in a relationship. It is a significant first step. Whether fighting gets you down or you think your relationship is overrun with yelling and screaming, you can do it.

But, before you start actively learning how to stop fighting in a relationship, it is essential to know precisely why fighting isn’t the healthiest way to deal with issues that arise. First off, it is exhausting. We’re sure you already know that.

When you are in the heat of a fight, you have adrenaline pulsing through your veins, but afterward, you are emotionally and probably physically exhausted. Not to mention, constant fighting and arguing are precisely what leads to toxic relationships.

So you should learn how to manage arguments if they do happen.

The most important thing to remember is that when you fight in a relationship, you aren’t communicating. You are letting out your anger and reactions quickly.

Whether it is bickering or a screaming match, these things push you apart as a couple, until the walls get higher and higher that you can’t back come back from it any longer. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship and not feel like you are losing out]

Communication: The heart of any relationship

When you fight, you give in to anger or frustration and can end up saying something you regret. Things cannot be unsaid, and eventually, apologizing for what you said at the moment won’t mean much if it keeps happening.

Of course, some people may say when you fight in a relationship, it means you have passion. You might watch Noah and Allie in The Notebook and believe their dysfunctional fighting is what made them so intense and lasting, but that’s a story. [Read: 8 famous movies that teach bad lessons about love]

In reality, it is rare for a couple wobbling on the edge of fights regularly to last. When you take the time to cool off instead of fighting, you can come together safely and actually work out whatever the problem is instead of making it worse.

So really, communicating with your partner is so important because if not, your relationship will never work out. Communication is how you talk things through with them and meet halfway.

When you both are able to express your feelings and expectations in the relationship, this is a great start to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a way better love]

Are arguments really THAT bad?

Okay, hear us out. Even as the purpose of the feature is to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship, arguments really aren’t that bad. When you fight healthily, a fight doesn’t create walls and build resentment between both of you *if you do it right*. That might sound absurd, but there is a right way of fighting.

For instance, attacking and insulting your partner is a big no. Also, stonewalling and passive-aggressiveness is just unacceptable. These things are the opposite of what healthy communication is. You both need to be capable of expressing what you feel without attacking, demanding, manipulating, or accusing the other.

It takes a lot of practice as a couple, but you’ll eventually get to the point where you can both have a safe space of expressing what made you feel hurt by the actions of the other without seeing it as a form of attack. [Read: Relationship arguments – 27 dos and don’ts to remember]

How to stop fighting in a relationship

You may be eager to stop fighting in a relationship, but changing such a natural and learned behavior within your relationship is not going to be easy. It isn’t just you who must relearn how to handle disagreements. You can’t be the only one trying to communicate better.

You can kick off this change, but your partner should be willing to put in the effort. Fighting is exhausting, but the effort needed to really learn how to discuss things is more intense.

To stop fighting, you should be able to relax, listen, speak, and open up. You need to trust your partner and they need to trust you. Without trust, fighting will take over or silence will ensue. [Read: 8 things you have to tell yourself when you fight with someone you love]

So, what can you do to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship and start really talking?

1. Cool down

Fights usually erupt quickly. One thing is said, and the other person reacts immediately, and it only gets worse from there. Next time you feel that fury coming on, step back and cool down. Anger is truly a powerful emotion and when you let that anger control you, you will say something hurtful you’ll instantly regret.

So as important as communication is, you also need to communicate only when you’re not driven by rage and resentment. Otherwise, this is a fight that won’t end well. If you’re furious about something, before jumping to conclusions or accusing, just breathe.

Focus on what you really want to say and get across to your partner rather than the intense emotions you felt in the moment.

2. Evaluate the situation

Are you outraged that your partner forgot to turn on the dishwasher or that they didn’t tell you their mom was coming to stay for a week? Think about the argument at hand and what it’s really about. Does this require a sit-down discussion about how you feel and what you need?

If you want to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship, you have to be capable of analyzing the argument deeply. Don’t just see it from a surface-level point of view, but go beyond that. For all you know, there could be something deeper at play. [Read: How to remain calm when your partner says some very hurtful things]

3. Take turns

Fights often become screaming matches where one of you yell over the other and interrupts. Take turns sharing what you have to say.

Don’t shut down because you feel uncomfortable. Even if confrontation scares you or expressing your emotions makes you uncomfortable, it’s essential to refrain from shutting down.

Express what you feel, and let them do the same. Ask questions and get clarity. This gives both of you equality in expressing your feelings to one another. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting way too often]

4. Really listen

When you fight in a relationship, you focus on what you want to say and what you want out of it, but it won’t lead to reconciliation. It will lead to defensiveness.

Instead, really hear your partner and what they are saying so you can respond back to them, not the situation.

Another reason communication fails in a relationship is that people never actually make an effort to listen – they just listen to respond. So really try your best to listen to your partner, including what they’re not saying. This is an important tip for knowing how to stop fighting in a relationship. [Read: 14 ways on how to be a better listener in a relationship]

5. Be willing to compromise

You should be willing to meet your partner halfway or at least consider their stance. Fights get out of hand when both people are stubborn. If you both won’t even bend a bit and see things from the other’s perspective, it’s difficult to move forward.

The capacity to compromise is also another important one if you want to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship.

You’re not always in the right, so meet your partner halfway. Frankly, sometimes this is all your partner is waiting for so the argument ends. They want to see your ability to compromise and meet them halfway. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship & not feel like you lost out]

6. Pause

Take a break if things are just going in circles or you feel tensions getting high. That whole myth about not going to sleep angry isn’t always right. Take a break. Go get some food. Go to sleep. You can come back to this argument with a clear mind later.

Many couples frown upon the idea of sleeping when they’re upset at one another or waiting until the next day to fix the argument. But if the situation presents itself, it’s necessary.

