The Mating Grounds

Stopping Relationship Arguments in Their Tracks: Expert Tips for Healthier Communication and Deeper Love

How to Handle Arguments in Your Relationship

Fights and arguments happen in every relationship, no matter how happy or loving it is. While fighting isn’t ideal, conflict is a natural part of any relationship and can even help grow and strengthen it.

However, not all disagreements are the same, and it’s essential to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy argument styles. In this article, we’ll discuss how to handle arguments in your relationship, from identifying the root of the issue to reframing views about conflict.

Types of Unhealthy Argument Styles

Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling are four unhealthy argument styles that can wreak havoc on any relationship. Criticism involves attacking your partner’s character or personality instead of expressing how their behavior makes you feel.

Defensiveness happens when someone feels attacked and responds by turning the tables and blaming their partner.

Contempt takes criticism to another level and goes beyond attacking behavior to insult or degrade a partner.

Finally, stonewalling occurs when one partner shuts down and stops participating in the conversation, which can make the other partner feel unheard and unimportant.

Causes of Arguing Over Trivial Matters

Arguments over trivial matters are often the result of high expectations, intolerance, frustration, imbalance, and stress. High expectations can lead to disappointment when your partner doesn’t meet them, while intolerance can make it challenging to compromise and find middle ground.

Frustration and stress can make you irritable and prone to picking fights, and when one partner feels like they’re doing more work than the other, an imbalance can leave them feeling bitter and resentful.

Healthy vs.

Unhealthy Arguing in a Relationship

Productive arguments involve trust, healthy conflict resolution, avoidant conflict resolution, and mutual respect. Trust means communicating honestly and openly with your partner, even if it’s difficult, while healthy conflict resolution involves finding a compromise or resolution that works for both partners.

Avoidant conflict resolution means picking your battles and letting minor disagreements go to avoid constant fighting or nagging. When one partner dominates an argument, that can lead to an unhealthy power dynamic and make the relationship feel unequal.

Tips for Handling Arguments in a Relationship

Identifying the Root of the Problem

Assessing the situation, understanding each other’s perspective, and finding a compromise or common ground are crucial for healthy conflict resolution. Often an argument can stem from deeper issues, whether personal or external, so it’s important to communicate effectively to discover the root of the problem.

Expressing Your Needs

Accommodating your partner’s needs is essential, but so is expressing your own. When one partner feels ignored or unimportant, it can lead to resentment.

Learning how to communicate your needs effectively can help to avoid these feelings.

Avoiding Attacks

Facts, not blame or criticism, should be the basis of any argument. Attacking your partner or criticizing them is not only unproductive, but it can also be hurtful and make the argument worse.

Using Physical Affection

Physical touch can be a powerful tool for repairing a damaged relationship. Holding hands, hugging, or patting someone rhythmically can help ease tension and show that you care.

Acknowledging Your Role

Taking accountability and apologizing for any mistakes or wrongdoings can go a long way to resolving a conflict and moving forward.

Conversing Rather Than Fighting

Keeping calm and having a rational conversation, instead of fighting, can lead to a more productive discussion that produces results.

Letting Small Things Go

Not all disagreements are worth fighting over. Letting minor issues go can help one to avoid nagging, which can be annoying and detrimental to furthering a relationship.

Avoiding Arguments When in a Bad Mood

Negative emotions can sometimes get in the way of productive discussions. Waiting for a better time to have a conversation avoids derailing each other’s moods.

Setting Goals for the Argument

When arguments happen, there can be a sense of losing control. Having specific goals in mind before initiating a conversation can help it to stay productive and in control.

Not Making Assumptions

Assuming you know what your partner means or knows can create misunderstandings and cause arguments. Take the time to communicate and understand one another especially when it comes to personal beliefs or assumptions.

Making Direct Statements about Your Feelings

Using “I” statements instead of “you” statements can help communicate what you’re feeling without attacking your partner. It’s a healthier way to communicate while still getting your point across in a non-accusatory way.

Keeping Emotions in Check

It’s natural to feel anger and pain during an argument. However, engaging in hurtful words is not constructive.

Avoid saying anything hurtful that you could later regret.

Remembering Love

In moments of conflict, it’s important to remember the love that you and your partner share. Reframing the discussion to focus on that love rather than the argument can help to create positive reinforcement.

