No relationship is perfect, of course. Relationships are filled with ups and downs, and it’s totally normal for you and your partner to occasionally disagree on things, especially after one of you has had a tough day. The problem starts when disagreements are handled badly, as this causes both partners to become stressed, resulting in even more arguments. If you think you and your partner are fighting too much, don’t worry. Your relationship might feel unhealthy right now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. It is easy to break negative patterns and thought processes so that you and your partner can have a happy and peaceful relationship. After all, relationships may be challenging, but they are also very rewarding! And let’s be honest, everyone prefers a night of TV and cuddles over fighting and shouting. If you want a calmer relationship, here are 15 tips to help you keep the peace in your relationship.
15Become Aware Of Your Feelings
We all start arguments when we’re upset, hurt or angry. These arguments are easy to solve if you know what is wrong, but sometimes we don’t. You might think that you are annoyed at your boyfriend because he didn’t wash the dishes while you were at work, but in reality, you’re annoyed because he doesn’t have a job. You can become more aware of your own feelings by becoming more aware of your role in the relationship. Next time a disagreement happens, try to consciously listen to your own thoughts. Ask yourself these questions to get started; why am I angry right now? What are my emotions? What are my needs? What do I want right now? Am I helping our relationship, or hurting it? Am I focused on myself, or my partner? For example, you might think that you are angry, but when you think about it, you realize that you are actually hurt and offended. When you know how you feel, it will be easier to express yourself to your partner.
14Take A Moment For Yourself
If you’ve had a bad day or your partner has snapped at you, take a minute alone to compose yourself before you speak to them. If you’re feeling stressed and high-strung, you might flip and overreact when you speak to them. The most important thing is to make sure that you are okay and feeling better. Different things calm different people down; maybe a gym session works for you, or eating a bar of chocolate. If you’ve spent a minute alone and you still feel terrible, tell your partner when you see them. Explain calmly that you’ve had a difficult day, and you don’t want to take your negativity out on them. Then you can keep conversation to a minimum, or you can chill somewhere else until your mood has lifted. When you do speak to your partner you will be feeling less pessimistic and negative, so the conversation is less likely to be argumentative.
13Try Not To Overreact
We all have days when our emotions get the better of us, but overreacting always makes arguments much worse. If your partner is clearly emotional, try not to take what they are saying too personally. If you can stay calm you will keep the situation from escalating, which means you can actually get to the heart of the problem. Of course, this is no easy task. When you hear something you don’t like, the first reaction is normally anger. However, your boyfriend might be making a valid point about something in the relationship, such as “I feel like you can be cold sometimes – you never want to hold my hand in public.” While that may feel insulting, your partner has a right to feel that way. Ask him; why do you feel this way? Is it a big problem? How can I fix it? This means you can solve the fight, rather than turning it into an even bigger fight. Winner!
12Explain Your Emotions
You’re pissed off at your boyfriend because he bailed on date night to go out drinking with his friends. You acted annoyed when he mentioned bailing, but he still chose to go out with his friends. Now he is texting you to ask how you’re doing, and you’re replying with one word answers so that he knows that you’re angry. We’ve all been there, but it isn’t the healthiest way to sort out a problem. Instead, it draws out the argument for hours or even days. If your partner has upset you, explain the problem instead of getting angry. For example, you could say to him “when you bailed on plans with me to see your friends, it made me feel like second best. I want to be a priority in your life, but sometimes I feel like an option.” When you explain your feelings you help your partner to see your point of view, so that the argument is resolved quickly.
11Don’t Place Blame
Playing the blame game is never a good idea in a relationship. When one person blames another, the other person will feel attacked. If they feel attacked they will quickly become defensive and guarded, which will escalate the problem. Assigning blame might be easy, but it can also be unfair and unkind. Once someone has been blamed for something, one person becomes a victim and the other becomes the source of all the problems. This isn’t a peaceful dynamic, and it rarely helps; the person who has been blamed feels worthless and emotional, rather than proactive and ready to solve problems. Remember that you and your partner are in the relationship together, and that blaming each other will create a divide between you. Instead band together and work as a team, and you can work together to solve your problems. This will create a happy, peaceful relationship where you both feel comfortable and relaxed.
10Don’t Be Defensive
You and your partner are on the same team, even when you are fighting with each other. You both love and care for each other, and you both want the best for each other. Try to remember this while you are fighting, so that you can be compassionate rather than defensive. Listen to them carefully when they are expressing their feelings. Try to have an attitude of acceptance and love, rather than annoyance or anger. Ask questions if you’re not sure what they mean, or if you need more information. They are not trying to attack you and upset you; they are trying to explain why they are upset. When they are talking about their feelings, they are trying to help you to understand them. If you feel yourself getting defensive, remember that it is just a conversation; it isn’t a power struggle or the most important conversation of your relationship.
9Be Open About Your Feelings
You’ve just finished a long shift at work and you spent the day redoing something you already finished earlier in the week. You thought you’d worked really hard and done a good job, but your boss wasn’t happy and he asked you to do it again. You feel upset and embarrassed, but you don’t say anything to your boss. Instead, you go home in a terrible mood. Sometimes when people are upset or worried, they communicate those emotions by being angry or frustrated. This isn’t fair to your partner, as they have to deal with your negative emotions without actually knowing why you are upset. If you’re sad or worried, be honest with your partner. Tell them why you are anxious, or let them know that you need a big hug and a cry. This way they can support you and help you, rather than being in the dark about the problem.