You can’t always solve an argument in one go, and sometimes, a good night’s sleep is what you need to wake up with a calmer and fresher perspective. This is a better alternative than talking when you’re both high on emotions. So don’t hesitate to hit the pause button. [Read: 13 foundations of a good relationship that separate the good from the bad]

7. Use “I” messages

We know this is cheesy, and you probably learned about “I” messages from your guidance counselor in middle school, but they work. When you are arguing with your partner, don’t say “you did …” Don’t accuse them. Instead, start with how you feel.

You can say, “I feel frustrated when my needs aren’t acknowledged” or “I can’t help but feel hurt when I hear such angry words.” This will clue your partner into how you’re feeling rather than making them feel attacked.

When you attack them, it drives a wall in your relationship, so try this trick the next time you get into an argument. It also helps you communicate how you felt when you were upset.

8. Don’t wait

If something is bothering you, calmly bring it up. Take the time you need to sort through your anger, and then talk to your partner. If you bury the things that upset you, the same issue will surely come out later when you are simply bickering about what to have for dinner.

By getting things out in the open, you prevent resentment from causing more severe issues. You can expect it to feel uncomfortable and scary at first, but it’s necessary to talk about things. [Read: Are they emotionally detached? 15 signs they really don’t care about you]

9. Don’t try to win

Remember you and your partner are on the same team. You both want a peaceful outcome you can both be happy with. If you pit yourself against them, you are pushing them away. Instead of being right or making your point, remember the purpose of the argument is to grow closer together, not further apart.

There should be no winning or trying to be above them in a relationship, but you should see them as an equal.

Remember that winning the argument will make you lose your partner. There is no place for ego or arrogance in a relationship, ever. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in a relationship]

10. Consider therapy

Consider couples therapy if you’ve tried all of this and still struggle with keeping your cool. Admitting you need outside help can feel like you failed, but it actually shows your strength. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you as a couple just because you seek professional help.

There’s a reason there’s something called relationship therapy, and this is extremely helpful if you really want your relationship to work out. It shows your acceptance of your issues and desire to work on them.

Accepting and even asking for help is the best thing you can do if you are still fighting in a relationship. [Read: The 25 clues relationship therapy can help your relationship]

11. Create boundaries for a fight

You fight when you focus on the person’s character instead of the problem itself, making things worse. Fights can turn into all-out wars when people swear, yell over each other, and don’t talk about the real issue.

Setting some rules for when you argue with your partner is the best way to learn how to stop fighting in a relationship. For example, someone might respectfully say something with no yelling or name-calling. These bad habits keep you from paying attention to the real problem and make it hard for you and your partner to feel heard and safe. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 15 rules for healthy love]

12. Dodge the defensive

When a fight breaks out, it’s only natural for one or both parties to go on the offensive. Threatened, wronged, or blamed for something you didn’t do may make you feel like you have to defend yourself. Criticism or statements from your partner that you take personally only adds to the flames of a fight.

However, the right thing to do is to look at the situation objectively. Did you say or do something that hurt them? Is this the case? If so, try to fix it. There are a lot of ways to do this. You could say sorry, fix what happened, or ask how to make it right.

Instead of being defensive or trying to protect yourself, you should be open to what your partner says and think about why they said something, even if you need to ask questions. [Read: Why do people get defensive? 14 reasons & ways to handle them]

13. Always argue face to face

If you have to say something over text, read it out loud and make sure you’re not rubbing them the wong way *emojis can help here!*. But no matter how calm or sincere you try to sound over a text, not everyone reads text messages and tone of voice the same way, so your partner might not understand what you say, leading to more fights.

Face-to-face fights make body language and vocal tone easier to see and read, so it’s easier to figure out what is going on. If you have a complicated or long-winded argument, long text messages are hard to write and are best discussed in person, not on the phone. [Read: How to face relationship challenges & overcome them as a couple]

14. Take some time apart

The stress in our lives can get into our relationships. While things outside of your relationship may be making you stressed, it’s also true that the relationship itself is making you worried. Think about taking some time away from each other. Go out with your own friends for the evening and try to calm your mind with the right kind of distractions.

Being happy when you and your partner spend time apart is another tip if you want to know how to stop fighting in a relationship.

Time away gives you a new look at your relationship. But if you think the relationship is over when you come back, talk to your partner about the issues that really both you. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]

15. Remember why you’re in a relationship

An argument doesn’t define your relationship, your love for each other does. You and your partner might not be in the honeymoon phase anymore and may have more disagreements, but that doesn’t mean it’s over.

You’re in love with each other because the good far outweighs the bad. Instead of arguing to win points, always remember that you’re arguing to understand each other, and make your relationship better over the long run.

16. Show your vulnerability

Lastly, and most importantly, always be vulnerable enough to reveal your innermost thoughts to your partner when you’re having an argument.

Of course, when you’re arguing, vulnerability may be the last thing on your mind. You may mask your emotions and feel more closed up than ever. But instead of looking at the argument as something to win, remember that both of you can either win together or lose together when you fight, there is no other alternative.

So, as hard as it may seem at that moment, convince yourself to open up wholly and talk about what really bothers you. Express your feelings clearly and calmly, and constantly focus on the solution instead of winning. If both of you can learn to be vulnerable, you’ll see that a relationship fight can actually improve your relationship, instead of making it worse. [Read: How to be vulnerable in a relationship and feel closer instantly]

How to stop fighting in a relationship

It’s not a matter of avoiding a fight altogether, but fighting better.

You need to be capable of communicating, understanding, and compromising if you want your relationship to work.

[Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]

Learning how to stop fighting in a relationship takes patience and practice. As long as you love one another, remember to hold on to that love, even in an argument. 

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...