The Correct Way To Argue In A Relationship

Summary – 7 rules we need to establish beforehand

Having an argument in a relationship is a very normal thing. In fact, it is a known fact that a relationship without any argument is most probably doomed to fail.

Why argument is just as important in a relationship?

It is because argument will make us see the better option in any situation. We are usually blinded with our own opinion that we fail to see another point of view of things. Yes, even if that other point of view is way better. For example, we may believe that children should not be given money. All of their money must be saved in the bank for their future. Make sense right?

However, your spouse may argue that by giving them money, they will value money better as they will now understand how hard it is to save. The more they save, the better things they can purchase later on. That is a better opinion, don’t you think?

So how exactly can we mould this argument to produce positive results instead? There is only one thing you can do, prepare for it.

Ultimate Rule of Argument Is Preparation

Always establish some ground rules before everything. Do you remember the time when love is all around? The time when she is 2 hours late on a date and you are still able to smile when she arrived. Try to sit and discuss with her these simple rules during this period of time.

Discuss this – “In the case of argument, how will the two of you solve it?”. The following are some suggestion on what both of you can agree on in this discussion.

1) Only argue when the argument can help you two become better people
There is no reason to argue about who’s taking out the trash. Somebody will still have to do it. If not, your house will start to smell. If for some reason you are stuck with this pointless argument, one of you should remind the other that this argument is just not worth it.

2) Never attack each other’s ego.
No man will stand being called a coward, just like no woman likes to be treated like a slave. Define each other’s borderline and make it known to your spouse. For example, the girlfriend doesn’t like to be scolded by her boyfriend in public, so the boyfriend should take note of this and even though he is not happy, he should raise the issue behind closed doors.

As long as we’re here, no name calling either please.

3) There should always be only one person talking at any time.
An argument will stop being helpful when it starts becoming a duet presentation by the couple. This is when the two scream at each other at the same time. Seriously, how can you know the problem when nobody is listening.

It will not help either if nobody is talking.

4) Establish that there will sometimes be one winner and one loser.
Obviously the perfect argument is when the outcome is a win-win situation. However, there are some cases when the result of an argument is one-sided. For example, if the husband has been assigned to be in charge of finance, almost all argument about finance will be won by the husband. You just cannot spend $1000 on both investment and buying things at the same time.

Set up some rules on how to be a winner or a loser. For example, the winner must always respect the losers. Laughing at losers is so 7 years old.

5) Agree on a third person.
If and only if the argument is going nowhere and both parties are not preparing to compromise. A third person must be assigned beforehand. Typical examples are like bestfriends or families. This person will then help the couple to reach an agreement. He will also have the authority to make a decision on the argument and the couple must accept it no matter what.

It is always considered a good manner not to involve the third person in all argument. He or she has a life too you know 🙂

6) Any parties can step away from the argument at anytime (cooling period).
It is very normal for anger to build up in any argument especially when it involves personal matters. The couple should agree beforehand that any one of you can request to be left alone for a period of time as a cooling period. Believe me it really helps.

When you are angry, your judgment will be clouded and you will not be able to see what the better option is. I can say that this is the hardest rule of all since anger will require all your strength just to contain it.

For more tips on anger management, you might want to read an article I wrote – How To Be The Strongest Man On The Planet.

7) Practise arguing.
This may be silly, but why not? Schedule a few time in a year to practise handling an argument. Try the cooling period request, or the third person, especially the no-ego attack rule. It can be about anything. Anything that the two of you are not in agreement. Remember, the aim is to practise these beforehand rule you established.

When the time come for the actual fight, you will know exactly what to do. And when the wife ask for a cooling period, you will understand and give her. Hey! it’s in the rule right?

– I wonder –
What other rules should be established about argument beforehand?

———— Personal Note ————-
Very recently, I had an argument with the mrs. A small one actually, more of a misunderstanding. And when we were trying to discuss it very seriously, there she was, our 4 months old daughter (Zafirah) smiling endlessly at us. And we actually stopped our argument to smile back.

