Couples arguments bring up lots of feeling for all those involved. You don’t have to attend to every argument you’re invited to. It’s simply better not to engage in the negative interactions showing caring and love for your partner. Choose the loving path. While you may feel you need to defend yourself, your honor, your ego, or if you must show you’re right, you’re suffering from wrong-thinking. Escalation is never the answer. Instead, you can exercise your freedom of choice, and choose love and kindness. When you do that, as the saying goes, you’ll be right every time.
Couples Arguments are less about de-escalation than it is simply choosing not to engage in unhealthy disagreement. You can concede someone’s point, allow them to have their say without refuting it, and you can gracefully accept someone’s opposing viewpoint without appearing weak or submissive. Keeping your point of view and finding a pathway of connecting emotionally and demonstrating your caring for your partner is the right path. A one-sided argument is not much of an argument at all. Trust me; this is a way forward in your relationship that will only improve your interactions with your partner.
Couples arguments can become a bad habit that gets perpetuated. One person seems to find fault and point out flaws and weaknesses, and then of course the other person is put on the defensive, and back and forth, the bickering begins. Then it becomes less about the subject that began the disagreement, and turns personal and often hurtful. When this pattern emerges, one or both of the partners decides to go on the defensive and they begin picking the fights before their partner can attack them. This escalates until it seems that the majority of the conversations the two of you engage in are this type of sniping and bickering. Though you might be hard-pressed to name the real reason this is happening.
What if we took that offensive/defensive pattern and took away one of the components? If there was no defensive comeback think about what would happen. Suppose your partner said something to you that could be taken as a perceived or blatant insult and you responded without malice or defensiveness? Suppose you simply listened to them, took their point under advisement and responded with a kind remark, apology, or statement of acceptance and went on about your day. What if you remembered your partner is that same person who loves you deeply and made a committemtn to spend their life with you because your love for them makes their world a better place. They are also the same person whom recently made love to you and shows you daily how much they care. How much would that change your interaction with your partner within the couples arguments?
What if you refused to go on the offensive and did not criticize or make negative comments to your partner? They would have no reason to get defensive, would they? You could bring up an issue and couch it in a non-critical and constructive way that would help and not insult them. Doing your best not to offend and put your partner in a position where they feel the need to defend themselves. They would feel your comment is coming from a place of love and be much more ready to take it to heart.
Sure, things happen, we all get tired, short tempered, and snarky sometimes. When you live with someone, you are the one who knows the best way to push all their buttons or yank their chain, so you also know best how to avoid doing that. I’m not suggesting we walk on eggshells to keep from offending each other, but to do your best not to respond in kind when sarcasm rears its ugly head. Cutting remarks and insults only tear each other down and when you are in love with someone, you should be spending your energy on building each other up and showing love and kindness even when it gets hard.
With some thoughtfulness and self-control, you can pick your battles, or choose not to. You can change the majority of your negative interactions into positives and flip the entire script for your relationship to one of positive and loving exchanges.