How to effectively solve relationship arguments? | Coursera Community
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How to effectively solve relationship arguments?

  • 12 October 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 264 views

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Hello everyone!

This may sound like an odd question, but it essentially boils down to communication advice. Personally, I have started to have numerous arguments with my girlfriend lately and I believe it to be a problem of miscommunication, but I do not know whether I am the one making the mistakes or her.
Therefore, how do you think one can effectively solve an argument (in a relationship or anywhere else)?

4 replies

@Kandid this is such an excellent, yet complex topic!
Relationships are so important to us. We can often see ourselves better as a result, and certainly question ourselves as a result. Having arguments is often good. It is a way to share feelings and work on compromises. However, a good compromise means you get some of what you want but not all of it. This is tough to deal with when you were hoping for your way. You need to let things go that are not important.
I have been married for almost 50 years.
We argue about everything at times but moments later move on to something else. I think? women tend to want to hold on to things longer, to mull them over and discuss them further whereas men ( and this is only an observation not necessarily true for all!) will discuss something once and then feel it is over. I have learned not to repeat my point over and over but to clearly state it, discuss it and come to a resolution. Sometimes the resolution is to just respect one another’s different view and leave it alone.

Have you ever heard of “Conflict Resolution?” This is something that works well when you argue and prevents it from getting too personal and emotional. You need to say,:
I feel.........when you.....I would like you to.......
The other person then states how she or he feels....
You then need to come to an agreement about what you will do...and most important, agree that the conflict is over.
This is just a quick explanation...but it shows that when you tell someone how you “feel” they cannot dispute that. If you listen to what someone else feels you also can’t dispute it. When you start getting personal, this is when it gets too challenging to deal with.

However there are just times In our lives when we want to be alone! People can be in a bad mood over something that has nothing to do with the other person, but will become irritable with anything said because of how they are personally feeling. Giving one another space is very important so each person in a relationship can continue to grow and bring interesting things to one another.
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@Kandid , your post brought back a lot of memory of my journey.  Here are the lessons that I learned, besides reading many books.

When my wife and I had arguments in our early days, I learned that I was not listening.  By that I mean when she raised an issue, she just wanted me to listen and not to offer any solution.  And lots of arguments arose was due to my immaturity and lack of people skill.

Then there were cases where I was simply not present.  Now, when she speaks, I either put down whatever I was doing and pay attention, or I would ask if we can find another time so that I can be present.  

I also took time to learn about coaching and mentoring where I can use the technique when called for.  As an when that case arises, I would ascertain what she would like the outcome of the issue being discussed to be, and asked what are the alternatives to gaining the outcome so that she could decide what alternative that she would like to take.

Similarly, you may like to be reflective and take the same approach to yourself.  It is not infrequent that one may not know oneself well and that can be cause or trigger for arguments.

Lastly, do discuss the kind of relationship that both of you want.  It take effort and time to get there and maintain as both of you goes through your life.

Keep in mind of the saying  Happy Wife makes Happy Life!

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@Kandid 

There are many ways to address this challenge but the best advise I have ever received was from a book called:  The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. 

Its definitely worth reading if you want to improve your relationship. It actually did help mine.

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Hey Kandid,

I just joined the community and saw your post. This is very interesting. I started a blog about couple relationship with my wife (in French) 2 years ago after the divorce of one of my friends at the age of 26 years old.

First, I would recommend “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray. 

Then, our advice will depend on your situation (how old are you, since when are you dating, are you living in the same area, are you the same age...). All these details will define your relationship and orientate our advice.

But if I have to give general advice, it would be:

  • Spend some quality time together
  • Be always polite (thank her as often as possible)
  • Accept the difference, do not judge it. We all need support rather than judgement after all.
  • Help her understand you. The advice from Judith is great (I feel.........when you.....I would like you to.......). You are different and that’s why there are communication issues.
  • And the best advice is to listen to her (just listen. Do not provide solution to her issues unless she requests it. Just listen to her. Women need to communicate more than men). Just the fact to listen to her and she needs to talk to you will greatly improve your relationship.

I hope you are doing fine :)

 

Best regards,

 

Bernard

 

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