Fighting is a natural part of any relationship. How two people handle arguments with one another is a big indicator of how well they will be able to tolerate life together. It’s important that every couple have, and resolve at least one big disagreement before they get married. I say this because people can be cruel when they are mad.
There are ways to handle arguments that can be detrimental, and others that move the relationship forward. Have a healthy arguments does not mean to always give in to your partner. Not every argument is worth fighting for. Pick your battles wisely. The question remains, when should you put your foot down and when should you back off of an argument.
Consider what you are mad about and decide how you value your side. If your partner went to see a movie without you or stayed out late without telling you, you should probably let it go. These behaviors aren’t so bad if they happen once in a blue moon. Be mad. let your partner know you are mad and why, but don’t blow up if they refuse to see your side. If these behaviors are constantly repeated, they then become a bigger issue.
Big issues are the ones you should fight for. What makes a big issue depends on the values you want to maintain in a relationship. For example, it may be that you have a family and coming home late all the time is disrupting the time spent together. These issues can even escalate to more personal values, like whether or not you should go to church together. Stand your ground and hold on to those values that are important to you. Your partner should at least attempt to understand your side and compromise.
The hardest part of a fight is deciding how to handle it. This can be even more important than the topic you are fighting about. Like anything worthwhile in life, love isn’t always easy. Married couples especially, should never go to bed without saying ‘I love you,’ even when angry. It would be best to stay in the same bed together. By doing so you let your partner know even though you are mad, you are still in the relationship. If you must, sleep on the couch in a another room. Never ever leave to stay with someone else. That is like saying, “see how you like life without me.” The risk you take, is that your partner may find they actually do prefer life without you.
For couples who aren’t living together, it is important to maintain those actions which define your relationship. If you have a date night planned, still go out. If you usually spend time together on certain days, still try to spend that time together. Your partner may decide they would rather not have you around for a time. If that is the case, listen to your partner and stay away for a few days. The fact that you reached out, even when angry, shows that you are still committed.
At the end of the day, resolution is not necessarily about your partner succumbing to your side or you theirs. An argument is solved when both people come together, listen with open minds to one another’s points of view and then reach a livable compromise. The most livable conclusion to an argument may mean ending the relationship. All the same, your values are a part of what will make you happy in life.
If you need a partner who goes to church with you, then you deserve to find that person. There is never a reason to give up core values in your relationship for someone who doesn’t share them. Compromise can only go so far.