By Tiya Cunningham-Sumter
Your wife might drive you crazy and your husband can get on your very last nerve (it happens to all of us at some point), but how you handle the frustrations and disagreements is paramount to the health of your relationship. In my frequent conversations about relationships I often hear a variety of excuses and arguments about what’s going wrong, but something I heard recently stuck with me. Someone admitted, of their marriage, that they don’t know how to fight. They purposely hurt one another when they disagree and it leaves them both wanting to walk away. This observation was so real, and although I rarely hear it, I found it to be a true statement for so many couples.
It is inevitable that in a relationship you will not always see eye to eye on every subject. Half of the battle in overcoming disputes is knowing how to have one in the first place. A few things to avoid when you have a disagreement are:
· Yelling to get your point across.
· Shutting down and keeping quiet.
· Intentionally saying words that are hurtful.
· Not fully listening to your partner.
· Not taking responsibility for your part in the conflict.
· Having a closed mind.
If we’re yelling we are no longer listening, nor being listened to. When we fail to discuss what is on our minds it only builds up and causes even more hostility later on and being purposefully hurtful leads to wounds that are hard to heal. My husband suggests that the best time to make an emotional decision is when you’re not emotional. He says we have to decide, when things are good, how to handle arguments. Our goal during conflict is not to win; but to get our point across, listen for our partner’s point and meet up somewhere in the middle with a reasonable solution.
BMWK, Do you know how to fight?
Tiya Cunningham-Sumter, a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, Founder of Life Editing, creator of The Black Wives’ Club and an Administrator of Still Dating My Spouse. Tiya resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.