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07 Feb 2006

Minor irritations turning into full blown fights - how to avoid!!
Hi Guys,

I was wondering if anyone else went thorugh this and if they did if they could give me some advice.

My bf and I have been going out for over 4 years now, and have lived together for 2 of them.

The thing is this: Every now and again we get irritated with each other and start picking fights. We are nasty to one another, say very hurtfull things and end up having these hum dingers.

I need tips either to a) stop the stupid spats when they begin, or b) to prevent them from turning into World War Three.
Answer 424 views

01 Jan 0001

Make it a rule, agreed to by both of you, that ANY such issues which annoy either of you, can become the basis of an argument, but never on the same day. Whenever either of you notice or are bothered by any such issue, you must write it down on a piece of paper, which you can keep in a particular place, maybe a Grudge Box. Then, a minimum of 24 hours later, you can take it out, read it through --- and IF it still seems worth bothering about at all, ask your partner to sit down and talk about it.
BUT, then you must rephrase your gripe in the appropriiate form. No absolutes --- YOu ALWAYS do X or Y ; only specifics ; and concentrate on how whatever it was made you feel --- ie When you did X yesterday, I felt Y.
(Not "You made me feel", because how you felt was your choice, not their's ). Chelle describes this point well.
Roxanne uses the Time Out word, also a good technique. I first met that in a Gilbert and Sullivan opereta, Ruddigore, where a couple have similar problems, and the character Mad margaret picks a word, the name of an incredibly dull town, "Basingstoke" as a signal for both of them to chill out. and it works.
And of course relationship counselling can be really useful, too. He needs to remember that just because he met a useless counsellor years ago, not all of them are as lousy !
And avoid the Zero-Sum attitude that if I'm right, he must be wrong --- maybe you're both right, to a point, and both wrong, similarly. And if you like cold days, and he prefers ho days, neither of you is right or wrong --- you are right for you, and he is right for him. There's no universal right answer to many such issues.
And maybe developing the capacity to giggle when a silly argument starts up, while it's still obviously silly, could help.

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