How to avoid arguments – Part III

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In the last two posts, we learned a lot about arguments between couples. For example, we learned how we unknowingly hurt each other and the anatomy of an argument. In this post, we will finally talk about how we can avoid arguments through loving communication.

The Start of Every Fight

How to avoid arguments - fight of swans

Fights start for two reasons.

First, the man feels that the woman disapproves of his point of view. And this occurred due to how she indirectly show her hurt. Because of this inability, she makes her concern much more hurtful to a man than it is. Instead of telling him directly that she is hurt by his action, she skipped this part and goes directly to “blaming”. He does not understand the meaning of her words. Furthermore, he is unable to read her hurt behind these disapproval words.

All he hears is that “she hates him for how he is or act“. This is a devastating blow to a man’s pride and love. First, he sees her, the one who he loved the most being disappointed and somewhat shows anger and hate towards him. And secondly, he feels no love anymore. The only thing he sees is a fight, not expressing simple differences towards each other.

Because of this misunderstanding, he tries to find a solution, to make her feel good, even though she hurts him with her words. The most common phrase comes up: Do not be upset. The second reason kicks in is why fights break out. The woman disapproves of the way the man is talking to her. Instead of apologizing that he hurt her with his actions or words, he invalidates the reasons for her upset: Why are you even angry about it? This is ridiculous!” Similar phrases can do the same damage. In addition, apologizing does not suit well for him. He only apologizes if he did something wrong. Making her upset is not “his fault”.

It is all about misunderstanding

This is the basic start of every fight in a relationship between men and women. What could be a simple discussion turned into a fight, or even a breakup or divorce? Rereading these chapters, I realize once again that men and women are different from their core. Of course, there are exceptions. But if we understand the fundamentals of fights we will understand how we could avoid arguments before erupting.

How to express differences and avoid arguments

Let us break down numerous typical fights and see what he and she could do to prevent a fight:

1. When he comes home late

How to avoid arguments - when he comes late

Her Rhetorical question:

When he arrives late she says “How could you be so late?” or “Why didn’t you call?” or “What am I supposed to think?”

 

The message he hears:

“There is no good reason for you to be late! You are irresponsible. I would never be late. I am better than you.”

 

What he explains:

When he arrives late and she is upset he explains “There was a lot of traffic.” or “Sometimes life can’t be the way you want.” or “You can’t expect me to always be on time.”

 

The message she hears:

What she hears is “You shouldn’t be upset because I have these good and logical reasons for being late. Anyway, my work is more important than you, and you are too demanding.”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

She could say “I don’t like it when you are late. Because I am worried that something could happen to you. It is upsetting me and worrying me. I would appreciate a call next time you are going to be late.”

 

How he could avoid arguments:

He says “I was late, I’m sorry I upset.” Most important is to just listen without explaining much with reasons. Try to understand her upset because it lies more behind it in her words.


Do you want to know more about this topic? Get more in-depth knowledge with this book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

2. When he forgets something

How to avoid arguments - when he forgets something

Her rhetorical question:

When he forgets to do something she says “How could you forget?” or “When will you ever remember?”, or “How am I supposed to trust you?”

 

The message he hears:

There is no good reason for forgetting. You are stupid and can’t be trusted. I give so much more to this relationship.”

 

What he explains:

“I was really busy and just forgot. These things just happen sometimes” or “It’s not such a big deal. It doesn’t mean I don’t care”

 

The message she hears:

What she hears is “You shouldn’t get so upset over such trivial matters. You are being too demanding and your response is irrational. Try to be more realistic. You live in a fantasy world.”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

If she is upset, she must say “I don’t like it when you forget.” She could also take another approach and simply not mention that he has forgotten something. Just asking again, by saying “I would appreciate it if you would…”

 

How he could avoid arguments:

He could immediately confess that he forgot something “I did forget…Are you angry with me?” Then let her talk without making her wrong for being angry. As she talks she will realize she is being heard and soon she will feel very appreciative of him.

