What do you do when you get in an argument with your partner?
Do you keep trying to prove your point, keep trying to get them to see it your way? Do you have to convince the other that you are right? And where does that get you?
As someone who has been married and divorced twice, I am here to tell you that none of that works. I used to HAVE to be right. I HAD to get my point across. The other NEEDED to agree with me. EVERYTHING was a serious matter. And where did that get me? (Crying alot, for one thing!)
Sure, you have to have a compatible sense of humor. And I’m not talking about sarcasm and putting the other down and calling that funny. I’m not talking about laughing at the serious things of life. It’s the little things that eat away at a relationship, and it is in those moments that lightheartedness can turn things around.
Some examples of stuff to laugh about instead of arguing: he doesn’t load the dishwasher “right”, she’s always losing her phone, he’s directionally challenged and tends to take wrong turns, she’s not a good cook. Nobody is perfect or has all the skills. Add the busyness of life, tiredness, and control issues, and you have the setting for a boiling fight or a lot of belly laughs! And we all know laughter is better.
- Start by laughing at yourself, especially when you find yourself taking things too seriously.
- When you catch yourself getting into one of those fruitless arguments, step back and look at it as if you were watching a comedy.
- When you realize that you are arguing over something that doesn’t really matter, just stop. Kiss your partner. Start a pillow fight or tickle fest.
- Be spontaneous. Look for ways to surprise your partner. Make sure it’s the kind of surprise you know they like! Again, little things, like a back scratching or a little unexpected act of service, can make a huge difference, especially if acccompanied by affection and laughter.
- Do fun things! Learn what kind of entertainment/movies makes the other laugh, then seek it out and laugh with them. They should do the same.
Admittedly these will only work if both partners are on board. If one person is determined to sabotage, argue, and destroy, it is time for the other to consider what is important and what they really, really want. But if both of you can laugh at yourselves and at life, the power struggle that most of us struggle with will be diffused.
Instead of throwing angry words or objects, throw pillows!