We quickly wrapped up the discussion and solved the argument immediately 🙂

Photo Credit – victoriapeckham

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This post has 14 comments.

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  1. 21 Oct 08 10:32 am

    Plan to write a post about this. We actually have lot of rules –
    argue about one thing at a time, no name calling, not to bring past mistakes or weaknesses of other into picture etc.

  2. 21 Oct 08 12:47 pm

    it takes 2 to we need 2 ppl to argue. But if the other party – buat donno, x point to arguekan..

  3. 21 Oct 08 2:18 pm

    Avani-Mehta – Not to bring past mistakes and weakness is a great addition to the list. I’m not sure its exact term, but nobody should be punished twice for the same crime they did. I guess that should be the case with argument too

    @k@kPOKPEK – Ignoring the argument can work once in a while. But the side effect can be seriously damaging. Over time, the spouse may start building stress inside since he/she is not communicating with the other half. Or the problem will still be there to haunt the couple some other day.

    It is always best to handle an issue face on. It may not be solved, but it is halfway there. And the effort is usually the next best thing

  4. zakiah
    22 Oct 08 5:43 pm

    I have only one rule when arguing with my other half. i.e. Keep quiet. In that way he’ll ponder whether he is right or wrong. After all these years, I can never win in an argument with him .

  5. banji
    22 Oct 08 8:37 pm

    Zakiah – That is an interesting way to make him doubt himself. I’ll keep that in mind should anyone try that on me

  6. 23 Oct 08 2:12 pm

    i dun like to argue, but sumtime I have to! hahaha..

  7. 23 Oct 08 5:16 pm

    Yanz – Me too, argument is the last thing in my mind in any situation. But sometimes it happens, we just have to deal with it.

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  10. Anonymous
    04 Nov 10 3:55 am

    While arguing is said to be “Normal”, we all must be careful when we argue because often-times an argument can hide a much bigger problem. The style and way we may argue can speak volumes towards the way we actually feel for one another or say who we are deep down inside. Persistant arguing will allmost always eventually cause a division or worse. How we handle an argument will say how much we love our better half and ultimately ourselves.

  11. Aurora
    17 Nov 10 5:08 pm

    My boyfriend and I argue an average of once or twice a week, which I think is quite often. I would be worried if we didn’t have our specific arguing style. We may argue, but the way in which we do it shows that we truly do respect and care for each other.

    – We never name call
    – We never threaten breaking up
    – We understand that LISTENING and understanding WHAT/WHY the other is saying is far more important than agreeing, even if it is a major issue.
    – We validate each other’s feelings: we understand that FEELINGS are neutral and are neither right nor wrong. No one can ever tell you that you don’t have a right to be mad, or that you can’t feel sad. We listen and we let the other person know that “I understand that you feel this way, and why you feel this way, even if I don’t feel the same or agree.”
    – We don’t argue about hypotheticals b/c “9/10 of the worries coming at you down the road will fall off the road before they reach you.”
    – We are committed to our CHOICE to be together. We know that as long as we are together, that is where we want to be. We have each assured the other that we would end our relationship if it was no longer working or workable.

    And I believe this is the biggest one….

    – We have reaaaaalllly f***ing great make up sex each time we fight.

  12. banji
    22 Dec 10 6:40 pm

    Anonymous – I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve pointed out. Personally, I think argument in a relationship is healthy. It shows that nothing is being kept inside which is far more dangerous to the relationship in the long run.

    Still, as you’ve said, we must really be careful when arguing, knowing what to do, and most importantly what NOT to do.

    Aurora – I am actually smiling while reading your comment. This is exactly what I hope to accomplish with the article.

    Thank you for sharing your rules of argument. I believe it may save other’s relationship some day.

    p.s. Sex is always the best remedy to an argument. I just hope the make up sex is not so great that both of you looking forward for another fight 🙂

  13. […] The Correct Way To Argue In A Relationship […]

  14. Howard Wright
    06 Jul 12 7:24 am

    this might help you to deal justly with the situation & make your relationships

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