 

 

3. When he returns from his cave

How to avoid arguments - when he comes back from his cave

Here is the article about the men’s cave and what it is all about: Why men become silent and their caves

Her rhetorical question:

When he comes back from this cave, she says “How could you be so unfeeling and cold?” or “How do you expect me to react?”. Or the most confusing question a woman could ask “How am I supposed to know what’s going on inside you?”

 

The message he hears:

There is no good reason for pulling away from me. You are cruel and unloving. Moreover, you are the wrong man for me. You have hurt me so much more than I have ever hurt you.”

 

What he explains:

When he comes back from his cave and she is upset he explains “I needed some time alone, it was only for two days. What is the big deal?” or “I didn’t do anything to you. Why does it upset you so?” Ouch. These words will hurt her.

 

The message she hears:

“You shouldn’t feel hurt or abandoned, and if you do, I have no empathy for you. And you are too needy and controlling. I will do whatever I want, I don’t care about your feelings.”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

If it upsets her she could say “I know you need time for yourself at times. But it still hurts me when you pull away. I am not saying you are wrong but it is important to me for you to see what I go through.”

 

How he could avoid arguments:

“I understand it hurts when I pull away. It must be very painful for you when I pull away. Let’s talk about it.” When she feels heard then it is easier for her to accept his need to pull away at times. Here I recommend you guys will honesty tell her your love towards her: “I can understand that my cold side hurt you. But it doesn’t mean I stopped loving you. Is there a way for us when I am in the cave again?”

 

 

4. When he disappoints her

Her rhetorical question:

When he disappoints her, she says “How could you do this?” or “Why can’t you do what you say you are going to do?” or “Didn’t you say you would learn it” or “When will you ever learn?”

 

The message he hears:

These kinds of sentences are devastating for a man. Not only does it make him more clear that he disappoints his most important person in life but also it makes him feel not to deserve you at all. Furthermore, at this point, he will ask the meaning of the relationship and is considering a break-up. Not because he stopped loving her, moreover, because he disappoints you so much beyond forgiving. The message he hears is “There is no good reason for you disappointing me. You are an idiot and a loser. You can’t do anything right. I can’t be happy until you change.”

 

What he explains:

When she expresses her disappointment, he explains “Hey, next time I’ll get it right” or “It’s not such a big deal”, or “But I didn’t know what you meant.” Here he tries to fix her view on him, what he presumes she is thinking. As the result, he unknowingly hurt her by reducing the importance of this overall. The translation: “Come on, it is not a big deal. I hope by explaining it, you will not see me as a total loser.”

 

The message she hears:

What she hears is different. She hears “If you are upset it is your fault. You should be more flexible. More importantly, you shouldn’t get upset, and I have no empathy for you.”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

If she is upset she could say “I don’t like being disappointed. I thought you were going to call. It’s OK and I need you to know how it feels when you did this.”

 

How he could avoid arguments:

He could say “I understand I disappointed you and every time I feel terrible doing so. Let’s talk about it… How did you feel?” Here again, let her talk without making any excuses. Give her a chance to be heard and she will feel better. After a while say to her “What do you need from me now to feel my support?” or “How can I support you now?”

 

 

5. When he does not respect her feelings and hurt her

How to avoid arguments - when someone is hurt

Her rhetorical question:

When he does not respect her feelings and hurts her, she says “How could you say that?”, “How could you treat me this way?”, “Why can’t you listen to me?”, “Do you even care about me anymore?”, or “Do I treat you this way?”

 

The message he hears:

The message he hears is “You are a bad and abusive person. I am so much more loving than you. I will never forgive you for this. You should be punished and cast out. This is all your fault.”

 

What he explains:

When he does not respect her feelings and she gets even more upset, he explains “Look I didn’t mean that” or “I do listen to you; see I am doing it right now” or “I don’t always ignore you” or “I am not laughing at you. Do I?”.

 

The message she hears:

What she hears is “You have no right to be upset? Are you serious? You are not making any sense. On top of this, you are sensitive, something is wrong with you. You are such a burden!”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

The most effective way is if she responds with short and direct statements. Questions and lectures are too much for him.

