Healthy Ways to Fight with Your Partner: 8 Tips for Couples

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Published Date|
January 24, 2023

Healthy Ways to Fight with Your Partner: 8 Tips for Couples




Hi guys, I'm Zainab. I'm so happy to be back yet with another video, as promised. Today I'll be talking about how to develop healthier ways of fighting with your partner in order to increase conflict intimacy.


What is Conflict Intimacy?


Now, the reason I use these two words, conflict intimacy, is because I do believe one can have an argument. One can engage in a conflict with their partner, but also be intimate at the same time. So we can agree to disagree.


Now, what is important before we get into these fair fighting rules, it is important to understand why we get triggered in the first place.


Why is there a dire need to prove ourselves right and prove the other person wrong, more so our partners?


Now at this point in time, if I asked you to reflect on your own relationship, you might even tell me that you fight with your partner a lot more passionately and intensely than with anybody else around.


So at this point, it's important to reflect: Are we actually fighting with our partners, or is there a deeper issue that we don't have an explanation for?


The minute we are not able to answer why we are reacting in a certain way or we are not able to explain that to our partner, it can get into spirals of unhealthy communication – which can also lead to the relationship ending over time.


Fear of Abandonment and Rejection in Relationships


Now, a few feelings that we need to watch out for are abandonment and rejection. Abandonment and rejection stem from early childhood experiences.


In your childhood, if you've gone through divorce or death of parents or inadequate emotional and physical care, these early childhood experiences lead to fear of abandonment of significant people in one's adult life.


Now, imagine when you're engaging with your partner and every single time you have a conversation with your partner and these feelings of abandonment and rejection keep surfacing.


Imagine what that can do to your own relationship.


Now, of course, a part of abandonment is a part of being human. But when that increases in severity, it becomes a lot more frequent and difficult to ease. That's when it starts impairing your own relationship with your partner.


So I'm here today to help you identify: Are we fighting effectively with our partner? And to make sure we are differentiating these feelings of abandonment and rejection from the actual issue that we are engaging with a partner at that point in time.


When Do We Develop Coping Skills?


There's a very interesting factor. Now did you know that by the age of seven, we've learned all our coping mechanisms?


So the way you are fighting with your partner is exactly how you would have interacted with a lot of difficult relationships or situations in your early childhood. So imagine the impact of these early childhood experiences.


8 Conflict Intimacy Tips for Couples


Let's dive into what these fair fighting rules are. Now after listening to these fair fighting rules, if you think you're violating them all you're not following them the way they're supposed to be, then it is time for you to seek out professional help to make sure you are saving the health of your relationship.


1. Step Back and Recognize Why You’re Feeling Upset


Now the first fair fighting rule is: Before you begin an argument, ask yourself why are you feeling upset. Maybe you can take five minutes of your time and just processwhat am I actually feeling right now? Trust me, you'll avoid a storm.


2. Focus on One Issue at a Time


Second: Discuss one issue at a time. “Why did you use the money without asking me?” can

immediately get into “You don't care about me, you don't care about my family!”


And then everything goes to what your partner has done wrong. It's not going to problem solve anything and there'll be no closure from that particular argument.


3. No Degrading Language


Third: No degrading language. Remember, we are not discussing the person, we are discussing the issue. So make sure you are talking about one issue at a time.


4. Take Responsibility for Your Feelings


The fourth one is to express your feelings in words and take responsibility for them.


I always like to use with couples the usage of “I” statements. “I feel this because of this, I feel scared when you shout at me, I feel worried when you come home late.”


So imagine, if you are giving your partner the feeling that you're going through, it makes the partner less defensive and you will be able to come to a middle ground very quickly.


5. Take Turns When Talking


The fifth one is to take turns talking. It is very, very, very, important. Listening is the key, so if I am not listening to my partner, I don't even know what the problem is. So how am I going to problem-solve anything?


6. No “Stonewalling”


Sixth is no stonewalling. The easiest thing for partners to do is when there is an argument, they shut down or they move out of that scenario and never discuss that issue again.


But again, you are not bringing closure to it. So stonewalling is not going to help you at all.


7. Take Time-Outs


Seventh: Take time out. Again, this is a very important aspect because when we are angry we tend to say a lot of things at that point in time.


So it is very fair for you to ask your partner, “Can I take some time, ten minutes, process this on my own, and come back and resume the discussion?”


8. Try to Find a Compromise


The last one is an attempt to come to a compromise. That is the point where we find a middle ground between two people where we are able to figure out, “Okay we can agree to disagree.”


Relationship Counselling at KMA Therapy


If you guys are doing all of this excellent – great job! But if you find you are struggling with fighting effectively with your partner, it is important that you seek help – you seek professional help.


Here at KMA, we have counsellors and therapists to help you identify issues in your own relationship, and help you identify and process your own feelings and how they impact the health of your relationship.


To conclude, I'd like to say, be the best version of yourself in your relationship with some help.


And why not? We offer counselling at three different locations: King and Spadina, Liberty

Village, and Yonge and Eglinton.


(Note: We now offer therapy at five Toronto locations with the addition of our King West and Yorkville offices.)


We also offer online therapy from the comfort of your home.


I hope you find this video informative and we will see you again with another mental health video next week. Take care, bye-bye!


Next Steps for Relationship Counselling


After watching this video, you now know eight helpful tips for healthy conflict in relationships.


If you think that KMA Therapy could be a great fit for your couples counselling needs, we’re here to support you. Our dedicated team has been helping our clients find harmony in their relationships for over 14 years.


Book an appointment today or connect with our caring team to learn more.


If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these articles to learn more:


Author |
Emily Weatherhead
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