8Remember That Your Relationship Means More Than The Fight
Arguments can escalate quickly, and people can say things that they don’t mean in the heat of the moment. When this happens, people are often willing to sacrifice the peace in their relationship just so that they can win the argument. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Arguing isn’t a great way to get your point across, but it is a good way to upset and annoy each other. When things start getting heated in your next disagreement, focus on how important your relationship is to you. It isn’t worth upsetting the person you love just so you can win the argument. Say to your partner; “I think we are both getting too emotional. I love you very much, and I don’t want either of us to say anything that we will regret later.” This makes the discussion more loving so that you can both look at the issue with a more positive perspective.
7Calm Your BF Down
Knowing how to calm your partner down when they’re upset, angry or irrational is a serious life skill. It will help to keep the peace in your relationship, especially at a time when things could easily go the other way! Sit down with your partner and openly discuss their emotions. Tell them that you love them and that you want to support them when they are going through a difficult time. Ask them what you can do to calm them down, and remember what they say. Of course, this is something that your partner should be able to do for you too. If your partner struggles to calm you down when you are angry, sit down with them and explain how they could calm you down. Communication is key and without each other’s help, you will both struggle to know what helps the situation and what makes it even worse.
If you have a lot of pride and you struggle to apologize, it’s definitely time to get over it. You’re in a relationship with someone, and whether you like it or not, you will make mistakes. You will upset your partner, and they will upset you too. Both of you need to be comfortable with apologizing, or you won’t have a very peaceful relationship! If your partner says you offended them or upset them, offer them a sincere apology. You probably didn’t intentionally hurt your partner, but nonetheless, you caused them emotional harm. Focus on the fact that you love each other and support each other. Right now they are upset, and they need your support in the form of an apology. When you apologize, don’t say “I’m sorry that you were upset by my words” as this is putting the blame on your partner instead of yourself… and it’s also very passive-aggressive!
During an argument emotions run high, and people can say things that they regret later. If your partner offers you a sincere apology after a fight, try to accept their apology. It can be difficult if you are still angry at them but focus on the fact that their apology is genuine. If you don’t accept their apology they will feel upset, and they might start to feel frustrated and angry again. Realize that they are reaching out to you to fix the problem. They regret upsetting you, and they are genuinely sorry for the things that they said. Don’t throw this back in their face, as apologizing is difficult for many people and it may put them off apologizing in the future. Forgiveness isn’t a gift that you can withhold from someone for as long as you like, and if you do they may start to think that you are playing with their feelings.
4Focus On Why You Love Them
When your partner has annoyed you, it’s pretty easy to focus on their bad traits, and what they did wrong. You might want to lash out at them and tell them everything that you think is wrong with them, but this is destructive behavior that could ruin your relationship. It’s definitely a negative mindset, and it is also unrealistic as you are only focusing on certain things. Realize that when you focus on something, it will become more obvious and noticeable. If you choose to focus on negative things, they will become more obvious and more annoying. If you focus on the things you love about your partner, you will find it easier to work through fights so that you can both be happy. Think about what made you first fall for them; perhaps it was their goofy laugh, or how generous they are with their friends and family and co-workers.
3Forgive And Move On
There’s no good reason to hold onto the past. If your partner hurt you and you chose to stay with them, you have to try to forgive them so that you can both move on. If you stay with them and you haven’t forgiven them, your relationship will be filled with arguments and stress. This isn’t fair to you, but it also isn’t fair to your partner. Neither of you should be in a relationship that has turned sour because of past events. It can also cause you a lot of emotional stress. If you don’t forgive your partner, eventually your sadness and anger will turn into bitterness. You will feel frustrated by the past, even though you cannot change it. If you are struggling to forgive and move on, remember that the past is now set in stone. Nothing you can do will change those events, but you can change the events in your present and future. It is time to start looking forwards instead of backward.
2Set A Time Each Week For You And Your BF
You and your boyfriend both have lots of different responsibilities. Work, college, family and friends all eat up your time, so sometimes it can be difficult to find time for each other. This is totally normal, but it is important to carve some time out each week too so that you can give your partner your full, undivided attention. When people don’t feel like a priority in their relationship, it can cause a lot of problems. They start to feel neglected and unloved, so they start arguments or become moody and uncommunicative. Make sure you spend time with your partner without constantly checking your phone or email. Talk to them, listen to them and make sure they know that you are listening to them. Be affectionate, and talk through any problems you are having without getting upset or angry. Express your love for them, and show them that you are feeling positive about the relationship.
1Learn To Love Yourself
One of the main things that destroys the peace in a relationship? That would be if you don’t love yourself enough… or your boyfriend doesn’t love himself enough, either. When people don’t love themselves, they struggle to accept love from others. They feel shocked that someone would want to be with them, and they worry that eventually, they will leave. This can cause them to project their own insecurities onto the relationship, which can make them clingy, needy, jealous, distant or moody. You need to love yourself before you can love someone else. Focus on the things that you like about yourself; maybe you have a great sense of humor or a badass haircut. Spend time by yourself doing things that you love, such as reading, so that you learn to love your own company. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and strong, and worthy of love. When you love yourself, your life will become more peaceful and much happier, and you’ll notice that you encounter less conflict. Phew.