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Getting on Better with my Partner - The Trouble with you is...

Tags: Argue, arguing, couples, conflict resolution, make up, making up, healthy relationship, relationship advice, family support, relationship problems, marriage

All couples argue, and while some do it more than others, it's usually about similar things. Who does what at home? How should we bring up the children? Why are they always working so late? Arguments can become more or less frequent depending on the Changes and Stages a couple is going through in their relationship.

When things are going well for us we are less likely to argue and find ways of sorting out our problems through humour, negotiation, or just by giving in gracefully. But what about when things aren’t going so well?

When things around us are more difficult we often start to feel unhappy in our relationship and then the arguments occur. We start to respond to our partner in ways that make things worse rather than better. More harsh words and fewer kind ones; we start ‘giving as good as we get’.

Consequently we get locked into patterns of behaviour and often start thinking the worst of our partner. Often we know what we are doing isn’t helping things but it becomes a habit that’s hard to break. Sometimes making the effort to find time for each other can have a positive effect on the welfare of your relationship after spending quality time together.

Many disagreements, (in fact most of them), can't be resolved, so compromising is often the best way forward.

Research has found that it's the way you express your feelings that's important.

Couples who manage to avoid saying every critical thought that comes into their head (and who can bring up problems gently) are consistently the happiest.

When there are potential disagreements, you're more likely to see eye to eye if you bite your lip and don't go on the attack.

At the other end of the scale, people who are anxious and bottle up their feelings don't resolve their difficulties, and can end up feeling resentful - and the 'last straw' leads them to explode in the end anyway.

Couples who are good communicators are often good at managing their differences. After all, arguing is a form of communication. Rows are often just the symptom that we feel our partner isn't supporting us, that they're not 'there for us'.

Your children and conflict

Arguments are part of family life but violent rows in front of children or that involve them are not only distressing for children to see, but over time can become damaging.

Children don't get used to seeing or hearing their parents argue, on the contrary, they become more sensitive to it and more likely to be harmed by it. Children who are exposed to severe arguing may develop emotional and behavioural problems over time. Being exposed to conflict between parents is stressful for children at any age.

When couples find a way to ‘argue better ’ children can actually learn from witnessing their parents argue about some things. If parents can teach their children it's okay to disagree and still stay friends then rows don't have to do any damage. Those parents that come to a compromise and move on from disagreements are demonstrating that disagreements are just part of family life. These children will learn really valuable lessons about saying sorry and communication from their parents.


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  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I am a 46 yr old woman, I have 3 children. I have been in a on/off relationship with my partner for over 3yrs now. He lives 100 miles away from me, so we only see each other weekends. He is an extremely insecure man, and has to be re-assured ALL the time. He is jealous of time I spend with my children, he is childishly moody and very negative. You may well be thinking by now, "why the hell are you with him?" Well I know he loves me, he is kind and and he would do anything for me.

    My problem is... I have gone right off sex, when I say this to him he is convinced that I want someone else, I cannot seem to get him to understand otherwise... He needs texts and phone calls all day long as a reassurance that I love him, then I HAVE to call him at night when I'm in bed too. By this time because we have spoken all day there isn't really anything to talk about, but if this phone call doesn't take place he feels I am "Going off him" I am finding this more and more stressful, my children are starting to dislike him because they feel push out at weekends when he is here, because he makes them feel that way. I feel trapped with a man that I don't want to be with anymore, the reason I feel trapped is because in the past when we have split up, he has threatened suicide, he puts a lot of pressure on his family particularly his brother, whom I feel responsible for.... so I feel I have to stay in this relationship because I dont want to cause problems for his family....... HELP!!!

    Mon 6, Feb 2012 at 10:21am
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    Evey time I bring up an issue I know he will disagree about, I know he will end up shouting me down and over me. It's got to a stage whereby I don't want to mention things or bring them up. It's not healthy and it's getting me down. The usual ending is ..."You know you're problem? It's ...."

    Mon 11, Jul 2011 at 1:34pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    i got married four weeks ago on saturday had a beautiful day, but my husband doesnt realise that if i say no we havent got money for snooker etc we havent, i have four kids and am tired at the end of the day he doesnt realise i need him to do things when hes at home not sit in front of tv and think hes entertaining kids, dont know what to say i feel un attractive then he tells me about 2 18 year olds he spoken to not supermodels why say that when you know your wife feels like shit is he going to go off with one of them he wd hate it if i said i spoke to a nice looking bloke with lovely white teeth he wd feel shit just like i do now

    Tue 11, May 2010 at 3:53pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I agree with you, mine is practically dead in the water, he is living with his folks...I am in our family home. We have been apart for 3 months because we kept fighting. Now we are due to move in to a bigger house I found...almost like a bandaid house. But I am not too sure if it's the right thing. Confused

    Sat 2, May 2009 at 6:46pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I hate arguing - I feel like my relationship is going down the pan.

    Sun 19, Apr 2009 at 6:14pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    erm i understand that people can argue but sometimes it isnt about the usual things what if you fight for the sake of it for some 'excitment' i know its wrong but in a privious reletionship i made argmants for the sake of his reaction or even for him to grovel to me i have now changed my ways but i sometimes get the urdge to start it up again arguments are down to bad comunication take some time out of your day to sit down and have a proper conversation with him/her it will be worth it !!

    Thu 19, Mar 2009 at 11:58am