  • “I don’t like the way you are talking to me. Please stop.”
  • “You are being mean and I don’t appreciate it. I want a time-out.”
  • “This is not the way I wanted to have this conversation. Let’s start over.”
  • “I don’t deserve to be treated this way. I want to take a time-out.”
  • “Would you please not interrupt me.”
  • “Would you please listen to what I am saying?

The key here to be heard is to pronounce your statements correctly, not like a lecture or a question, but a simple statement. With this small technique, she will not provoke him any further. Sometimes she must be a calm person.

 

How he could avoid arguments:

He should say “I’m sorry, you don’t deserve to be treated that way. Most importantly, when a conversation gets heated up, take a deep breath, and just listen to her response. Learn to have a switch. When you almost explode, this switch must kick in to shut down your anger. And just listen to her response. She may carry on and say something like “You never listen!” When she pauses, says “You are right. Sometimes I don’t listen. I’m sorry, you don’t deserve to be treated that way… Let’s start over. This time we will do it better.”

Starting a conversation over is an excellent way to keep an argument from escalating. If she does not want to start over do not make her feel wrong about it. She has the right to be upset. If you give her the right to be upset then she will be more accepting and approving.


Do you want to know more about this topic? Get more in-depth knowledge with this book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

6. When he is in a hurry and she does not like it

Her rhetorical question:

She complains “Why are we always in a hurry?” or “Why do you always have to rush places?”

 

The message he hears:

The message he hears “There is no good reason for his rushing! You never make me happy. Nothing will ever change you. You are incompetent and obviously, you don’t care about me.

 

What he explains:

He explains “It’s not so bad”, “This is the way it has always been”, “There is nothing we can do about it now”, or “Don’t worry so much; it will be fine.”

 

The message she hears:

The message she hears is “You have no right to complain. You should be grateful for what you have and not be such a dissatisfied and unhappy person. There is no good reason to complain. you are bringing everyone down.”

 

How she could avoid arguments:

Sometimes she forgets what kind of power she owns. He would be more attentive to her feelings when she tells him directly “I don’t like it when we are in a rush because I cannot enjoy the time with you. Our life is so busy nowadays. I don’t like to rush. Can you plan more time next time?” Any man who does not fall in love with this has no heart.

 

How he could avoid arguments:

Here again to not make her feel wrong to be upset. “I am sorry, I don’t like it either. I wish we could just slow down. It feels crazy.” In this example, he has related to her feelings. Even if a part of him likes to rush, he can best support her in her moment of frustration by expressing how some part of himself sincerely relates to her frustration.

 

 

Summary – How to avoid arguments

summary

Relationships can be difficult sometimes. In addition, it can be more complicated when emotions take part in it. The stronger our love for our partner the more we behave irrationally. Sometimes external factors influence our love. In the worst case, we put our stress onto our partner and we will fight. Illnesses, loss of a job, death, or just not enough rest can push us into fights. When you went through all these series, you now know that everything comes down to lovely communication. Some words have different meanings behind what we meant. Some weird behavior is caused by stress and so on. Recognizing the needs of our partners can avoid arguments.

I put men in the position of the originator of any conflict and women in the position of being hurt. However, it can be the other way around as well.
Summarized, you should have a rough idea of how to argue right. Once you accept that arguing is part of a relationship and you learned how to properly communicate, arguing should not be a reason to break up again.

 

Sidenote from Thien

I was accused that I have no right to give any relationship advice because I am single. They may be right. However, instead of looking at what worked, I reflect on things that did not work in my past relationships. You cannot imagine how hard it is to type every word. Rereading and summarizing everything hurt me. Because every time I see her. And it pains me with regret. I could have done so many things in a better way. So many shed tears would be unshed. So much pain would be unhurt. And so many fights and screaming would be undone. They are right. I am in no position to say how a relationship should be done correctly. The only thing I can do is to tell you how a relationship should not work.

I hope you take every word to your heart. As I grew older, I realize finding someone is difficult. But you have each other now. Isn’t it a pity once you found each other to waste it?

 

Source:

 

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