Every couple fights. As a matter of fact, it can even be healthy for couples to fight sometimes. But there are just some things that couples should never say when they fight. These things can make the difference between a good fight where couples kiss and make up, and a bad fight where couples break up. Here are a few of the most common things you shouldn’t say when you’re fighting.
“I didn’t say that.”
When a couple starts arguing about what they did or didn’t say they’re way off track of actually solving the problem. I always ask couples “What difference does it make if you did or didn’t actually say that?” Does that solve the problem you were fighting about? Just about everyone says no. So stop arguing about who said what and focus on the real problem.
“You’re a (fill in the blank)!”
Name calling is never productive in a fight. It just raises tension and distracts from the real problem that you’re trying to solve. Plus, it creates new problems. On top of trying to solve the original problem you started arguing about, now you have to apologize for name calling, too.
“This is just like that time when you…”
Bringing up past unresolved instances just adds more fuel to the fire. It also distracts from the problem at hand. Instead of talking about the current issue you started arguing about you end up talking about several different problems from years ago. Before you know it, you’re talking about something entirely unrelated to what you started arguing about and have no idea how you got there. Plus, you’ve dug up a lot of old bones along the way. Stay on topic and leave the past in the past.
“If you weren’t so stupid…”
Insults are perhaps one of the worst things you can do in an argument. Instead of trying to cooperate and resolve the problem, insults put couples on opposing teams. They’re also a deliberate way to hurt your partner. But hurting your partner makes it harder to resolve the problem at hand and even causes more damage. So now on top of solving the problem at hand, you also have to solve the problem of trying to insult your partner.
These four phrases are perhaps some of the most common phrases couples use when they fight. They are also some of the most dangerous. Make rules in your relationship that you won’t say such things when you fight, and you’ll be surprised where your arguments go in the future. This will help you resolve differences and walk away feeling resolved. Almost like an argument never happened.
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.