Having Realistic Expectations

Having expectations is normal in any relationship, but setting unrealistic expectations or expecting change can be detrimental to the relationship.

Being Willing to Change

Both partners need to be willing to compromise and change for the relationship to survive and thrive. It’s natural to want your partner to change for the better, but it’s important to be realistic and willing to change yourself.

Accepting Imperfection

Recognizing that both you and your partner have personal flaws and that mistakes will be made is essential in a healthy relationship.

Assuming Positive Intent

Assuming your partner has good intentions can help avoid misunderstandings. Compassion, empathy, and understanding are vital to the success of any relationship.

Reframing Views about Conflict

Viewing conflict as an opportunity for growth, and therefore, a positive thing, can help change your perspective about arguments and lead to healthier communication.


Handling arguments in your relationship isn’t always easy, but it’s essential for a happy and healthy bond. It’s important to recognize unhealthy argument styles to avoid them and focus on healthy conflict resolution instead.

Communicating effectively, being empathetic, and keeping one’s emotions in check can lead to a more productive discussion and a stronger relationship. Remembering love, accepting imperfection, and assuming positive intent can help to redefine conflict as an opportunity for growth and create healthier communication and a stronger connection.

When it comes to handling arguments and conflicts in a relationship, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You may have tried everything you know, yet the situation never seems to improve.

Seeking outside help in the form of couples counseling can be a healthy and effective way to work through tough challenges in your relationship. Counseling can help improve communication, conflict resolution, and provide professional guidance and support on how to solve problems constructively.

Healthy Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, yet it’s often the first thing to break down when disagreements occur. Couples counseling offers a safe space for partners to address communication challenges and learn practical skills to improve their communication.

Talking to a professional third-party can help reduce feelings of blame or defensiveness that may arise during stressful discussions. By practicing typical scenarios and role-playing communication challenges, professional therapists can help couples re-establish communication patterns that encourage understanding and respect for one another.

Conflict Resolution

Effective conflict resolution is an essential aspect of a healthy relationship, but it’s easier said than done. Conflicts that aren’t resolved can snowball and increase tension within the relationship, leading to a breakdown in communication and potentially causing harm to both partners.

Working with a trained therapist can provide couples with the tools and techniques they need to address and settle disputes constructively. Implementing strategies such as active listening, focusing on solutions, and conflict de-escalation can help couples manage disagreements in a way that is effective and respectful.

Relationship Counseling

Relationship counseling can benefit partners at any stage in their relationship, from working through different opinions to healing from past wounds. A professional counselor can help couples navigate complex issues such as trust concerns, power dynamics, infidelity, and parenting concerns.

By addressing these issues in a safe, neutral environment, couples can gain insight into their behaviors and patterns. Relationship counseling encourages self-reflection and growth, which can strengthen the bond between partners.

Finding a Professional Counselor

When looking for a professional counselor, it’s important to find someone who is trained in working with couples, as this is a specialized form of therapy. Most counselors will have an area on their website or social media dedicated to relationship counseling.

Ask for referrals, read reviews, and interview a few therapists before making a final decision. You want to find someone both parties feel safe and comfortable with and confident in their abilities to guide them through tough situations.

The Benefits of Seeing a Counselor

Seeing a counselor together means you’re both actively invested in fighting for your relationship. Couples counseling can provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment that allows both parties to express their opinions without fear.

It can also provide perspective and professional guidance as opposed to finding a solution alone that hasn’t worked up to that point. By addressing transportation patterns, behaviors, and communication challenges, couples can learn healthier ways of interacting and develop new skills for handling conflicts in the future.

Final Thoughts

Recognizing the need for professional help in a relationship can be difficult, yet it’s a healthy and necessary solution for many couples to overcome conflicts. Counseling offers partners the skills, strategies, and tools they need to communicate better, resolve conflicts constructively, and develop a deeper understanding of one another.

Couples therapy is an investment in your relationship and can be the key to a happier, healthier future together. When it comes to handling arguments and conflicts in a relationship, it’s important to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy argument styles.

Conflict is a natural aspect of any relationship and can even help grow and strengthen it when handled constructively. Seeking professional help such as couples counseling can help partners develop stronger communication, conflict resolution, and relationship skills.

By recognizing the need for professional help and actively working on their relationship, couples can build a stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling future together. Investing in a relationship through counseling can be the key to overcoming roadblocks, reducing tension, and building a lasting connection.

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