3 Ways to Stop Fighting in a Relationship


If you’re looking for ideas and ways to stop fighting with your partner, you want to read this article. When you’re constantly fighting with your partner, not much seems to go right. Your career suffers, your stress levels go through the roof, and you may even resort to unhealthy habits just so you can feel better.


In the middle of an argument with your partner, it can seem like there is no hope for resolution and no ways to stop fighting.


I’ve seen couples that would do almost anything to stop fighting with each other, but aren’t able to come up with any common sense solutions or ways to stop fighting.


Have you ever felt stuck like this?


You’ve achieved a certain level of success in your career and I’m sure your journey to success hasn’t been paved with red carpets, roses and fairy dust.


You’ve most likely had to overcome many obstacles to get where you are in your career. In fact, I believe the more uncomfortable you are willing to be and the more challenges your willing to overcome, the more successful you will be.


Most of us have had to deal with horrible bosses, incompetent coworkers and downright infuriating clients. If you’ve achieved a certain level of success, you’ve managed to somehow find a way to deal with all these people without going postal.


So why are we able to control ourselves and act professional during the day, only to come home and fight with our partner like a 12 year old full of hormones and pimples?


Because common sense and intimate relationships don’t mix well!


Why does your common sense go out the window when fighting with your lover?


Lack of control and Vulnerability!


In most areas of your life, you have a great deal of control over the results you get.


For example, in your career you have a lot of control over your success or failure. With your body, it’s fairly obviously what you need to do to get in shape and stay that way.


However, in your intimate relationship you have no control.


For professionals like us, having no control over something feels like our own personal kryptonite.Yes, that is why you act so crazy sometimes in your relationship!


We pride ourselves on making goal-directed choices and creating the kind of life we want.


However, in your intimate relationship, you could do everything “right” and still end up alone and feeling rejected.


You have no control over your partner. You may be able to influence your partner’s choices, but even that can be difficult to do!


On top of that, being vulnerable is crucial to connecting with your partner and continuing to grow your relationship. You may open yourself up to your lover and give all of who you are, only to get it all thrown back in your face.


With all this, is it any wonder that we sometimes feel like we’re going crazy when we come home?



I know I’m painting a grim picture, but it is reality and I will always be brutally honest with you.


Having a successful relationship isn’t easy and the journey is not paved with red carpets, roses and fairy dust either.



Just like in your career, the more uncomfortable you’re willing to be and the more challenges you’re willing to overcome, the better your relationship will ultimately be.


I’m also going to tell you that it’s doable. In fact, it’s more than doable if you’ve achieved success in your career or other areas of your life.


You can utilize the same skills to make your relationship awesome.



3 Ways to Stop Fighting in a Relationship


1. Separate the problems from your partner

Your relationship problems are not your fault or your partner’s. Notice, I also said they’re not your partner’s fault. I know part of you is still probably trying to blame your partner for your current situation.


It just isn’t true that your partner could be solely responsible for difficulties in the relationship. I don’t care if your partner has cheated, gambled all your money away, or ran away to join the circus for a year without asking you, you and your partner are not to blame.


Often when we have any problems in life, we start to think less of ourselves. We think “there must be something wrong with me”.
In relationships, we often think “There must be something wrong with me and there’s definitely something wrong with that a**hole (aka, your partner)!”


The truth is, there is nothing inherently wrong with either one of you.


If you’re having a relationship problem, what you need is a new skill or set of relationship skills!

When you were 17 could you have stepped into your current position in your career and been instantly successful?  No. You had to develop new skills and put them into practice before any of that could happen.


The same applies to your relationship. No one is inherently born with the skills necessary for a happy marriage. To make matters worse, societal norms and the majority of the people around us aren’t usually great models for how to have an awesome relationship.


One of the best relationship skills to develop is separating your problems from your partner and yourself.


Stop blaming your partner for mistakes and problems. Instead, join with your partner and celebrate all the things you love about him or her, while you attack the problems.


You can hate your partner’s lateness and still love him or her as a person. Actually, the more you separate your partner from the problem, the harder you can be on the actual problem.


2. Focus on your choices, not your partner’s choices


No matter what your partner has done, if you want to stop fighting it’s best to focus on your choices going forward.


Focusing on your partner’s past mistakes and stupid choices, will not help you solve any problems and will only give you endless headaches.
I’m guessing now you are thinking, “So you’re saying I should just let my partner get away with poor behavior?”


No. I believe it’s important to tell your partner what you like and don’t like about their actions and choices. You get stuck when your partner continues to engage in the same actions or make the same choices and you continue to respond in the same way. Eventually, you are no longer having a conversation, but a knock down drag out argument. At this point, your partner “knows” you don’t like the behavior.


Telling your partner what he or she should or shouldn’t be doing won’t help.  You can drastically reduce the amount of fighting in your relationship by acknowledging reality and calmly focusing on your choices.  Start by acknowledging reality. For example, “My husband comes home an hour late almost every night.”


Now, calmly focus on your choices and what feels right for you.
Think to yourself, “I can either….

–wait to eat dinner, deal with hungry kids and reheat it all when he gets home and have our regular argument again.

–wait to eat dinner, deal with hungry kids and reheat it all when he gets home, while focusing on things that help me feel good and not angry about situation.

–cook dinner and eat with the kids on time as planned. He will have to figure out dinner for himself.

–take the kids out to eat and celebrate my time with them.

–or about a million other choices you could make here.


The main point is that instead of arguing, you can choose to acknowledge the reality of the situation and make decisions going forward based on what feels right for you.


3. Begin with compassion and assume good intentions


When starting a conversation with your partner about something you would like to see change, begin with what you like about them as a person or their behavior in other areas.


Most of the time, when we are stuck in arguments and fighting, we start the conversation with, “You’re so inconsiderate, all you think about is yourself!”


“You did this again! How could you be so stupid?”

“You always/never _____________.”


Anytime you start a conversation by turning your partner into a villain, you’re going in the wrong direction.


Instead, take the target off of your partner’s back and put in on the behavior (see #1)

Start with compassion and assume good intentions “I know you love me and do a lot for our family and I would like to talk to you about something that’s bothering me.”

“I know you mean well.”

“You’re such a good dad.”


I’ve just shown you 3 ways to stop fighting in a relationship. There are many other ways, but I believe these strategies will help you sooner than most. To get any benefit from this article, you need to put these principles into action starting now!


Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn