Making Each Other Wrong
While being ‘right’ in an argument might make you feel better in the heated moment, it won’t actually matter in a few weeks, months, or years. That’s why relationship experts warn against convincing your S.O. that he or she is wrong in a fight. “Every communication has the power to bring people closer to you or push them away, and when people are made wrong they have two choices: defend or retreat. Neither will bring them closer to you,” explains Claudia Six, Ph.D., a relationship coach. “You can convey your point or make a request without making them wrong.”
Using Accusatory Words
Dr. Six warns against using language starting with “you always” or “you never,” as all they do is add fuel to an already escalating fire. “This leads the other person to draw up their defense and maybe add a complaint of their own,” she says. “Rather than, ‘You always leave the toilet seat up! You’re so inconsiderate!’ try, ‘It would really help me out if you’d put the toilet seat down. Can you do that for me?'”
Waiting for Your Partner to Make the First Move
Initiating sex should be a two-way street, says Dr. Six. Being a passive victim and blaming your significant other for not being more romantic is the wrong move. “It could be a very long and miserable wait for both of you,” she explains. “If you make it happen, your lover will feel desired, and will then be much more likely to reciprocate, and confident that you’ll receive them. And everyone’s happy.”
Turning to Alcohol When You’re Upset
If your gut reaction after a quarrel is to pour yourself a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey, you may want to rethink your priorities. “Numbing out because something isn’t working for you or you’re anxious is a cop out,” says Dr. Six. “Open your mouth to talk about what is troubling you instead of opening it to ingest an anesthetic.” Instead of avoiding the issues in your relationship, she recommends sitting down to talk. If you’re having trouble doing that, consider speaking to a couples counselor who can help you address the issues in your partnership.